"On the face of it, art history seemed a gentile profession. For one thing,
the study of Christian art was its center. In addition, there was an ancient Jewish injunction against
making graven images. But the fact is, the field was filled with Jews. One might
even say it was shaped by them. Art history is
characterized in this century by studies in connoisseurship, formalist analysis,
 the study of iconography and iconology, and social analyses. Jews have been prominent in all categories."
Eunice Lipton,
in Rubin-Dorsky/Fishkin. People of the Book. Thirty Scholars Reflect on Their Jewish Identities. Press of American Studies Association, 1996

"In Baltimore, Miami, Atlanta, and a host of other cities, cultural institutions are increasingly dependent on Jewish support."
Charles Silberman,
A Certain People, Summit Books, 1985, p. 214-215

"Some eyebrows m
ay have been raised at the awareness of Baltimore's Jewish 'Art Mafia.' At the
time, Arnold Lehman was director of the Baltimore Musem
of Art, Sergio Commissiona was music director of the
Baltimore Symphony (in Meyerhoff Hall), and Frederick Lazarus IV, an arts
administrator, was president of the Maryland Institute College of Art. Also,
Herbert Kessler, a medievalist ... , chaired the well-regarded art history department at John Hopkins [University]."
George Goodman,
A New Jewish Elite: Curators, Directors and Benefactors of American Art Museums. Modern Judaism, February 1998,
p. 123

"A member of the [Jewish] Warburg banking family single-handedly started up the field of art history ... [CANTOR, p. 271] ... All the art history departments in the world are direct descendants of Aby Warburg's Institute (moved from London in 1932 to escape the Nazis) and his great Jewish disciple, Erwin Panofsky. Is it anamalous that a Jew would have been so creative in the study of art that was so little cultivated in Jewish tradition? All the more that a liberated Jew should pursue art history. But one can see a Judaizing tendency in Warburg's method of art historical criticism. The picture is studied for its 'iconology,' its pattern of ideas illustrating textual passages. Art is therby approached in hermeneutic fashion, again recalling Talmudic exegesis, rather than for its aesthetic content. Yet the most significant aspect of Warburg's development in art history is the demonstration that market capitalism could embrace and fund a purely cultural and academic operation. The distinct equality of capital was not its materialism, but its liquidity, the fungible capactiy of capital to transform into any commodity, including art and humanities literature that represents a dynamic power in society. Aby Warburg's historical and critical mastery of art was structurally the same as his brother's master in their international bank of money and its investment potential. The transormative interaction between art and capital is central to the nature of the market economy."
Norman Cantor,
The Sacred Chain: The History of the Jews, HarperCollins, 1994, p. 271


"It is my contention that the art world of the 1980s represented a kind of renaissance
for Jewish American artists who came of age in that decade. The list of young Jewish American
artists who took center stage in the 80's is long --
early in the decade we might think of Barbara Kruger, Laurie Simmons,
Sherrie Levine, R.M. Fischer, Donald Sultan, Julian Schnabel, and David
Salle. Later, the work of Ross Bleckner, Terry Winters,
Haim Steinbach, and Meyer Vaisman come to the fore ... What originally motivated
me to explore this subject [of growing Jewish artist prominence]
was the strange fact that there has been an inexplicable
silence surrounding it. Especially in this era of multicultural awareness, it is
surprising, to say the least, that no one has mentioned this
phenomenon ... One possible reason for
this silence about a Jewish artist renaissance in the 80's is that at the
same time a great fluorescence of Jewish influence in the areas of
philanthropy, business, finance and the bastions of high society was
taking place ... By the 1980s ... in cities with large Jewish populations, like
New York, Jews had largely replaced the older WASP elite as standard bearers of
social  power and prestige in the evolving American
postwar ethnic meritocracy."
Thus a new and yet unexamined social paradigm arose. Jews ... [who] had
championed the marginal culture of Modernism had suddenly become the
pillar of the American establishment. At the same time, a new
of Jewish artists was emerging whose work was collected as often as not by
Jews in the cultural elite as part of a continuing tradition Jewish support for contemporary art."
art critic
Peter Halley,
self-defined as 'half-Jewish,' The Eighties and Jewishness, The New Art Examiner, June 1997, p. 26-28

