Sir Jacob Epstein, who died 50 years ago this month, is recognised as one of the great sculptors of the 20th century, a true revolutionary who helped change modern art forever. The Royal Academy in London is honouring his achievement with an exhibition in the autumn, while the Ben Uri gallery organised a tour of his public commissions around the capital. During his life, however, Epstein was not always greeted with such admiration.
Robert Edsel reaches to the side of his seat and produces a large cardboard box, adorned with the black and red of the Nazi swastika. With the air of a conjurer, he puts on a pair of white gloves and draws out of the box a leather-bound album, its cover barely clinging to the hinges.
With his Leica camera in hand, André Kertész wandered city streets, photographing people going about their daily lives. It helped him, he felt, come to terms with being an outsider, first as a Jew in early 20th-century Hungary, then as a émigré in Paris between the wars, and then in New York.
It was a milestone in Hollywood history — actors, writers, producers blacklisted for their political beliefs. Sixty years ago, men and women, some of them with flourishing careers, were made to answer the question: “Are you now, or have you ever been, a communist?”
Old Jews Telling Jokes. Sounds like the last family gathering you went to, right?
But it is also the name of a website where you can watch old Jewish people spinning yarns with the delivery and comic timing that comes only with decades of practice.
That’s right. Jokes told by alter kakas — on demand.
The American website (www.oldjewstellingjokes.com), which has had over three million hits since it was set up in February, is the brainchild of director, producer and Woody Allen collaborator, Sam Hoffman.
Jewish performers and composers are well represented in the Proms season, which starts tonight.
Perhaps the biggest name among the performers is Daniel Barenboim, who is conducting three concerts with his Jewish-Arab West-Eastern Divan Orchestra — two on August 21 (his violinist son Michael also takes part), plus Beethoven’s only opera, Fidelio, the following day.
Three years ago, a blaze in a basement bar at the Royal Albert Hall triggered the sprinkler system and caused a power failure, resulting in the cancellation of a Prom — something not even wartime air-raids over London achieved.
There will be sparks at the Albert Hall again tonight, but, one hopes, with far happier results. Stravinsky’s Fireworks will light the touch paper for the 115th season of the BBC Proms, setting off the world’s biggest cavalcade of classical music.
Offend Vanessa Hidary on a date and you run the risk of a scathing verbal attack — in the form of a witty, fast-paced poem.
In her 2003 poem, Hebrew Mamita, Hidary describes how a hapless suitor remarked that she did not “look Jewish”. At the time she said nothing, but later she realised the remark was supposed to be a compliment.