Chaim Goldberg

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This article is about Jewish-Polish-American artist. For pre-WWII Warsaw Jewish artist and graphic designer, see Haim Goldberg (Haggai).
Chaim Goldberg
Chaim Goldberg
Chaim Goldberg, circa 2000
Born Chaim Goldberg
1917
Kazimierz Dolny
Died 2004
Boca Raton, FL (USA)
Nationality Polish
Education Professor Tadeusz Pruszkowski Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw, École des Beaux-Arts
Known for Painting, Sculpture and engraving
Movement Post Expressionist
Spouse(s) Rachel Goldberg
Website
http://www.chaimgoldberg.com

Chaim Goldberg (March 20, 1917 – June 26, 2004) was a Jewish-Polish-American artist, painter, sculptor, and engraver. He is known for being a chronicler of Jewish life in the small Polish village (or Shtetl) where he was born, Kazimierz Dolny in eastern Poland; and as a painter of Holocaust era art, which to the artist was seen as an obligation and art with a sense of profound mission.[1]

Early life[edit]

Chaim Goldberg was born in a wooden clapboard house built by his father, a village cobbler. As a young boy of 6 he gravitated to creating little figurines carved from stones. Later he took up drawing and painting with basic shoemaker paints that he found at his father's workbench. He was the ninth child and the first boy after eight girls. He grew up in a religious home in Kazimierz Dolny. He would observe and draw the beggars and klezmers who frequented his home as guests. His father would encourage their stays by letting it be known that the humble Goldberg home was open for those who could not pay for their night stay at any of the inns. They were surely welcome there. These characters became Chaim's early models.[1]

Discovery & The Artist's First Shtetl period[edit]

On a crisp day in the fall of 1931, Dr. Saul Silberstein, a student of Sigmund Freud who was doing post doctorate work on his book, Jewish Village Mannerisms came into the Goldberg cobbler workshop to have his shoes repaired. As he waited for his shoes, he noticed the numerous art works that were attached to the wall with shoe nails and inquired who the artist was. Silberstein spent the entire night reviewing the young artist’s work. In the morning they went by foot to Lublin, a distance of 26 miles and Dr. Silberstein obtained the opinions of several respected individuals of the work by Chaim Goldberg. He then got him several small scholarships based on these letters of recommendation. This helped finance his early education at the "Józef Mehoffer School for Fine Arts", in Kraków, from which he graduated in 1934. Dr. Silberstein was able to interest several other wealthy sponsors, such as the honorable Felix Kronstein, a judge, and a newspaper publisher who supported the artist through his graduation from the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw. At 17, he was the youngest to be admitted and studied under the Rector of the Academy and Professor Tadeusz Pruszkowski, Kowarski, Władysław Skoczylas and Jan Gotard.[1]

Chaim Goldberg, the youngest student to be accepted in 1934, with the student body accepted to the Academy that year. (Chaim Goldberg is standing to the left of the professor, holding a bottle of wine)

The beauty of Kazimierz Dolny had long ago been discovered by artists who had flocked there in large numbers over the years. Between the First World War and the Second World War, Kazimierz Dolny became known as an Art Colony as well. Professor Tadeusz Pruszkowski had built a summer studio in the mountains and attracted his students to come down and paint outdoors. many of these artists as well as older ones painted the life they saw and the landscape. Chaim Goldberg became stimulated by this traffic of artists and began to do art as well. When he was discovered he had not attended any school or private lessons. He watched what the other artists did and was encouraged to do the same; set himself up with a home-made easel and paint outdoors. When he was discovered at the age of 14, his collection included landscapes as well as paintings of the vagabond types that frequented his home as guests.

The War Years 1939-1945[edit]

The Dismantling, oil on canvas 40" x 60" 1991

Chaim was conscripted into the Polish army in the fall of 1938. He was assigned to the artillery brigade that guarded Warsaw. After the Polish army surrendered to the Germans he was taken into custody as a POW (Prisoner of War) and held in a labor camp. He managed to escape and tried to rescue his parents and family who would not believe that the Germans had any intention of hurting the Jews. He could not motivate them to flee with him. So Chaim, his future wife, her sister and their parents became exiles escaping to Russia on foot. They kept moving north as the German armies advanced and ended up in Novosibirsk. Chaim married Rachel on April 15, 1944. They were able to return to Poland in 1946.[1]

Emigration[edit]

Chaim Goldberg received a fellowship from the Polish Ministry of Culture to study at the Ecole de beaux Arts in Paris and in 1949 they returned to Poland. He worked on various commissions for the Polish Government and in 1955 made an application to be allowed to immigrate to Israel.