Jewish author Howard Jacobson wrote in 1993 about his experiences with prominent New York City art critic Peter Schjeldhal:
'I came to New York to be Jewish,' [Schjeldhal] once told me:
'Did you make it?'
'What were you before?'
'Porcelain-sink Lutheran.'
'And now? Since you haven't made it across as one of us?'
He paused. He wasn't sure he want to be THAT un-Jewish.
'A certain transformation has occurred; but a certain gulf remains.'
It takes me a little while to put it together -- the fact that just about every gallery/space/loft we go into is run by a Jew. This isn't Jewish how I like it. This is slow-drawl, camp Jewish, retreating, high-toned, not very sense-of-humorish Jewish. The pallid women gallery-owners whose walls and wine we absorb are also Jewish.'"
Howard Jacobson,
Roots Schmoots. Journey Among Jews. The Overlook Press, NY, 1993, 1995, p. 84-85

By 1973, some art observers estimated that 75-80% of the 2,500 core "art market" personnel -- art dealers, art curators, art critics and art collectors -- were Jewish.
Sophy Burnham,
The Art Crowd, David MacKay Co., NY, 1973, p. 25

"[Jewish lesbian artist Marina Vainshtein has] tattoos of graphic Holocaust images over most of her body. On her
upper back, the central image represents a train transport carrying Jewish prisoners in
striped uniforms towards waiting ovens ... It was ... in high school [in Los
Angeles] that Vainshtein became obsessed with
Holocaust literature ... Vainshtein's tatoos include a violin player ... surrounded by
hanging corpses, anguished faces and Zyklon B, the
killing agent in the gas chambers. The screaming faces of prisoners being
gassed are tattooed on one breast."
Dora Apel,
The Tattooed Jew. New Art Examiner, June 1997, p. 12-

"The chimney [in a painting by Jewish artist R. B. Kitaj] functions as an indictment of Christianity. Hence Jewish identity in Kitaj's painting is achieved in opposition to Christianity ... Innocense and guilt: Jew and Gentile."
Juliet Steyn,
The Jew: Assumptions
of Identity
, Cassell, London and New York, 1999

The Times: Another Dupe in Charles Saatchi's Con Game
. New York Observer, November 15, 1999
[Those mentioned below: lawyer Floyd Abrams, collector Charles Saatchi, and museum director Arnold Lehman are all Jewish, as is -- to his credit --the author of this article, Hilton Kramer]
"As expected, a Federal judge has rejected Mayor Rudolph Giuliani’s attempt to withhold funds from the Brooklyn Museum of Art for exhibiting the odious Sensation exhibition. Once again, First Amendment fundamentalist Floyd Abrams has made the world a safer place for the market in the foulest varieties of obscene expression ... What is now beyond question is that the entire project of bringing this shabby inventory from the Saatchi Collection to Brooklyn has from the outset been what even The [New York] Times, after publishing some 60 or more news stories, editorials and reviews in ardent defense of the exhibition, has finally been obliged to concede is 'an ethically dubious enterprise' ... Because of the Sensation scandal, all the world now knows exactly how this market-manipulation venture works. Mr. Saatchi first commissions work that is guaranteed to cause outrage, then promotes it as his latest 'discoveries,' then importunes once-respectable institutions like the Royal Academy of Art or the Tate Gallery to endorse it, and then makes a killing in the art-auction market. This is what now passes for 'avant-garde' art in London–and, of course, in New York–and it has proved to be a highly successful business enterprise. Thanks to the total lack of conscience, tact and taste which Arnold L. Lehman, the director of the Brooklyn Museum, brought to the organization, the financing and the promotion of the Sensation show, all art museums that traffic in this particular vein of 'cutting-edge' hucksterism have also suffered a significant loss in public confidence. The sheer quantity of cynical hokum that it has long been standard practice for our art institutions to invoke in defense of whatever horror or inanities the art traders are currently promoting as avant-garde is no longer as persuasive as it once was for anyone not involved in the market. We haven’t witnessed the death throes of this phenomenon yet, but some of the other institutional defenses of Sensation have shown signs of moral fatigue and a distinct diminution of mental acuity."

A New Jewish Elite: Curators, Directors and Benefactors of American Art Museums. Modern Judaism, 1998, 18.1, p. 119-152
[To access this article, go to and type in for your search: George Goodwin jewish art. When the link comes up, select the cached version.]
"Presently, there are several Jews in the highest ranks of American museum professionals. Michael Heyman is the Smithsonian's secretary (or chief administrator). Elsewhere in Washington, Alan Shestack is deputy director of the National Gallery of Art, Neil Benezra is chief curator of the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden (where Stephen Weil recently retired as deputy director), and Stephen Ostrow is curator of prints and drawings at the Library of Congress. Beyond the federal domain, David Levy is director of the Corcoran Gallery." This article goes on and on like this, in a detailed look at Jewish prominence in the art world throughout the country. There are actually two separate articles on this subject by Goodwin in the Modern Judaism journal.

