"Shtrom", Literary-Artistic Journal – Second Issue – Moscow, 1922 – Cover Design by Marc Chagall
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Shtrom, Choydesh Heftn [Stream, monthly booklets], issue no. 2. Moscow: Shtrom, 1922. Yiddish. Cover design by Marc Chagall.
Shtrom, literary-artistic journal, containing poetry and prose by Peretz Markish, Der Nister (Pinchas Kahanowitz), David Hofstein, Naum Auslander (Nokhem Oyslender) and others.
The journal was founded in Moskow by Yehezkel Dobrushin, Naum Auslander and Aron Kushnirov, all prominent poets in the Jewish art circles of Kiev. A total of six issues (in five booklets) were published between 1922 and 1924. At first, the journal aimed at publishing Yiddish modernist writers from all over the world, not only from Russia. Although it was not an official organ of a Soviet organization, Shtrom is considered as the first Soviet Yiddish literary periodical.
80 pp, 25.5 cm. Good condition. Minor stains. Pen and pencil notations (small, not affecting text). Several leaves are detached. Dark stains, creases and minor tears to edges of cover; open tears to spine. Three holes punched near the spine, presumably for binding or tying with string.
Marc Chagall (1887-1985), a Russian-French artist, is considered by many the greatest Jewish modern painter. Chagall was born to a Hassidic family in Liozna (then in Belarus), the eldest of nine siblings. When his mother asked his first art teacher, the painter Yehuda Pen, whether her son could earn a living from painting, Pen looked at Chagall's sketches and told her: "Yes, he has some ability". At the age of twenty, he was accepted to study art in St. Petersburg (during this period, he painted for the first time the figure of the Fiddler on the Roof, after which the famous musical is named) and in 1914 married the writer Bella Rosenfeld, who became known as one of his greatest sources of inspiration.
After the October Revolution, Chagall was appointed commissar of arts for the Vitebsk district, where he established an art museum and school. Among the teachers of the school were the artist El Lissitzky and the painter Yehuda Pen – Chagall's first teacher. In 1919, another painter was invited to teach at the school, who was one of the most revolutionary and influencing artists in those years – Kazimir Malevich. Malevich held an artistic view which was more radical than Chagall's and wanted to instill his students with the artistic style he himself had developed – Suprematism. His charismatic figure and new outlook attracted many supporters and in 1920, a collective was established in the school (UNOVIS), which adopted the principles of his doctrine. Gradually, Malevich and his supporters gained power and influence, taking Chagall's place in the managing of the school and finally, changing the curriculum. Subsequently, Chagall decided to leave Russia.
In 1920, Chagall moved to Western Europe and after a short stay in Berlin settled in Paris. During this period, he created the important series "My Life", which documented the views of the Jewish town, and the series of bible illustrations. In 1941, approx. two years after the occupation of France by Nazi Germany, Chagall succeeded in escaping to the USA with the assistance of the American journalist Varian Fry. For several years he lived in New York, returning to France after the war, where he remained until his death.
Chagall's works of art, which embrace a wide variety of fields and styles (prints, theater sets and costumes, sculpture and ceramics, tapestry, mosaics, stained glass, and more), are exhibited in leading museums and galleries, in the opera houses of New York and Paris, in the Mainz Cathedral, in the Knesset (in a space named "The Chagall Lounge") and elsewhere. The painter Pablo Picasso said of his work: "When Matisse dies, Chagall will be the only painter left who understands what color really is".