Fourteen photo booth photographs pinned to a wall, glass plate, 20th century 
© mahJ collection, gift of Ariel Fenster
Exhibition

Saturday 15 May – Sunday 10 October 2021

Echoing the "Chagall, Modigliani, Soutine… Paris pour école, 1905-1940" exhibition, the mahJ is paying tribute to Hersh Fenster (Baranów, 1892–Paris, 1964), the journalist, Yiddish writer and author of Undzere farpaynikte kinstler (Our Martyred Artists), published in Paris in 1951. Both a memorial and an art book, it retraces the lives and work of 84 Jewish artists living in France who died between 1940 and 1945, about whom Fenster compiled testimonies and photographs over a five-year period. Some, like Chaïm Soutine and Otto Freundlich, are well known, others, such as Étienne Farkas and Jacob Macznik, less. Yet all played their part in the final years of what the critic André Warnod dubbed in 1925 the “School of Paris”. Painters, sculptors, illustrators, men and women, their work was brought to a premature end and sometimes destroyed.

Students working on the model of the Piaski synagogue in the carpentry workshop of an ORT school in North Africa, Casablanca or Tunis, 1957-1958. Silver print photo.

mahJ, archives of the museum of Jewish Art
Display
From Wednesday 19 May 2021 until Sunday 30 January 2022

Founded in Russia in 1880 to extricate Jews from misery through the promotion of handicrafts and agriculture, ORT (Organisation Reconstruction Travail) is today an international education and training network established in over forty countries. 2021 marks the centenary of its presence in France.