Saturday, April 4, begins the celebration of Passover. We encourage your to visit the Museum Library and view one of the several Haggadahs including one of the most stunning modern interpretations, Haggadah for Passover illustrated by Ben Shahn, 1965. A first edition, signed copy #66 of only 228 copies. The spectacular double-page Menorah frontispiece is beautiful! The frontispiece is an original signed lithograph with additional colors and gold ink applied by hand through stencils.
Shahn created many of the illustrations for this Haggadah circa 1930 while working on representations of his well-known series of paintings of the Sacco and Vanzetti trial. But it was not until thirty years later that Shahn reproduced his original watercolors for the limited Haggadah. Twelve additional brightly colored vignettes portray scenes from the text, expressing the spirit of the Seder meal with its powerful expressions of the Exodus from Egypt. Shahn continues the interpretation with calligraphy, sharing Hebrew passages from the service. Shahn has illustrated a charming folk song often sung after the Passover meal. “An Only Kid” is embellished with ten playful half-page line drawings. Without question this is one of the most beautiful books ever designed by an American artist.
Other Haggadahs available to view in the Museum Library include: