Painting the Town Red: Jewish Visual Artists, Radical Politics, and Yiddish Culture in Interwar New York

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Date(s) - Tuesday, June 13, 2017
7:30 pm - 9:45 pm

Kol Shalom Synagogue


Program Series: Rabbi Joshua O. Haberman Distinguished Scholar Series
As demonstrators filled the avenues of New York, boldfaced headlines trumpeted the cases of Sacco and Vanzetti and the Scottsboro Boys, profiled Depression-era Bowery bums and striking coal miners, and warned of the rise of fascism in Spain. New York in the 1920s and 30s was a locus of activity for modern artists and political radicals. They were infused with the energy born of new ideas and ideologies, and apprehensive of the rising intolerance they perceived at home and abroad. Jewish painters, sculptors, and cartoonists were in the vanguard of movements for social change, targeting causes far beyond the “Jewish street.” Through their art, their fearless public statements, and their tireless organizing, these artists not only served as a bridge between disparate communities, but also created a model for American Jewish activism that continues today.

Dr. Strauss was Executive Director of The Foundation for Jewish Studies. She recently resigned in order to devote more time to her academic career and to complete her book. We invite you to join us after the lecture for a dessert reception in her honor.

Dr. Lauren B. Strauss is Scholar in Residence and a professor of modern Jewish history and literature at the American University in Washington, D.C. She has also taught at the George Washington University and the University of Maryland, and is a frequent public lecturer. She holds a Ph.D. in Modern Jewish Studies from JTS, a Master’s degree in International Relations from Yale, and a B.A. from Brandeis. She is also the co-editor of the book Mediating Modernity: Challenges and Trends in the Jewish Encounter with the Modern World (Detroit, MI: Wayne State University Press, 2008). She is also the author of many academic articles, and is finishing her forthcoming book, Painting the Town Red: Jewish Visual Artists, Yiddish Culture, and Radical Politics in Interwar New York.