Skip To Content
JEWISH. INDEPENDENT. NONPROFIT.
Culture

Major Arthur Szyk Collection Given To University Of California, Berkeley

Image by Wikimedia Commons/The Arthur Szyk Society Of Burlingame CA

The University of California, Berkeley’s Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life is about to become home to a major collection of the works and personal papers of Arthur Szyk, thanks to a gift from the Bay Area-based Taube Philanthropies.

Szyk, who was born to a Jewish family in Łódź, Poland in 1894, was a book illustrator and political artist. His work was known for its invocation of Renaissance and medieval artistic traditions, and his great attention to color. Working primarily in France and Poland until the mid-1930s, he eventually relocated first to London, then to New York.

While in New York, Szyk met the parents of Tad Taube, chairman of Taube Philanthropies.

Taube Philanthropies’s $10.1 million gift of the collection is both the largest granted for the acquisition of art and largest individual monetary gift directed towards Jewish studies in the University’s history. Taube previously provided the 15,000-item Magnes Collection, the third-largest American Jewish museum collection, with a grant that assisted in its 2010 move to the University.

“Arthur Szyk’s unique contributions to contemporary art and political illustration have not yet been recognized to the extent his work deserves,” Taube said in a press release.

“With our shared Polish Jewish heritage, and a relationship my parents developed with Szyk upon first arriving in the United States from Poland in the early 1940s, it is significant to me to ensure that Szyk’s remarkable works are available to today’s and future generations.”

A message from our editor-in-chief Jodi Rudoren

We're building on 127 years of independent journalism to help you develop deeper connections to what it means to be Jewish today.

With so much at stake for the Jewish people right now — war, rising antisemitism, a high-stakes U.S. presidential election — American Jews depend on the Forward's perspective, integrity and courage.

—  Jodi Rudoren, Editor-in-Chief 

Join our mission to tell the Jewish story fully and fairly.

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.