MOMA Board Member Quits After Indiscreet Purchase
The Art Newspaper
[Great Britain], June 5, 2000
"The publisher and billionaire [Jewish] art collector Samuel I. (Si) Newhouse has quit the board of trustees of the Museum of Modern Art in New York after buying a 1913 Cubist Picasso painting that was deaccessioned from the museum’s collection. Newhouse, who controls Conde Nast Publications, Random House, and a chain of newspapers, had been on the MoMA board for twenty-seven years. A museum spokesman said that Newhouse had violated a museum policy that bans trustees from buying works from the institution. In this case, the 1913 'Man with guitar' was sold from the collection to raise funds for new acquisitions. The guidelines of the Association of Art Museum Directors discourage the selling of art from museum collections except for the purpose of buying similar works of art. The museum appears to have been acting within those rules in this deal. The painting was sold by the museum to an art dealer, said to be Larry Gagosian (from whom Newhouse has purchased many paintings in the past) and then sold to Newhouse for $10 million. New York State requires that museums which receive government funds deaccession works at public auction, a law established after the Metropolitan Museum of Art surprised donors with the sale of a number of paintings in the Seventies. The Guggenheim’s lucrative sale at Sotheby’s of works by Kandinsky, Modigliani and others in 1990 to buy the Panza di Biuma collection of minimal and conceptual art was condemned as unethical. Yet private museums, like the Guggenheim and MoMA, are permitted by New York State law and the AAMD to sell their works privately."

The ARTnews 200 Top Collectors, by Milton Esterow. ARTnews, Summer 201
The owner of this influential newspaper, Esterow, is Jewish as are at least eight of the "Top Ten" art collector families listed here as a tease to an off-line article. The Jewish ones are Debbie and Leon Black, Edythe and Eli Broad, Doris and Donald Fisher, Ronnie and Samuel Heyman, Marie-Josee and Henry R. Kravis, Evelyn and Leonard Lauder, Jo Carole and Ronald S. Lauder, and Stephen Wynn.

Helmut Newton: The Master. The Difficult World of the Greatest Fashion Photographer Who Ever Lived. The Independent [Great Britain], May 9, 2001
"To radical feminists, [Jewish photographer Helmut] Newton is the Antichrist. This is the man who photographed a woman on all fours with a saddle on her back, and another sitting in her underwear on an unmade bed, with a gun in her mouth ... Newton's vision is fuelled by sex, status, power and, above all, voyeurism ­ there are often extras in his pictures who gaze at the women centre-stage. Those are, of course, also the things that make fashion tick. Small wonder, then, that much of the photographer's most successful imagery has become far more famous than the garments he has chosen to photograph ... Newton's influence is everywhere ... In the Sixties and Seventies, Newton's decadent vision may have been labelled "porno chic", but today the rest of the world has finally caught up with him and it's just plain chic. There is barely a stylist, photographer or designer working in fashion today who can fail to acknowledge Newton as an influence."

The Frog Prince. The Independent, [Great Britain], January 4, 2000
"Serge Gainsbourg [born Lucien Ginzburg] ... is still most famous in Britain for his number one Je t'aime moi non plus: the scandalous anthem which was in the British charts 30 years ago. He and [Jane] Birkin simulated their lovemaking so effectively that the single was banned by the BBC and formally condemned by the Vatican ... Gainsbourg is the greatest popular musician France has ever produced ... Echoes of his favourite technique, of murmuring profanities against a delicate and beautiful harmony, can be heard in many contemporary records, not least the later work of Leonard Cohen ... Gainsbourg appeared to relish the onset of old age as giving him licence for the kind of appalling behaviour normally permitted to youth. Towards the end of his life, the singer's media appearances became ritual provocations: in one television broadcast, he subjected a veteran paratrooper - horrified by Gainsbourg's dub version of the Marseillaise - to a torrent of obscenities, pausing only occasionally, to inflate condoms. On another notorious live show, sharing a platform with a young Whitney Houston, Gainsbourg, then 58, turned to the presenter Michel Drucker and declared, in English, 'I want to fuck her.'"

