Works of Boris Schatz collection brings life of artist to life at HUC—JIR
The Skirball Museum opens its 2013–14 season with The Boris Schatz Collection at Hebrew Union College–Jewish Institute of Religion where an impressive display of bronze and wood reliefs, ivories, oils and sepia paintings by Boris Schatz (1867-1932), the noted artist and founder of the Bezalel School of Arts and Crafts, will be shown. The exhibition opens with a reception on Thursday, October 24, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. and will run through January 31, 2014. The Skirball Museum is located on the Cincinnati campus of the Hebrew Union College–Jewish Institute of Religion, 3101 Clifton Avenue.
“Schatz is better known as the founder of the Bezalel School of Arts and Crafts than for his own work as an artist,” says Abby Schwartz, Interim Director of the Skirball Museum. “I am delighted to be able to bring together in one space these works in a variety of media. This is an exciting opportunity to explore Schatz’s artistic versatility and his contributions as a sculptor and painter.”
The majority of the collection was acquired by Hebrew Union College in 1926 as a gift from Joseph Schonthal, noted philanthropist of Columbus, Ohio, who made the donation in memory of his wife, Hermine. At the time, the “Jewish Daily Bulletin” called the collection “one of the first conscious attempts in modern times at the creation of a specifically Jewish art, and considered to be of significance from a historico-cultural aspect.” In addition to the works belonging to the Skirball Museum, the upcoming exhibition will include two ivories from the collection of Regine Weiss Ransohoff, two wood reliefs from the collection of Rabbi Tom and Joani Friedmann, and a bronze medallion from the collection of Morton and Jo Ellen Spitz.
Several programs will be offered in association with the exhibition.
Monday, November 11, from 7:00 to 8:30 p.m. will be the One City, One Symphony listening party in cooperation with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra. This is a community conversation about music that complements the exhibition.
On Sunday, November 17, from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m., will be Oh, What a Relief It Is! This free workshop is open to children in grades 3, 4 and 5, and is limited to 30 participants.
On Thursday, December 5, from 7:00 to 8:30 p.m., a gallery talk will be offered. This slide presentation and gallery conversation will be led by Abby Schwartz.
About Boris Schatz
Shlomo-Zalman Dov-Baruch Schatz (1867-1932), who later changed his first name to Boris, was born in the town of Vorno, near the Lithuanian city of Vilna. He studied at Vilna’s School of Drawing and later received work as a drawing teacher. The Jewish sculptor, Mark Antokolsky, had a strong influence on Schatz’s work and on his decision to specialize in sculpture. Schatz came to believe that art should have a high degree of realism that expressed the authentic “Jewishness” of the characters it depicted. He was involved off and on with the Zionist movement. His most important work, “Mattathias the Maccabee”, is known today only in photographs. In 1905, in what was then Palestine, Schatz founded what is now the Bezalel Academy of Art and Design in Jerusalem.