Bintel Blog

A Master Passes

By Alana Newhouse

Painter Joseph Solman died last week at the age of 99. In these pages last fall, Albert Fayngold penned a timely appreciation for this “fabulously gifted yet woefully underappreciated American master.”


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: Joseph Solman, Art

Western Walls Aplenty

By Alana Newhouse

The Wailing Wall, Jerusalem

News from Sotheby’s London is that the it will auction “The Wailing Wall, Jerusalem,” by German-born Jewish artist Gustav Bauernfeind. The estimate given in the press release is £600,000-800,000. It’s the latest in a line of pictorial depictions of the site to hit the auction block, as Jeannie Rosenfeld reported last month. And, compared to Vasili Vereshchagin’s “Solomon’s Wall” — sold by rival house Christie’s for $3,624,000 — the Bauernfeind looks almost like a steal.


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: Vasili Vereshchagin, Gustav Bauernfeind, Art, Western Wall

Eye on the Book Review: Stubbed Out and Dressed Up

By Gabriel Sanders

A word of praise for an oft-overlooked genre: the newspaper illustration. This past Sunday’s New York Times Book Review offered the Jewishly minded reader two especially good examples of the art — drawings that with a few quick brushstrokes manage to capture their subject’s essence.

The first, accompanying Christopher Hitchens’s new book, “God is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything,” came in the form of an ashtray with stubbed-out cigarettes forming the symbols of the three great monotheistic religions: the cross, the crescent and the Star of David. Now for those who don’t know, Hitchens is a proud and heavy smoker who wrote with passion against the cigarette ban instituted in New York by Mike Bloomberg some years ago. And so, in artist Christoph Niemann’s relatively simple picture you have conveyed three quite complicated concepts — Hitchens, religion and a good measure of disgust.

The second image was better still. Alongside a review of “The Yiddish Policeman’s Union,” — novelist Michael Chabon’s counter-history in which Israel does not become the Jewish homeland and Alaska does — an artist who goes simply by the name Max offers a Tlinkit totem pole topped by a shtreimel-wearing Hasid. It’s a delicious contrast. But then you start thinking, a fur shtreimel in Alaska kind of makes sense. It’s certainly better suited to the Alaskan climate than it is to the weather in, say, Williamsburg or Jerusalem.

One quibble: The Lubavitchers, the sect on whom the novel’s Verbover Hasidim are quite clearly modeled, happen to be among those Hasidim who don’t wear shtreimels.

A second quibble: The shtreimel in the picture bears a striking resemblance to an all-season radial. Then again, given Alaska’s unforgiving terrain, you never know when you might need a spare.


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: Michael Chabon, Art, Illustration, New York Times, Christopher Hitchens




Find us on Facebook!
  • “Twist and Shout.” “Under the Boardwalk.” “Brown-Eyed Girl.” What do these great songs have in common? A forgotten Jewish songwriter. We tracked him down.
  • What can we learn from tragedies like the rampage in suburban Kansas City? For one thing, we must keep our eyes on the real threats that we as Jews face.
  • When is a legume not necessarily a legume? Philologos has the answer.
  • "Sometime in my childhood, I realized that the Exodus wasn’t as remote or as faceless as I thought it was, because I knew a former slave. His name was Hersh Nemes, and he was my grandfather." Share this moving Passover essay!
  • Getting ready for Seder? Chag Sameach! http://jd.fo/q3LO2
  • "We are not so far removed from the tragedies of the past, and as Jews sit down to the Seder meal, this event is a teachable moment of how the hatred of Jews-as-Other is still alive and well. It is not realistic to be complacent."
  • Aperitif Cocktail, Tequila Shot, Tom Collins or Vodka Soda — Which son do you relate to?
  • Elvis craved bacon on tour. Michael Jackson craved matzo ball soup. We've got the recipe.
  • This is the face of hatred.
  • What could be wrong with a bunch of guys kicking back with a steak and a couple of beers and talking about the Seder? Try everything. #ManSeder
  • BREAKING: Smirking killer singled out Jews for death in suburban Kansas City rampage. 3 die in bloody rampage at JCC and retirement home.
  • Real exodus? For Mimi Minsky, it's screaming kids and demanding hubby on way down to Miami, not matzo in the desert.
  • The real heroines of Passover prep aren't even Jewish. But the holiday couldn't happen without them.
  • Is Handel’s ‘Messiah’ an anti-Semitic screed?
  • Meet the Master of the Matzo Ball.
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.