An Avant-Garde Impresario: Julien Levy. Art in America. March 1999
"Julien Levy, the promoter of Surrealism and pioneering New York art dealer of the 1930s and '40s, was the subject of a recent exhibition that wove together art works and archival materials ... . Although best remembered as the preeminent American dealer of Surrealism, Levy first exhibited and sold a range of European and American photographs ... [Salvadore] Dali would become central to Levy's stable ... In terms of conceptual innovation and creative energy, Julien Levy and his gallery are central to the history of American art between the wars."

Modligliani: The Pure Bohemian. Kirkus Reviews, October 1, 1991
"Modigliani, explains British biographer [Elizabeth Fry] Rose, was the product of an upper-class Jewish- Italian family. After art studies in Livorno, Florence, and Venice, where he spent more time in cafes and brothels than in class, he arrived in Paris in 1906, seeking fame and fortune. Within weeks, the somber reality of poverty set in--moving from seedy hotel to seedy hotel, he wound up living in a wooden shack in Montmartre. There, and later in Montparnasse, he met many of the foremost artists, writers, and 'characters' of the day, including Picasso, Soutine, Utrillo, Cocteau, Hans Arp, and Fernand L‚ger. Because of his success with women, Modigliani had easy access to free models ('Women of a beauty worth painting or sculpting often seem encumbered by their clothes,' he said). Rose seems torn between downplaying what she refers to as the 'Modigliani myth' and relating dozens of stories that have served to create that myth. Included are accounts of how Modigliani danced wildly in the moonlight with a famous courtesan; of how one of his first collectors was a senior police official who first met the painter when he was jailed for drunkenness; and of how the artist's only one-man gallery show was closed 'for indecency' the day it opened."

Stealing Beauty. Los Angeles, July 2000
"[Jeffrey] Hirsch, who had initially been hired as editor of UCLA Magazine and head of campus publications in April 1994 and was now in charge of overseeing an array of university magazines, marketing projects and annual reports, had an incredibly diligent and time-consuming secret life. In four years, he had generated armloads of falsified documents to acquire hundreds of pieces of art and other prize possessions ... The tally was actually a staggering $480,000, used to buy paintings, photographs, fine furniture, rare books and assorted knickknacks, all of which were hidden in a public self-storage space that even his wife of 11 years didn't know about."

Kahlomania. The [Australia], July 4, 2001
"Overshadowed by her husband - famous muralist Diego Rivera - during her lifetime, [Frida] Kahlo [whose father was Jewish] is now a global cult figure. The feisty woman with the striking stare and tempestuous love-life has inspired ballets, operas, books, biography, films and plays. Dozens, if not hundreds, of websites pay homage. A religion, 'Kahloism,' worships her as the one, true god. 'Kahlomania' is about to hit Australia: a new play about her opens tonight in Melbourne, a major exhibition will be launched in the National Gallery of Australia in Canberra next week, a Hollywood movie will hit Australian screens in December ... Frida Kahlo is not only arguably the world's most famous female artist, but also one commanding the highest prices. Last year, a Kahlo self-portrait painted in 1929 fetched $10 million, creating a record for Latin American art and for a female artist. A Kahlo the size of a chicken's egg was sold last November by Sotheby's for $400,000 ... Memorabilia including a letter opener, dried flowers, a watch and ribbons went for $110,000 in a sale of Kahlo curios, prompting a Latin American art expert in New York to observe that people were vying for shreds of Kahlo's garments."

Vanity Fare. Phoenix New Times. June 7, 2001
"Mirror, mirror on the wall, who's the fairest of them all? Apparently, it's high-profile art collectors Jacques and Natasha Gelman, judging from all the glitzy portraits commissioned from famous Mexican artists that now grace the walls of the Phoenix Art Museum as part of 'Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera and Twentieth-Century Mexican Art: The Jacques and Natasha Gelman Collection' ... Contemporary acquisitions -- which are, overall, of better quality and more engaging than the work of the older Mexican art legends -- have been expertly guided by longtime Gelman friend Robert Littman, ex-director of Mexico City's now-defunct Centro Cultural/Arte Contemporaneo (referred to popularly as the Centro Cultural). As president of the Vergel Foundation, which is responsible for carrying on the Gelman legacy, Littman seems to possess an infallible eye, which cannot be said for the Gelmans' original aesthetic vision ... Both [Jacques and Natasha] were Jewish, married in 1941 and [they] remained in Mexico because of the Second World War ... Always nattily attired and fur-coat-swathed, Jacques and Natasha were the stereotypical film producer and glamorous socialite spouse. To cement their status in Mexican high society, in 1943, Jacques commissioned Diego Rivera to paint Natasha's portrait, which appears in the exhibition. Though the most famous of the Mexican mural painters at the time, Rivera often paid the rent by doing portraits of wealthy socialites ... Frida Kahlo's Natasha portrait of 1943 captures the woman, crowned with sausage curls al modo and draped in a fur stole, with a strangely flat effect ... To anyone familiar with Mexican art history, the Gelman exhibition is not a well-balanced overview of Mexican art at mid-century ... [it is] a classically status-driven, gotta-be-better-than-the-Gomezes compilation reflecting one type of art collector's psychic preoccupation with memorializing himself and notable public figures with which he has socialized. Frankly, it's one more befitting a newly moneyed, 18th-century Dutch burgher than a discerning, visionary collector seeking emerging and mid-career artists' best and most enduring work."

