United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

Book of Esther: Esther with Scribe, 1950
The Art and Politics of Arthur Szyk
jewish artist

Curator's comments
[USHMM #93840/Sussi Collection, Chicago;
Original dimensions: 13 5/8" x 10 3/4"]
Book of Esther: Esther with Scribe, 1950
In 1950, Szyk returned to the Book of Esther. In his second version of the biblical tale he adopted a new style, depicting the characters and architecture in a manner reminiscent of his illustrations for the Arabian Nights. Allusions to contemporary events became clearer with Haman appearing in the black of the Nazi SS, his uniform emblazoned with the swastika.

Steve Luckert

United States
Holocaust Memorial Museum, Washington, D.C.

Playing time 1:08]

Dr. Steve Luckert, curator of The Art and Politics of Arthur Szyk, speaks about Szyk's illustrations of the biblical Book of Esther. Szyk illustrated the Book of Esther twice, in the 1920s and again in the 1950s. Both times, says Dr. Luckert, the themes portrayed in the artwork were Szyk's "answer to the antisemitism of his times."

Wartime Caricaturist
Action - Not Pity
Szyk resources
Wartime Caricaturist