WJC is proud to have the Rabbi Irving and Marly Koslowe Judaica Gallery in our main lobby. This award-winning exhibition space is home to revolving exhibitions that mirror the Jewish world in microcosm.
Through fine art, folk art and photography, our thematic shows are culled from contemporary artists, historical content and our members’ collections. The Gallery, in conjunction with other committees, often brings in artists and historians for associated lectures.
The Koslowe Gallery is gearing up for a rich and exciting 2015-16 year! Opening on Octobe 22, 2015, the first exhibit of the new year will be "Eduardo Cohen: Expressions on Paper." Check back soon for details on the reception and talk by Cohen's widow, Professor Esther Shabot.
The last exhibition of the 2014-15 year, "That Was Fabulous! The Paintings of Stephen Crohn, " in partnership with The LOFT: LGBT Community Services Center of Westchester and Mosaic of Westchester, a non-profit initiative working for the integration of LGBTQ Jews into Westchester Jewish life featured the work of Stephen Crohn. On April 23, the Crohn family joined us for a gallery tour and to hear guest speaker Jesse Green, a critic for New York Magazine, who wrote about Crohn’s life and work in its June 13, 2014 issue.
A painter and AIDS activist, Stephen Crohn was an active member of the gay community of the early 1980s. He was perplexed to discover that he was the “man who couldn’t get AIDS.” While his friends and loved ones began to die of AIDS in the early 1980s, he oddly remained well -- a genetic mutation rendered him immune to contracting the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). Crohn devoted a good portion of his life to allowing his genes to be studied for a cure or a treatment. He was a popular resident of Hell’s Kitchen in Manhattan and later, Saugerties, NY, serving in municipal organizations and making many friends. After Crohn’s death from suicide in 2013, his obituary ran in The New York Times describing how his contribution has influenced the formulation of some HIV treatments in use today.Crohn’s paintings are abstract impressions of his life of vibrancy and searching, longing, loneliness and resolve. Painted mainly in acrylic or oils on stretched canvases, Crohn has captured his life experience on canvas. The works are for sale and a portion will benefit The LOFT to supplement its many initiatives, including suicide prevention and WJC to help continue to bring quality programs to the Koslowe Judaica Gallery. The works will be on view through July 2015
The Koslowe Judaica Gallery Winter exhibition showcased "Isaac Bashevis Singer and his Artists." With nearly 20 illustrations, the show reveals the playfulness, exploration and lasting legacy of the Nobel Prize winner’s iconic children’s literature.
Irene Leiblich, "The Power of Light" by IB Singer
With a sense of humor and humanity, Singer presented the vanished world of Polish Jews prior to Word War I, as well as the post-Holocaust world that had replaced provincial life with uncertainty and neurosis. His works live in many of our memories for their earthy and heroic figures, and blur the lines between folk tales and the harsh realities of survival.
Born in 1902 or 1904 in Radzymin, an industrial suburb of Warsaw, Poland, Singer grew up in his mother’s traditional Jewish village, Bilgorai, and in Warsaw. Threatened with the roiling anti-Semitism in Europe he immigrated to the United States in 1935 and began his career as a reporter for the Yiddish language newspaper Forverts (The Jewish Daily Forward), where he remained a critic and journalist throughout his life. Singer always wrote and published in Yiddish, influenced by his Hasidic father’s devotion to scripture and ritual. Singer was an aficionado of such writers as Chekhov, Dostoyevsky, Gogol and Tolstoy. Notable authors such as Saul Bellow translated his works into English (Gimpel the Fool). When he received the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1978 he made his acceptance both in Yiddish and English.
His many stories of everyday folks surviving by their wits were illustrated by such important Jewish artists as Ira Moskowitz and Raphael Soyer, who compellingly captured the play between naughtiness and innocence in Singer’s writings. Included in the show are works by Larry Rivers, Maurice Sendak, Eric Carle, Irene Lieblich and Yuri Shulevitz, among others. The Russian photographer Roman Vishniac is also included for his work accompanying Singer’s tales about tragedy, imagined worlds and resilience.
Isaac Bashevis Singer’s books have stood the test of time for their universal treatment of the whimsy and trust of children. We plan to share these works with the children of our Early Education Center and Religious School.
Eric Carle Illustration of Why Noah Chose the Dove by IB Singer
The show, which is on generous loan from the Hebrew Union College Museum, will be on view through March 2015.
For more information or to inquire if a piece of art is for sale, please contact our WJC gallery curator Amy Levine-Kennedy.