National Collection Needs a Major Lucien Freud. The Age, Australia
"Australia's national art collection needed a major Lucien Freud painting, National Portrait Gallery director Andrew Sayers said today. The National Gallery of Australia (NGA) is planning to buy Lucien Freud's painting After Cezanne from the artist for $8 million - if it can raise the last $1 million. This would make it the NGA's most expensive painting ... Mr Sayers said the Art Gallery of South Australia showed extraordinary foresight and bought a Freud in 1950 and the Art Gallery of Western Australia had a painting of a nude man holding a rat ... Mr Sayers said Freud, the 78-year-old grandson of psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud, was not a household name but was an artist's artist."

Eli Langer. Mercer Union Digital Archives, 1979-1995
[A compilation of art gallery press releases and local news articles about a controversial 1993 Toronto art exhibition by Jewish artist Eli Langer]
"Eli Langer's show of eight paintings and various small pencil drawings is much talked about in Toronto art circles these days -- much talked about because no one knows what to make of it. In a community that sets few limits when it comes to explicitness, Langer's subject matter breaks one of the last taboos: the sexuality of children. The paintings, gorgeously rendered in a duo toned chiaroscuro of red and black, show children and adults in various forms of sexual play. A naked child sits on the lap of a naked man who might be her grandfather. A masked intruder climbs through a window into a bedroom where a naked girl straddles the neck of an adult and very erect man who lies on the bed ... Let it be said then, that they are horrible -- both the paintings and the pencil drawings which feature a dreary catalogue of don'ts (children masturbating, performing fellatio or buggering each other). The whole show is a self-conscious, juvenile prodding of its own excrement." -- Globe and Mail. Langer is Jewish. And "his father is an amateur Holocaust historian." [Toronto Life, 1-20-94, p. A21]

Police Obscenity Squad Raids Saatchi Gallery.
Guardian [London], March 10, 2001
"The Saatchi gallery has been raided by officers from Scotland Yard's obscene publications unit and warned that they will return to seize pictures in its current exhibition, I am a Camera, unless the offending images are removed before the gallery opens its doors to the public again. The Metropolitan police confirmed last night that officers had visited the gallery twice this week after three complaints under anti-child pornography legislation and a report was being forward to the crown prosecution service. The exhibition features the work of a group of artists and photographers selected by Charles Saatchi himself and taken from his personal collection of photographs and paintings. It has been running for eight weeks and has been reviewed in most of the broadsheet papers and magazines from the Tatler to the Telegraph, without any public complaints to the gallery."

I'll Be Your Mirror. [Book Review of Nan Goldin's work;]
"Based on an exhibition of the same title at the Whitney Museum of American Art this collection of more than 300 pictures documents the alternative culture of Nan Goldin's friends and acquaintances in the arty bohemian substrata of Manhattan. Goldin turns her camera outward to record transvestites carousing in downtown clubs and the social impact of AIDS and drugs; and inward to look with unblinking intimacy at her friends, her lovers of both sexes, and herself. She records her boyfriend masturbating. She shows him on the toilet. She shows her own battered face in a mirror after he beats her up. She traces the decline and death of her friend Cookie Mueller. Goldin has created a stark record of her urban demi-monde."

Nan Goldin's Retrospective and Recovery: Framing Feminism, AIDS, and Addiction
. Chapter 6. [This scholarly analysis of Nan Goldin's work, apparantly posted at Syracuse University, floats -- alas -- uncredited in cyberspace]
"It may be correct to partially attribute renewed interest in [Nan] Goldin's career to the currently fashionable status of Goldin’s subject matter over the past 25 years: 'the urban demimonde, the world of drag queens and slum goddesses, of Lower East Side nightclubbers and Tokyo teen-agers in black rubber.' Goldin's work has even been a model for the 'fashionable addiction' that I discussed previously. The popular mainstreaming of the transgressive fringes of society (who are the stock subjects of Goldin’s work) in the 'drug chic' school of fashion photography has liberally borrowed from Goldin's exemplary documentary-style realism. It became common in the late '90s for young fashion photographers to request that their lab recreate Goldin’s style of printing and, in fact, Nan Goldin herself shot publicity photos for the Italian fashion firm Matsuda. Even the bruised eyes of sleepless junkies and battered women that have been the touchstone of Goldin's photography for over two decades became a 'look' in high fashion makeup application."

