"This important book deals in-depth with a previously overlooked aspect of American Jewish art, the generation born after 1930 who usually saw themselves as secular Americans. The stories of their return to Jewish sources from the 1970s on and the various reasons for it make for fascinating reading that is instructive for developments today."—Ziva Amishai-Maisels, Professor Emerita, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem
"Matthew Baigell has synthesized an important body of research and come up with a scintillating volume. A masterful work, indeed!"—Ori Z. Soltes, Georgetown University
"Written by a distinguished scholar of American art, this book reveals how eleven male and female contemporary Jewish-American artists combined their American individualism with their Jewish heritage. Chapters on Jewish female artists and on Jewish feminist art are especially a must-read."—Donald Kuspit, Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Art History and Philosophy, State University of New York at Stony Brook
Unlike earlier generations, Jewish American artists born between the 1930s and the early 1960s were among the first to overtly embrace and challenge religious themes in their work. These Jewish artists felt comfortable as assimilated Americans yet developed an overwhelming desire to explore their cultural and religious heritage. They became the first generation willing to take risks with their material and to discover new ways to create art with Jewish religious content.
In his most recent book, Baigell explores the art and influences of eleven artists who enlarged the parameters of Jewish American art through their varied approaches to subject matter, to feminist concerns, and to finding contemporary relevance in the ancient texts. Along with detailed essays on each artist, the book includes nearly one hundred stunning illustrations that testify to the beauty, depth, and importance of the paintings and sculptures produced by this groundbreaking generation of artists.
Matthew Baigell is professor emeritus in the department of art history at Rutgers University. He is the author, editor, and coeditor of over twenty books on American and Jewish American art. His most recent book is The Implacable Urge to Defame: Cartoon Jews in the American Press, 1877–1935.
8.5 x 11, 248 pages, 7 black and white, 84 color illustrations