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Arthur SzykArtist, Jew, Pole$
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Joseph P. Ansell

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9781874774945

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: February 2021

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9781874774945.001.0001

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(p.1) Introduction
Arthur Szyk

Joseph P. Ansell

Liverpool University Press

This introductory chapter briefly describes the life and work of the artist, Arthur Szyk. It discusses his numerous and diverse works and places special emphasis on those works which contain topical commentary on contemporary political and social issues. Though it would seem difficult to reconcile these greatly disparate elements in one artist's work, the chapter argues that the concentrated political activity of the World War II years was not an aberration — however important — in Szyk's career. It was an integral part of an artistic life dedicated to serving humanity through his talents. To understand the interconnection of all aspects of his work, and to understand the man who was equally adept at rendering an entire world within a few square inches of exquisite beauty and savagely attacking a political enemy through caricature, the chapter argues that one must look beneath the decorated surface of the page to the meaning of the individual work and to its historical context.

Keywords:   Arthur Szyk, World War II, political issues, social issues, political activity, political commentary, historical context

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