Dangerous Curves. The Advocate, 1999
"[Lisa] Cholodenko found inspiration all around her when she moved to New York. Originally a Valley Girl—from Encino, Calif., no less—she came of age via college in San Francisco and a few years of globe-trotting, including a stint with her then-girlfriend in Israel. She even did time in Los Angeles, working as an assistant editor and slowly moving up the Hollywood ladder until she began to feel trapped, read about 'the new queer cinema' in New York, and vowed to try her luck ... She was inspired by the retrospective of Nan Goldin photographs at the Whitney. She wondered why so many lesbians she knew suddenly had access to cheap, clean heroin and thought it was hip. 'I’m too uptight to go there,' the 33-year-old filmmaker demurs when asked whether she herself got into the heroin experience. She got hooked instead on her fascination with the whole scene. The lesbian art world, drug culture, interpersonal power plays, careerism—all became material for her screenplay ... The main model for Lucy [the main character in her film High Art] is more likely the late photographer Diane Arbus. 'I was reading her biography at that time,' Cholodenko notes. 'All the stuff about Lucy’s rich Jewish family, her early success and later isolation from the fashion world, that all came from my view of Arbus.' As for Goldin, at last report Cholodenko was planning to invite the famed photographer to see High Art for herself."

Still Life: Jews, Photography, Memory. National Foundation for Jewish Culture, December 1999
"George Gilbert ... independently published his groundbreaking survey "The Illustrated Worldwide Who's Who of Jews in Photography" in 1997, which documents 550 Jews who developed the art, science, and business of photography, such as Ben Shahn, Alfred Steiglitz, Robert Frank, Diane Arbus, Garry Winograd, and Annie Leibovitz, to name merely a few ... The lucid directness of photography has allowed Jews to record the transformation of individual identity while preserving communal memory." [There are many, many, many well-known Jewish photographers. Here's a few: Jacques Lowe (John F. Kennedy's personal photographer), Richard Avedon (superstar portrait photographer of the fashion world and celebrities), Weegee (a New York City ambulance chaser who has been reinvented as a famous "artist"), etc.]

After 'Dinner Party,' Judy Chicago Feasts on Judaism.
Jewish Bulletin of San Francisco
. July 14, 1996
"She is a woman of names. Born, Judy Cohen. Married, Judy Gerowitz. Self-designated, Judy Chicago. But the name that fills her eyes with joy today is the one her grandmother called her -- Yudit Sipke. Twenty years ago, Chicago -- controversial creator of the acclaimed feminist art installation 'The Dinner Party' -- wouldn't have offered the public this particular morsel. Her first autobiography, released in 1975, detailed Chicago's gender politics, not her religious heritage. Judaism 'wasn't even a subject. I can't believe I hadn't thought about it,' Chicago reflected during a Bay Area visit last month that included an appearance at the Marin Jewish Community Center. The recently released sequel, 'Beyond the Flower: The Autobiography of a Feminist Artist,' includes sections about her Jewish upbringing, her return to the fold and her eight-year, multimedia project on the Holocaust ... Even now, the artist can't exactly explain why she underwent a religious transformation later in life. But she can describe how it happened. In the mid-1980s, she met her future husband, Donald Woodman. Her two previous husbands also had been Jewish. But this time, something was different. The pair decided to have a Jewish wedding. When they began studying the traditions with Renewal-movement Rabbi Lynn Gottlieb, they realized the depth of their hunger for Judaism." [CONTEXT: "There are in halakhic {Jewish religious law} literature [that has] repeated groupings of women in categories with slaves, minors, fools, deaf mutes, and the like which are so offensive as to take one's breath away ... The issue is an [anti-woman] attitude which was deeply and systematically imbued into Judaism." Gerald Skolnick, Domestic Violence and the Jewish Community, Sh'ma, January 19, 1996, p. 3-4"]