The Goldberg family arrived in Israel in 1955 and began a new life. They stayed in Israel until 1967 where Chaim exhibited and sold his work to American, Canadian tourists and Israeli collectors. Despite that Tsfat (near Tiberias) was the art colony of record, Chaim Goldberg's presence in northern Tel Aviv became a well known bit of art trivia to almost everyone and his studio drew from the wealthier tourists who frequented Hotel Ramat Aviv.[1]

The Artist's Second Shtetl Period[edit]

Once ensconced in his large studio, Chaim Goldberg began to create large paintings that depicted Jewish life he remembered in his Shtetl of Kazimierz Dolny. During this period, of 1960-1966 he created some of his best known paintings, such as The Wedding (in the collection of the Spertus Museum, Chicago); The Shtetl (in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY);, Simchat Torah (in a private collection, NY); and Don't Forget.

The United States[edit]

Goldberg creating a hand-engraved image on a copper plate.

In 1967, Goldberg arrived in the United States, with a two-year business visa on an exhibition-tour and continued to paint, and create line engravings of his village characters, as well as sculpt. His and subject matter widened while living in New York which became one of his "themes." He and his family decided to become citizens of the United States in 1973.

I. B. Singer wrote in an introduction to an exhibit catalog "Chaim Goldberg came from the shtetl and remembers its every detail. He is never abstract but is true to the objects and their divine order. His work is enriching Jewish art and the image of our tradition."

Influences[edit]

Goldberg's "Culture Shock" series and other series based on real life and politics of the period as were the works of the series the "Mad Drivers." Some of his work dealt with his own dream sequences, such as the "Violin Thief Sequence" and the "Bird Dream Sequence."

In 1974, Chaim attended a performance of the "Emmett Kelly, Jr. Circus" and began a series of drawings and other works on paper inspired by the "Circus theme." Then dance took center stage as his main subject. He also carved in wood. His body of work on the dance theme included paintings, watercolors, and sculpture carved in wood or made of aggregate concrete. Goldberg continued line engraving and created a suite of engravings titled, "Spring".

Holocaust theme[edit]

"Babi-Yar". Oil on canvas, collection of the Spertus Institute for Jewish Learning and Leadership, Chicago, IL

In 1944 while in exile in Russia, Goldberg began making an effort to document what he heard. He returned to Poland with his wife and son, Victor, and began to create over 150 works of art dealing with the Holocaust, many of which are in the permanent collection of several museums, namely the Spertus Institute for Jewish Learning and Leadership in Chicago.[1]

Third Shtetl Period[edit]

"A Street View In The Warsaw Ghetto", A pen and ink drawing, 1952.

In 1987, while working on the Holocaust theme, Goldberg returned to painting his beloved Kazimierz Dolny and the Jewish life in the village. This time his paintings were less lyrical and surreal, and instead were more 'story-telling' and documentary. After completing some fifty large canvases in 1997, at the age of 80, he was diagnosed with a disabling illness. He died on June 26, 2004 in Boca Raton, Florida.

Exhibitions[edit]

  • 1931 - "Polish Landscapes," Group Show, Kazimierz-Dolny, Poland
  • 1934 - Studio Show, Kazmierz-Dolny, Poland
  • 1936 - National Group Show, Warsaw, Poland
  • 1937 - National Group Show, Warsaw, Poland

(the artist, his future wife and her family were refugees in Siberia)

Collections[edit]

