2011 Irvin Ungar

“Arthur Szyk: Book Illustrator Extraordinaire” by Irvin Ungar, Arthur Szyk Scholar 

 Irvin Ungar, a former pulpit rabbi and antiquarian bookseller, has devoted the past quarter-century to scholarship on Arthur Szyk. He has curated and consulted for numerous Szyk exhibitions, including the Fine Arts Museum of San Francisco, the Deutsches Historisches Museum (Berlin), the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, the Library of Congress, and the New-York Historical Society. Ungar is the author of Arthur Szyk: Soldier in Art (winner of the 2017 National Jewish Book Award), co-producer of the documentary film, “Arthur Szyk: Soldier in Art” and the creator and publisher of the luxury limited edition of  The Szyk Haggadah. He has also served as the curator of The Arthur Szyk Society in Burlingame, California.

(Above) Irvin Ungar

Arthur Szyk (born Lodz, Poland 1894—died New Canaan, CT, USA 1951) worked in Poland, France, England, Canada, and the United States, and was renowned during the first half of the twentieth century for his prolific illustrations in books, newspapers, and magazines. His work provides a visual and often acerbic comment on contemporary issues, including World War II, the Holocaust, and the creation of the state of Israel. Szyk’s canon includes his famous illuminated Passover Haggadah, which has been widely distributed in both the US and Israel.

Arthur Szyk, The Family at the Seder from The Haggadah, 1935









(Above) Irvin Ungar and the Szyk Haggadah

(Above) Arthur Szyk: Soldier in Art


Above: “Arthur Szyk: Book Illustrator Extraordinaire!” lecture booklet








President Philip A. Glotzbach welcomed Irvin Ungar to the floor, and Catherine J. Golden, Professor of English and Chair of the Fox-Adler Lecture Committee, gave the Fox Family recognition.

Catherine J. Golden, Lollie Abramson, Coordinator of Jewish Life, and Wendy Anthony, Special Collections Curator, also mounted an exhibition in the Scribner Library and created a booklet to accompany the exhibition. The exhibit featured Arthur Szyk’s stamps and book illustrations, many borrowed from Norman M. Fox’s personal collection. Click here to see booklet in its entirety and find out more about Arthur Szyk himself.


(Above) Arthur Szyk Booklet Cover

Click here for more information about Irvin Ungar’s lecture at Skidmore College in 2011.


Front Row: Norman Fox. Middle Row: (Left to Right) Jevan Fox, Cassie Fox, Dr. Catherine J. Golden, Irvin Ungar. Back Row: (Left to Right) Jerusha Fox, Harvey Fox, President Glotzbach.

This biography was penned by Irvin Ungar himself for the website.