Shock Value. Jerome Witkin's Paintings Bear Witness to the Holocaust in Graphic Detail, Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles, April 21, 2000
"Jerome Witkin, perhaps the greatest figurative painter alive, is ... most renown[ed] for his Holocaust works, which have received an 'almost reverential' response from the curators and critics who have visited the show ... the painter's Jewish father, who had abandoned the family when the twins were 3, attempted suicide and began to live, homeless, on the streets. His last words to Jerome were, 'Go to hell.' At the age of 50, his father was found, dead, in a diner; he had suffered a heart attack after enduring a vicious beating by thugs. At the funeral, Jerome stood at the graveside and realized he had hardly known his father. 'I wasn't listening to anything except my head, which kept repeating, Who was this man?' he recalls. To find out, Witkin began exploring his Jewish roots, avidly reading volumes on Jewish history, anti-Semitism and the Holocaust. His interest culminated in a series of Holocaust-themed paintings."

So Many Women, So Little Time., June 7, 2001
"Jan Saudek doesn't mind admitting it: He likes a woman with a fat ass. Unlike fellow erotic photographers such as Helmut Newton, whose Euro-babe models seem to subsist on a diet of champagne and heroin, Saudek, 66, happily dives head first into the mountains and valleys of jiggling flesh proffered by his mostly Czech trollops. Plus-size beauties are a recurring theme in his work. Sometimes they bend over while Saudek spanks their glorious, globelike keisters with handfuls of switches. Or they might spank each other, skip rope or simply crouch nude on all fours with wildflowers crowning their heads and saggy green socks on their feet. Indeed, in one of the Prague maestro's favorite hand-tinted, sepia prints, titled 'The Burden,' Saudek stands nearly naked with his back to the camera while his former wife, Maria, sits atop his shoulders -- her creamy, gargantuan derrière apparently having swallowed Saudek from the neck up. Looking at that woman's divine posterior, bathed as it is in blue, one fantasizes about drowning in the folds of her massive sex ... The enormously prolific Saudek has been wildly popular in Europe since the '70s ... Saudek's father, a Jewish banker, survived the concentration camp Theresienstadt, the only brother in his family to do so."

Richard Avedon
., December 17, 1999
"[Richard] Avedon has done much to revive the portrait as a central genre of photographic art. His only serious rival is Irving Penn, and his epigones (whether they admit it or not) include everyone from Robert Mapplethorpe to Annie Leibovitz. Among his precursors are Julia Margaret Cameron, the great 19th-century British portraitist, and August Sander, who set out to compile a comprehensive visual record of German life between the world wars. But while Avedon's portraits clearly represent his bid for artistic immortality--a bid he has assiduously devoted much of the past decade to mounting--they represent only one facet of his work ... Avedon's ubiquity, the extraordinary variety of subjects and styles, and his willingness to shoot album covers, posters, and advertisements as well as museum-worthy black-bordered prints, have occasionally offended purists. Hilton Kramer, for instance, called Avedon's 1994 retrospective at the Whitney (which produced a gorgeous book titled Evidence: 1944-1994) 'the ultimate capitulation to celebrity, money and fashion at the expense of art.'"

Las Vegas Spotlight: Backers of Guggenheim, Hermitage Museum Undaunted by Criticism
. Gaming Magazine, 2001
"Here we are in Las Vegas, a city where, until a few years ago, the term 'culture' referred mostly to the faux marble in the casino bathrooms, and the venerable Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation is preparing to open not one but two museums. That irony, and the concept of 'my, how things change', is not lost on the projects' backers. 'The fact that it is based in Las Vegas is creating something of a stir,' said Thomas Krens [Jewish?], director of the Guggenheim foundation. That said, 'nowhere do the rules say you can't come to Las Vegas.' 'Evolution is what a place like Las Vegas is all about,' said Sheldon Adelson, chairman of the board of Las Vegas Sands Inc., developers of The Venetian, site of the new museums. 'Las Vegas keeps doing things that amaze other people, and it keeps re-inventing itself.' Krens and Adelson were speaking at a Jewish Federation meeting and press conference to introduce the project ... The museum will open with 'The Art of the Motorcycle,' which Krens said was 'hugely successful' at the Guggenheims in New York and Bilbao, Spain ... Criticism of the Guggenheim entering the Las Vegas market has come from various fronts. An article in The Independent of London was headlined: 'Finest art museums join forces to open an outpost in the cultural desert of Las Vegas' and suggested the museums follow Strip tradition and use fakes. But the same article ascribed much of the criticism to 'art snobs'and quoted Mikhail Piotrovsky, director of the Hermitage, as saying, 'Las Vegas is America.'" [Las Vegas, of course is largely Jewish-founded --see Jewish Influence in Popular Culture]

