Well Versed

Maurice Sendak’s Papers: Thoughts On An Artist’s Legacy

Maurice Sendak, the beloved and celebrated maker of children’s books, was much more than "Where the Wild Things Are." At his death in 2012, more than 10, 200 pieces of his work –  drawings, watercolors, manuscripts, proof copies and more – resided at the Rosenbach Museum in Philadelphia. The museum had hoped that this situation, which let them stage no fewer than 72 Sendak exhibitions since 1970, would continue. However, Peter Dobrin of the Philadelphia Inquirer recently broke the news that not only did Sendak leave the materials to the Maurice Sendak Foundation, but the foundation’s trustees have asked for their return to Sendak’s Ridgefield, Connecticut home, set to become a museum of sorts itself.

"Maurice Sendak's "Where The Wild Things Are"

Breaking Away, Looking Back

Sara Erenthal likes to think of her one-woman gallery show as a brief memoir. From the moment that visitors walk through the door of the Soapbox Gallery in Brooklyn’s Prospect Heights, they enter her life, first via her childhood bedroom.

The artist Sara Erenthal next to "Eidele Meidele."

A Novella Sparked By Conflict

The Jerusalem Lover," a novella by Shira Dicker, is a prescient and courageous look at the ongoing battle between Israel's staunch defenders and her harsh critics. The work was actually written seven years ago, as Dicker struggled with the “casual anti-Semitism (she)…confronted nearly daily” while living in England during 2004.

"Bathsheba" by Bruce Murray

Bridging Middle East Borders At The Fringe

With the 2014 New York International Fringe Festival upon us, one play stands out among the rest.  Meron Langsner’s “Over Here,” presented by Mortal Folly Theatre, depicts an unlikely friendship between a Palestinian-American and an Israeli immigrant in the rubble of the Twin Towers.

Meron Langsner. Allison McDonough

Picturing Anne Frank

The Anne Frank Center in New York is a tiny space, smaller than the secret apartment in Amsterdam where the Frank family spent much of the war in hiding.

© Anne Frank Fonds, Basel

Oh To Be A Center Fielder

Although they rank high among Nobel Prize winners, Jews are not generally known for their athletics.  But as “Chasing Dreams” at Philadelphia’s National Museum of American Jewish History demonstrates, baseball has fielded its way through the American Jewish psyche, from its very beginnings. 

Omer Counter made of Louisville Slugger baseball bats. Keneseth Israel Congregation, Louisville, Kentucky.

Punk Rock Pioneer 'Tommy Ramone' Passes Away At Age 65

The drummer known as Tommy Ramone passed away on Friday due to bile duct cancer. Though he was only 65, he was the last living original member of the Ramones, and instrumental in the creation of punk rock as a musical genre.

Tommy was born Erdélyi Tamás in Budapest to two Holocaust survivors; the couple had hidden with neighbors for the duration of the war. The Erdélyi family immigrated to the United States when Tamás was four.

Tommy Ramone. Wikipedia

Chief Rabbi’s Historic Letter In New Hands

As reported last week, a 1954 handwritten letter from Chief Rabbi Isaac Halevi Herzog to the author of the book “Judaism in Islam” was offered at auction by Kestenbaum & Company. A private collector in Los Angeles, Alan Stern, bought the letter for $9000.

Courtesy of Kestenbaum & Company

“Jewish Is Hard”

There are two things you should never discuss: politics and religion.

However, those are really the only two things worth talking about.

Katharine McLeod and Jamie Geiger in “The Religion Thing.” Jimmy Ryan

The Dizzying Heights Of Genius

I don’t often swoon in public, but the Morgan Library’s current exhibition “Marks of Genius: Treasures from the Bodleian Library” left me breathless.  It was dizzying, standing before 57 magnificent artifacts representing 2,000 years of intellectual and artistic accomplishment, from cultures, countries and religious traditions that ranged from around the world in place and time.  And among them are several of particular Jewish interest.

The Kennicott Bible, Corunna, Spain, 1476; The Bodleian Library, Oxford. Courtesy of The Morgan Library & Museum
Syndicate content