Chaim Goldberg, woodengraving in his outdoor studio, Houston, TX, circa 1977
Chaim Goldberg in his Boca Raton, FL home and studio, fall of 1995
  1. Metropolitan Museum of Art, 20th Century Permanent Art Collection, New York City, New York
  2. Museum of Modern Art, New York City, New York
  3. President's House, Jerusalem, Israel
  4. Museum Yad Vashem, Jerusalem, Israel
  5. City of Jerusalem, Jerusalem, Israel
  6. Museum Yad Labanim, Petach Tikvah, Israel
  7. Musée du Petit Palais, Geneva, Switzerland
  8. National Museum, Warsaw, Poland
  9. Jewish Museum, Warsaw, Poland
  10. Klingspor Museum, Offenbach, Germany
  11. National Gallery of Art, Lessing Rosenwald Collection [1], Washington, D.C.
  12. National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.
  13. Smithsonian Institution, Hall of Graphic Arts, Washington, D.C.
  14. Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  15. Lowe Art Museum, Miami, Florida
  16. Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Massachusetts
  17. Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, Connecticut
  18. Sylvia Plotkin Judaica Museum [2], Phoenix, Arizona
  19. Public Library Art Collection, San Francisco, California
  20. New York Public Library, New York City, New York
  21. Wadsworth Atheneum, Hartford, Connecticut
  22. Springfield Museum of Art, Springfield, Massachusetts
  23. Museum of Fine Arts Houston, Houston, Texas
  24. Houston Public Library, Houston, Texas
  25. Spertus Institute for Jewish Learning and Leadership, Chicago, Illinois
  26. Judah L. Magnes Museum, Berkeley, California
  27. Skirball Museum, Los Angeles, California
  28. Yeshiva University Museum, New York City, New York
  29. YIVO, New York City, New York
  30. Jewish Theological Seminary, Cincinnati, Ohio
  31. Derfner Judaica Museum, in the Jacob Reingold Pavilion, Riverdale, NY
  32. Muzeum Nadwiślański, Kazimierz Dolny, Poland

List of Kazimierz-Dolny artists[edit]

The artists who frequented the Kazimierz-Dolny Art Colony were many, some of the Jewish artists were:

  1. Maurycy (Mosze) Applebaum (1886-1931)
  2. Eugeniusz Act (1899-1974)
  3. Jozef Badower (1910-1941)
  4. Henryk (Henoch) Barcinski (1896-1939)
  5. Adolph Behrman (1876-1942)
  6. Henryk Berlewi (1894-1967)
  7. Salomon (Szulim) Bialogorski (1900-1942)
  8. Arnold Blaufuks (1894-1943)
  9. Sasza (Szaje) Blonder (1909-1949)
  10. Icchak Wincenty Brauner (1887-1944)
  11. Aniela Cukier (1900-1944)
  12. Bencion Cukierman (1890-1944)
  13. Samuel Cygler (1898-1943)
  14. Herszel Cyna (1911-1942)
  15. Henryk (Chaim) Cytryn (1911-1943)
  16. Jakub Cytryn (1909-1943)
  17. Rachel Diament (1920-2003)
  18. Boas Dulman (1900-1942)
  19. Samuel Finkelstein (1890-1943)
  20. Abraham Frydman (1906-1941)
  21. Feliks Frydman (1897-1942)
  22. Jozef Mojzesz Gabowicz (1862-1939)
  23. Izydor Goldhuber-Czaj (1896-1942)
  24. Dawid (Dionizy) Grieffenberg (1909-1942)
  25. Michal Grusz (1911-1943)
  26. Izaak Grycendler (1908-1944)
  27. Chaim Hanft (1899-1951)
  28. Adam Herszaft (1886-1942)
  29. Elzbieta Hirszberzanka (1899-1942)
  30. Ignacy Hirszfang (1903-1943)
  31. Gizela Hufnagel (1903-1997)
  32. Marcin Kitz (1891-1943)
  33. Natan Korzen (1895-1941)
  34. Jozef Kowner (1895-1967)
  35. Szymon Kratka (1884-1960)
  36. Izaak Krzeczanowski (1910-1941)
  37. Chaim Lajzer (1893-1942)
  38. Natalia Landau (1907-1943)
  39. Henryk Lewensztadt (1893-1962)
  40. Mary Litauer (Schneiderowa) (1900-1942)
  41. Jozef Majzels (1911-1943)
  42. Arieh Merzer (1910–1974)
  43. Stella Amelia Miller (1910- ? )
  44. Maurycy Minkowski (1881-1930)
  45. Abraham Neuman (1873-1942)
  46. Szlomo Nussbaum (1906-1946)
  47. Abraham Ostrzega (1889-1942)
  48. Samuel Puterman (1901-1955)
  49. Henryk Rabinowicz (1890-1942)
  50. Stanislawa Reicher (1889-1943)
  51. Bernard Rolnicki (1885-1942)
  52. Roman Rozental (1897-1962)
  53. Mojzesz Rynecki (1885-1942)
  54. The Seidenbeutel brothers:
    1. Efraiim Seidenbeutel (1902-1945)
    2. Jozef Seidenbeutel (1894-1923)
    3. Menashe Seidenbeutel (1902-1945)
  55. Efraiim & Gela Seksztajn (1907-1943)
  56. Marcelli Slodki (1892-1943)
  57. Arieh Sperski (1902-1943)
  58. Marek Szapiro (1884-1942)
  59. Natan Spigel (1900-1942)
  60. Jozef Tom (1886-1962)
  61. Feliks Topolski (1907-1989)
  62. Symcha Trachtner (1893-1942)
  63. Maurycy Trębacz (1861-1941)
  64. Tadeusz Trebacz (1910-1945)
  65. Izrael Tykocinski (1895-1942)
  66. Jakub Weinles (1870-1938)
  67. Wladyslaw Weintraub (Chaim Wof) (1891-1942)
  68. Israel Szmuel (Szmul) Wodnicki (1901-1971)
  69. Pinkus Zelman (1907-1936)
  70. Izaak Zajdler (1905-1943)
  71. Leon Zysberg (1901-1942)
  72. Fiszel Zylberberg (1909-1942).

