The Artist's Destiny in Jewish Collective Memory: From Traditional Society to the Avant-Garde and Modernism

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Abstract

The destiny of an architect, painter, or carver working on the construction and decoration of an Eastern-European synagogue is a popular subject in Jewish folklore and literature. These stories are related to the international tale "The Giant as a Master Builder" (classified as 1099), which Jewish storytellers adapted to their audiences. This paper discusses narratives circulated in traditional societies of Central-Eastern Europe, traces formal and meaningful changes that surface in Jewish records of these legends in the early twentieth century, and shows the further transformation of the subject in national-romanticist, avant-garde, and modernist artistic discourses of the twentieth century. The adaptation of this international theme within Jewish folklore helps us to interpret Jewish collective memory regarding the artist and his work on a sacralized object.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)3-19
Number of pages17
JournalImages
Volume14
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Cultural Studies
  • Visual Arts and Performing Arts
  • History
  • Religious studies

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