Chagall and the Artists of the Russian Jewish Theater (Hardcover)

By Susan Tumarkin Goodman, Zvi Gitelman, Vladislav Ivanov, Jeffrey Veidlinger, Benjamin Harshav

Yale University Press, 9780300111552, 256pp.

Publication Date: November 25, 2008

List Price: 65.00*
* Individual store prices may vary.


A journey into a time of astounding innovation on the stage

Shortly after the Bolshevik Revolution, Soviet Jewish theaters became catalysts for modernist experimentation. Working with avant-garde playwrights, actors, and producers in a new political environment, artists such as Marc Chagall, Natan Altman, Robert Falk, and Aleksandr Tyshler combined Russian folk art with elements of Cubo-Futurism and Constructivism into a bold new style. This collaboration gave rise to extraordinary productions with highly original stage designs that redefined the concept of theater itself.

From the Jewish mythical and folkloric plays produced at Habima to the daring, expressionistic Yiddish dramas presented at the Moscow State Yiddish Theater (GOSET), this beautifully illustrated book chronicles the flourishing of Soviet Jewish theater in the 1920s and 1930s. Spanning such topics as Jewish culture and history in the Soviet Union, the volume includes stunning reproductions of Chagall’s celebrated theater murals; fascinating archival materials such as posters, prints, and playbills; designs for costumes and sets; and many other breathtaking works.

About the Author

Benjamin Harshav is professor emeritus of comparative literature and J. & H. Blaustein Professor of Hebrew Language and Literature, Yale University, and professor emeritus of literary theory, Tel Aviv University. He lives in North Haven, CT.

Praise For Chagall and the Artists of the Russian Jewish Theater

"Excellent. . . . First-rate essays . . . introduce more than 200 colorful illustrations which beautifully demonstrate the creativity of the Jewish artists who brilliantly used their avant-garde competence to complement the experimental stage productions."—Morton I. Teicher, Buffalo Jewish Review

— Morton I. Teicher

"The present volume . . . is most impressive. . . . No more informative or attractive book could possibly grace a library's collection or a coffee table. Highly recommended."—Choice

— Choice

Finalist in the 2010 National Jewish Book Award in the Visual Arts Category sponsored by the Jewish Book Council

— National Jewish Book Award in the Visual Arts Category Finalist