Temerl is a modern fairy-tale about a little girl who discovers the magic of reading. It was published in an inexpensive paper-back edition in Moscow, 1917, together with 9 illustrations by Joseph Tchaikov in Art Nouveau style. At the same time, Tchaikov created a handwritten version of the tale in Russian, which he presented to his young step-daughter that year at Chanukah. The Russian tale, which comes in the form of a scroll, is accompanied by eight of the illustrations included in Temerl, together with two additional illustrations, one of which appears to be a self-portrait of the artist at work. Little Princess Tanya was acquired in September, 2016, by the Library of Congress, together with the Yiddish-language Temerl. To learn more about these two works and the relation between them, click on: http://blogs.loc.gov/international-collections/?s=temerl
Eight black-and-white illustrations, five of them full page. The cover illustration, in delicate lines of red and green, reappears in black and white on page 11. The artist, Isaac Lichtenstein (1888-1981), was a member of the renowned Makhmadim, a group of young Jewish artists who rendered traditional Jewish themes in Avant-Garde style. In his youth Lichtenstein studied art in Vitebsk in the same school as Chagall, noting in his autobiography that “hundreds of lads passed through the place.” He left for Paris around 1910, living in the famous La Ruche in Montparnasse along with many other up and coming artists, Jewish and non-Jewish. He moved to New York during World War II and later settled in Safed, where he died in 1981.
Cover art and illustrations in red and black by Eliezer Lissitzky (1890-1941), one of the most important figures in the Russian Avant-garde. This booklet was one of three published in a deal which Raskin and Lissitzky struck with the Yidisher Folks Farlag in 1919, according to which the two were to create eleven booklets altogether within the short space of five months. Apter-Gabriel notes that these illustrations contain the first elements of Supremacist style in a Yiddish children’s book (Apter-Gabriel 1987, 118).
Printed on the back cover (also in red and black): Kindergarten Series (סעריע: קינדער-גארטן); and also the price: 3 rubles, 80 kopek.
Due to extreme fragility of LC copy, pages are encased in mylar.
Cover design and illustration by Joseph Tchaikov. Jewish Cultural Reconstruction label pasted in.
Sheet music for children's songs by Y.L. Peretz (1852-1915), one of the greatest figures of Jewish culture in the modern period; equally renowned for his Hebrew and Yiddish works. Cover design and illustration by Joseph Tchaikov (1888-1986), one of the foremost Jewish artists of the Russian Avant-Garde (see no. 36 above).
Three tales by the Brothers Grimm, each accompanied by striking illustrations and bold, hand-lettered titles. No mention of illustrators, but a few of the illustrations – including the one on the cover – have a disembodied “ט” floating in the picture – the usual signature of Joseph Tchaikov. Tchaikov’s cover illustration reflects his Cubo-Futurist style, in addition to Art Nouveau.
Cover and text illustrations by Issachar Ber Ryback.
Ten stories for children by Miriam Margolin (1896-1968), each with facing illustration in black-and-white. Colorful illustrated cover. The artwork by Issachar Ber Ryback (1897-1935) reflects the Jewish tombstones and synagogue carvings he documented along the Dnieper River in White Russia, during a trip he took together with Eliezer Lissitzky sometime around 1916 (Apter-Gabriel 1987, 101-102).
Illustrated by El [Eliezer] Lissitsky and hand lettered by Kraft (קראפט).
Yiddish translation of Elephant’s Child, the classic animal tale by Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936) starring the pug-nosed young elephant full of “satiable curtiosity.” Illustrated cover in red and black, with twelve letterpress illustrations in black and white by Eliezer Lissitzky, four of them full page.
Itzik Kipnis was a prolific writer of children’s books in Yiddish. He was born in Volhynia in 1894, and died in Kiev in 1974 after years in a Soviet labor camp. Cover art and three full-page illustrations in black and white by Nisson Shifrin (1892-1961), a prominent set designer in the Russian and Yiddish theaters in Moscow and Kiev (Apter-Gabriel 1987, 244).
[Illustrations by Mark Epshtein]. Jewish Cultural Reconstruction label pasted in.
Kipling's classic tale translated into Yiddish. Ten black-and-white illustrations by Suprematist artist Mark Epshtein, all unsigned. Eight of the illustrations are full-page. Interesting to compare this edition of Rikki-Tikki-Tavi with an earlier Yiddish version printed in the journal שרעטעלאך (see below no. 57), there with illustrations by Joseph Tchaikov.
37 stories by Yiddish writer Chaver-Paver, pen-name of Gershon Einbinder (1901-1964). Each story begins with a stylized initial letter, and most are accompanied by at least one illustration, all in Avant-Garde style. Red faux leather binding with title and publisher’s mark in embossed gold letters.
Cover art by A. Goldman, with minimalist design in yellow and blue. Inside there are five Avant-Garde illustrations by Boris Aronson (1898-1980), who also designed the stylized letters at the beginning of each of the nine chapters. Aronson, the son of the Chief Rabbi of Kiev, became a notable set designer for the Yiddish theater in Kiev and Moscow as well as New York, where he immigrated in 1924.
Published/Created: New York: Aroysgegebn fun Arbayṭer ring Bildungs deparṭmenṭ,1925.
Illustrations by Yosl Cutler and B. [Boris] Aronson.
Yiddish poet Esther Shumiatcher-Herschbein was born in Belorussia in 1899, one of eleven children. In 1911 the family immigrated to Canada, and in 1918 she married Perez Herschbein, a leading playwright in New York’s Yiddish theater. She died in 1985. Cover illustration in purple, black and white ink by Yosl Cutler; three full-page illustrations in black and white by Boris Aaronson.
Two sets of poems for children (“The Flute” and the “Streetcar”) by Leib Kvitko (1890-1952). Kvitko, one of the most prominent Yiddish poets, was born in the Ukraine in 1890 and died in Moscow in 1952 during the infamous “Night of the Murdered Poets.” The striking illustrations in blue, orange and black are by Georg Fisher, who signed and dated his work on the cover.
A collection of 43 stories by Yiddish writer Herman Gold. The illustrations were created by Zuni Maud (1891-1956) and Yosl Cutler (d. 1934), a team of artists best-known as Yiddish puppeteers during the 1920s. Their puppet shows centered on Jewish themes mixed with a strong dose of Socialism and were created from their own designs. The two artists began working together in New York sometime in the 1920s, after immigrating from Russia.
Cover illustration in red, green and black. Inside, four black-and-white illustrations, two of them full page. The illustrations have a charm and lightness that belie the grim storyline. The tale ends in a shootout between the bear and the Bolsheviks, with the bear saying, “My cubs are all “dead, killed, captured. I am the last bear in the forest.” The Last Bear was written by Note Lurie, author of the Yiddish novel The Steppes Are Calling about Jewish farm laborers.
Illustrated by Joseph Tchaikov. Jewish Cultural Reconstruction label pasted in.
Yiddish version of a short story in Hebrew by Mordechai Ze’ev Feuerberg (1874-1899), first published in 1898 in the pages of Ha-Shiloah. It depicts the inner conflicts of its young protagonist growing up in a small village in Eastern Europe. Plain cover with stylized motto of publisher (קיעוועה פארלאג) and three half-page illustrations in black-and-white by Joseph Tchaikov. Price on back cover, followed by list of ten books in the series and the address of the publisher.