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f The National Bottle Museum (2009). "Chaim Goldberg". REMEMBERING THE SCHTETL. The National Bottle Museum, Ballston Spa, NY. Retrieved March 17, 2013. 

References and Sources (Books and Exhibit Catalogs)[edit]

  1. Łukasz Grzejszczak. "Bezpieczna przystań artysty" (available with subscription or purchase). Abraham Adolf Behrman (1876-1942). Stowarzyszenie Historyków Sztuki. Retrieved August 20, 2012. 
  2. Darmon, Adrian Around Jewish Art: A Dictionary of Painters, Sculptors and Photographers, Carnot Press, April 2004, ISBN 1592090427
  3. Brody, Moskowitz-, Cynthia -Bittersweet Legacy, Creative Responses to the Holocaust, University Press of America, Inc. Lanham, Maryland 20706 (Pages 268-269)
  4. Dr. Waldemar Odorowski; Dorota Święcicka-Odorowska; Dorota Seweryn-Puchalska; Stanisław Święcicki; Jarosław Moździoch, In Kazimierz the Vistula River spoke to them in Yiddish, Published by the Muzeum Nadwiślańskie, Kazimierz Dolny, Poland, 2007.
  5. Del Calzo, Nick, Rockford, Renee, Raper J., Linda – The Triumphant Spirit, published by the Triumphant Spirit Foundation, 1997. ISBN 0965526003
  6. Helzel Florence, B., Shtetl life: the Nathan and Faye Hurvitz Collection, Judah L. Magnes Museum, 1993
  7. Queens Council for the Arts, Chaim Goldberg: Israeli Artist, 1971
  8. Goldberg, Shalom, Chaim Goldberg: My Shtetl Kazimierz Dolny, SHIR Press, 2007
  9. Harris, Elizabeth, Chaim Goldberg's Shtetl, exhibit catalog published by the Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C., 1973.
  10. Lubieniecki, Krzysztof, Polish Engravers, by General Books LLC, 1983
  11. Chaim Goldberg. Powrót do Kazimierza nad Wisłą / Chaim Goldberg. Kazimierz Revisited. Editor and Contributor Dr. Waldemar Odorowski, published by Muzeum Nadwiślańskie w Kazimierzu Dolnym - December, 2013 ISBN# 9788360736418

