Traces of a Jewish Artist: The Lost Life and Work of Rahel Szalit, with Kerry Wallach
Join us for a free virtual talk on Thursday, May 30 @ 7:00 p.m. ET
Graphic artist, illustrator, painter, and cartoonist Rahel Szalit (1888–1942) was among the best-known Jewish women artists in Weimar Berlin. But after she was murdered in the Holocaust, she was all but lost to history, and most of her paintings have been destroyed or gone missing. Highly regarded by art historians and critics, she made a name for herself with soulful, sometimes humorous illustrations of Jewish and world literature by Sholem Aleichem, Mendele Moykher Sforim, Heinrich Heine, Leo Tolstoy, Charles Dickens, and others. She published her work in the mainstream German and Jewish press, and she ran in artists’ and queer circles in Weimar Berlin and in 1930s Paris. Szalit’s fascinating life demonstrates how women artists gained access to Jewish and avant-garde movements by experimenting with different media and genres. This talk focuses on the process of rediscovering Szalit and offers a close look at her art.
Kerry Wallach is associate professor and chair of German studies and an affiliate of the Jewish Studies Program at Gettysburg College. She is the author of Traces of a Jewish Artist: The Lost Life and Work of Rahel Szalit (Penn State University Press, 2024) and Passing Illusions: Jewish Visibility in Weimar Germany (2017), and co-editor (with Aya Elyada) of German-Jewish Studies: Next Generations. She is also a co-editor of German Jewish Cultures, a book series published by Indiana University Press.