Judge Allows Suit Over 15M in Nazi Loot.
New York Daily News, September 6, 2001
"The secretive [Jewish] Wildenstein clan, owners of an art fortune worth billions, suffered a legal setback yesterday in a battle over eight rare religious manuscripts allegedly looted by the Nazis during World War II. A state judge refused to dismiss a lawsuit brought against the Wildenstein Gallery in Manhattan by the heirs of Alphonse Kann, a French Jew whose vast art collection was pillaged by Hitler's henchmen after he fled to England in 1940. The works, 15th, 16th and 17th century Christian prayer books from the French aristocracy, are worth an estimated $15 million. The suit was filed in 1999 by Francis Warin, Kann's great-nephew, who wants the manuscripts returned. 'The Nazi inventory establishes the Kann family's ownership,' said Stephen Somerstein, Warin's lawyer. 'It's clearly identified as having been taken from the Kann mansion by the Nazis in 1940.' Hyman Schafer, lawyer for the Wildensteins, said the suit exceeded the statute of limitations under French law."

In Depth Art News: "Gemma Levine": Portrait Photographer 25 Years
,, [exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery, London]
"Gemma Levine is one of Britain's leading portrait photographers, with a marvellous capacity for capturing the character of her subjects ... Her career in photography was initiated by a commission from [Jewish publishing mogul] George Weidenfeld to take photographs for two books in Israel collaborating with [prime ministers] Moshe Dayan and Golda Meir.

E.M. Gombrich, Author and Theorist Who Defined Art History Is Dead at 92,
New York Times, November 7, 2001
"Ernst Gombrich, an author of panoramic erudition and probably the world's best-known art historian thanks to his best-selling 'Story of Art,' died on Saturday in London, where he had lived since moving from his native Vienna in 1936 ... Like Meyer Schapiro, the other great art historian of his generation, Mr. Gombrich was a lucid writer."

Estee Lauder Heir Opens Own Art Museum,
Virtual New York [from UPI], November 16, 2001
"The Neue Galerie Museum for German and Austrian Art opened to the public Friday, the latest addition to New York's museum mile on upper Fifth Avenue. The museum is the pet project of cosmetics heir Ronald Lauder, former U.S. Ambassador to Austria and a onetime aspirant to the New York mayoralty. It reflects his passion for Central European art produced during the early years of the 20th century as a revolt against academic art. Visitors to the Neue Galerie view avant-garde art from the twilight years of the Hohenzollern-Hapsburg empires and the years between the two World Wars in a magnificent French Louis XIII-style brick and limestone mansion with a view of Central Park. It was the home of Grace Wilson Vanderbilt, the uncrowned queen of American society, until her death in 1952. The mansion at the corner of 86th Street was owned by the Yivo Institute for Jewish studies when Lauder and his project partner, the late art dealer Serge Sabarsky, purchased it for $9 million six years ago. It took four years and more than $10 million more to renovate the structure as a museum, restoring the polished marble and paneled interiors with gilt detailing to their original elegance ... Lauder has given some of his collection, including an important Klimt painting, to the New York's Museum of Modern Art of which he is board chairman."

Two Brothers from Montreal Make Good -- and Waves,
[Jewish] Forward, November 30, 2001
"Canada's Jewish community kvelled when, at the turn of the new century, Montreal-born, look-alike brothers Victor and Robert Rabinovitch were named to head two of the most important government-owned cultural institutions in the country. The brainy, 50-something brothers are sons of a lower middle-class Jewish family. Younger brother Victor is president of the Canadian Museum of Civilization Corp., the country's largest and busiest museum, while his older brother Robert is president of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. Their appointments, the apex of careers built largely in the federal civil service, were 'a source of naches [pride] for the entire Jewish community,'' said Irving Abella, a Toronto historian and former president of the Canadian Jewish Congress. 'They are energetic and dedicated, and never tried to hide their Jewish background.'"

Yizhak Rabin - The Original Famous Painting,, March 1, 2002
[For sale] "The original famous painting of ISRAEL Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin that was gunned down by an ultra-nationalist assassin because is peace policy, the painting was located a few meters from where the assassin took place,on the painting there are the original inscriptions that the people wrote, expressing there feelings, there is a date on the painting,dated a few days after the murder. the painting size is 98*144 inch, it is possible to get a personal designating from the artist ...Opening bid $500,000."


* Not Enough? There's much, much more about the Art World.