Brief description of the publication by the Museum: " Katalog wystawy o tym samym tytule, która prezentowana jest w nowej siedzibie Muzeum Nadwiślańskiego w Kazimierzy Dolnym. Wydawnictwo prezentuje życie i twórczość Chaima Goldberga, który urodził się w Kazimierzu w 1917 roku w biednej rodzinie tutejszego szewca. Dzięki odkryciu jego talentu przez dr. Saula Silbersteina i udzieleniu wsparcia finansowego młody artysta miał szansę studiować w prywatnej Szkole L. Mehofferowej w Krakowie, a nastepnie w Akademii Sztuk Pięknych w Warszawie. Tutaj trafił pod skrzydła prof. Tadeusza Pruszkowskiego, który był nota bene twórcą kazimierskiej kolonii artystycznej. Los sprawił, że Chaim po ucieczce przed Zagładą nigdy do Kazimierza już nie wrócił, ale miasteczko ciągle było obecne w jego twórczości. Obrazy kronikarza kazimierskiego sztetla pokazują zarówno życie codzienne jego mieszkańców, jak i dni świąteczne. To niezwykła opowieść o świecie, który odszedł na zawsze. Katalog wzbogacają eseje specjalistów, w tym syna artysty Shaloma Goldberga."

Bibliography of Articles[edit]

  1. Aloisio, Julie, "Chaim Goldberg's Art Celebrates Life," The Villager, 1988, Miami, FL
  2. Alyagon, Ofra, "Chaim Goldberg The Artist," (Life and Problems, July 1966, Paris, France
  3. Amazallag, Giselle, "A Visit with the Artist Chaim Goldberg," Dimensions Magazine, February/March 1997, Boca Raton, FL
  4. Avidar, Tamar, "Chaim Goldberg Does Not Forget," (Davar Hashavua, 1965, Tel Aviv, Israel
  5. Chir, Myriam, "Chaim Goldberg - Painter and Sculptor," (L'information D'Israel, Feb. 1965, Tel Aviv, Israel
  6. Diamonstein, Barbara, "Chaim Goldberg - From Exile to Genius," Art & Antiques Magazine, June, 2002, USA
  7. Dolbin, B.F., "Chaim Goldberg - The Sholom Aleichem of the Arts," Autlan, July, 1967, New York, NY
  8. Dluznowski-Dunow, M., "Important Exhibit of Chaim Goldberg," The Forward, 1967, New York, NY
  9. Dluznowski-Dunow, M., "The Painter and Sculptor Chaim Goldberg," Culture and Life, Polish language publication, 1967, New York, NY.
  10. Evremond-Saint, "Chaim Goldberg," Le Courier des Arts, June 29, 1967, New York, NY
  11. Frank, M., "Chaim Goldberg in the Smithsonian National Museum," The Forward, April, 1973, New York, NY
  12. Friedman, Sousanna, "A Visit with Chaim Goldberg," The Bulletin - American Jewish Libraries, 1978
  13. Kantz, Shimon, "The Artist Chaim Goldberg," Yiddishe Shriftin, Oct., 1954, Warsaw, Poland
  14. Hall, D., "Goldberg at the Caravan," Park East Nov. 1st, 1973, New York, NY
  15. Kiel, C., "The Dynamic Jewish Artist Chaim Goldberg," The Forward, 1987, New York, NY
  16. Luden, Itzchak, "Chaim Goldberg in the Smithsonian National Museum," The Forward, April 1973, New York, NY
  17. Massney, P., "Proud Moment," The Long Island Press, March 31, 1971, NY
  18. Paris, J., "Chaim Goldberg to Exhibit Art," The Long Island Press, March 28, 1971, NY
  19. Paris, J., "Exhibit Aides Council Reach a Goal," The Long Island Press, April 5, 1971, NY
  20. Robak, Kazimierz, "I Left My Heart There," Gazeta Antykwaryczna, Part 1 of 3, October 2000, Kraków, Poland
  21. Robak, Kazimierz, "I Left My Heart There," Gazeta Antykwaryczna, Part 2 of 3, November 2000, Kraków, Poland
  22. Robak, Kazimierz, "I Left My Heart There," Gazeta Antykwaryczna, Part 3 of 3, December 2000, Kraków, Poland
  23. Robak, Kazimierz, "Kuzmir in Chaim Goldberg’s painting," Spotkania z Zabytkami, Vol. 3 (253), March 2008. 12-15. Warsaw, Poland
  24. Rogers, M., "Goldberg Pursues New Directions," Houston Chronicle, Oct. 12th, 1977, Houston, TX
  25. Samuels, J., "An Artist and His Wife," (Jewish Herald-Voice, March, 1978, Houston, TX)
  26. Samsot-Hawk, Kathleen, "Chaim Goldberg," (Art Voices, November/December 1977)
  27. Scott, Paul, "Chaim Goldberg: An Artist Reborn," (Southwest Art Magazine, July/August 1975, Houston, TX)
  28. Shirey, david, "Chaim Goldberg's Art Shown in Queens," (New York Times, March, 19th 1971, NY)
  29. Shmulevitz, I., "The Exhibit of the Artist Chaim Goldberg," (The Forward, March 13, 1971, NY)
  30. Shneiderman, Emil, "The Art of Chaim Goldberg," (The Day Journal, July 2, 1967, New York, NY)
  31. Shneiderman, Emil, "Chaim Goldberg's Art on Exhibit in Queens," (The Day Journal, March 14, 1971, New York, NY)
  32. Staingart, T., "An Exhibition of Paintings by Chaim Goldberg," (The Forward, 1967, New York, NY)
  33. Taube, H., "The Lost World Recaptured in Art," (The Baltimore Jewish Times, April 1973, Baltimore, MD)
  34. Tennenbaum, Shea, "Chaim Goldberg, The Artist From Kazimierz-Dolny," (The Voice, October 10, 1967, New York, NY)
  35. Tennenbaum, Shea, "Chaim Goldberg's Jews Live Forever," (The Voice, October 1967, Paris, France)
  36. The Forward, "Chaim Goldberg's Art Exhibited at the Hertzel Institute," (The Forward, April 12, 1968, New York, NY)
  37. The Forward, "Leivik House in Tel Aviv Receives Gift from Acknowledged Artist Chaim Goldberg," (The Forward, April 12, 1970, New York, NY)
  38. The Buffalo Jewish Review, "The Artist Goldberg Exhibits," (December 6, 1970, Buffalo, NY)
  39. The Houston Chronicle, "Central Library to Unveil A New Goldberg Sculpture," (October 31, 1980, Houston, TX)
  40. Waisman, Gavriel, "The Artist Chaim Goldberg," (The Day, May 1966, Tel Aviv, Israel)
  41. Waisman, Gavriel, "The Artist Chaim Goldberg," (Life and Problems, July 1966, Paris, France)
  42. Zonshain, Jacob, "The Prolific Artist," (Folkshtime, November 15, 1949, Warsaw Poland)

