Those Who Glorified the Name of Our Town (cont.)
Meyer Matzkin is a Jewish artist
, and this word has magic in it to the people of the city from which he came.
He brought to the Western World Jewish themes as they are expressed in the best
artistic technique and strong, independent representation.
Moses Our Teacher
One of the typical characteristics of Meyer Matzkin, who came from our city, is
the expression of Jewish pride. He is almost never satisfied with merely painting a biblical or Jewish
character. He sees himself obligated to show his audience the Jewish characteristics of these figures.
In the composition of biblical
subjects, he emphasizes the image of Moses in ecstasy. In this image, he found
the pathos and poetry of the dream and the longing.
Matzkin knows how to express
the [feelings of] introspection and asceticism, the ecstasy and the turning
inward and finally the monumental richness of the media.
The paintings of Meyer Matzkin
belong to those art works that attract every eye, because they express the
esthetic values of the human soul. They bring people closer to art, because
they reflect a great soul.
The spiritual background of
Matzkin's paintings is expressed in the attitude that I would call the
environment of Svintsyan. The foundation of the artist's belief, the sensitive
ideals that he depicts in his oil paintings follow the ideals of Svintsyan and
he shows this as a great artist who glorifies the name of our city in the world.
The painter Meyer Matzkin of New York was born in 1881 in Svintsyan to his
parents, Khaim and Pesya-Reyze. When they saw his talent as a painter, his
parents transferred him to Vilna.
Already in his youth he
excelled in his work. He began with charcoal drawings and paintings of nature
panoramas to which he gave a romantic character by adding mythological images,
and with rare talent he painted human figures, for the most part in a bold
In 1904, he moved with his
family to the United States and settled in Brooklyn.
His connection to his
people expressed itself in compositions of biblical and Jewish subjects.
According to one critic, he painted in an original style (the Matzkin style).
His images excel in powerful and dramatic movement, and he is considered a
His famous paintings used to be
successfully exhibited in Pennsylvania, in the Art Academy of Philadelphia, and
in the Art Institute in Chicago and in the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston as
well as in other locations in the United States.
* This article is written in the present tense. Trans.Back
** The family of Meyer Matzkin has advised that Matzkin never lived in Brooklyn
but in Boston and Roxbury, Massachusetts. Ed. Back
The Yiddish Humanities High School--The First in Poland
The first humanities high
school in Poland for boys and girls [taught] in the language of Yiddish.
These are the words used to describe the high
school in Svinstyan in the government Office of Education and it appeared in
the same way in the Central Committee of Yiddish Schools: TISHA
in Warsaw, and also in the county organization : Ts. B. K.
Svintsyan is truly a symbol for
the famous yeshiva which was founded by Rabbi Y.Y. Reines. [From that] we
arrived also at the first high school of its kind in the language of the
people, which became the cultural language Yiddish from a
It possesses a literature, a variety of newspapers,
high-school and college curricula (public university) and also a chain of
progressive and new cultural achievements in education --the first in the
history of our people. [The high school] in our city was the first in the
history of our people, but it spread also to the little towns of the
The Yiddish High School in Svintsyan (1922-1923)
* This is probably an acronym for the name of the school.
** The initials for the name of the school in Yiddish.
*** A derogatory name for Yiddish sometimes used by detractors of the language.
[Upper left, clockwise: railway station, Kochanovka Lake,
teachers seminary building, Berzovka Lake. Ed.]
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