Illustrated Books[edit]

  • Friedlander, Albert, Out of the Whirlwind, UAHC Press, 1999. ISBN 0-8074-0703-8
  • Shnayderman, Shemu’el-Leyb, The River Remembers, AAH Publishers, 1970.

Limited Edition Portfolios[edit]

  • "Chaim Goldberg's Shtetl", a portfolio of 10 engravings and intaglio prints (mixed media of etching and some engraving) created earlier as separate editions, published in 1973 to commemorate Chaim Goldberg's One Man Show at the Smithsonian's newly inaugurated Hall of Graphic Arts. Portfolio was published by Shalom Goldberg, the artist's son. It consists of the ten works of art held by a double, folded sheet of same Arches paper, and protective glassine sheet, and two original drawings. The edition size was 10 portfolios with ten impressions each. Each impression was printed by had, by the artist in his New York studio in Queens, using a Rembrandt Etching press. The impressions are done in a variety of ink colors, ranging from Lamp Black, to Cerrulian Blue mixed with Prussian Blue and a variety of Sepia shades. Each was executed in editions of 200 signed and numbered impressions. The portfolio is extremely rare.

Included in each portfolio set are the following works:

  1. Dreamer - Line Engraving
  2. To the Unknown - Intaglio
  3. The Blacksmith - Intaglio
  4. Moving Day - Intaglio
  5. Two Hasidic Dancers - Etching
  6. Seven Hasidic Dancers - Etching
  7. The Cheder - Intaglio
  8. Duet - Intaglio
  9. Purim - Intaglio
  10. The Hora - Intaglio

Additional Reading[edit]

External links[edit]