Marc Chagall was considered to be "the quintessential Jewish artist of the twentieth century" and was prolific in a variety of mediums, including painting and printmaking. Although he is not
credited with the genesis of any particular art movement, he participated in many major movements of his time. His contribution to the art world is greatly admired for its rich use of color and a
deeply rooted, cultural sense of narrative. The two prints by him in our collection were created during his residence in the Holy Land while working on prints for a collection illustrating scenes from
the Bible. The first, Homecoming, was printed two years after his arrival and perhaps conveys a comfort the native Russian felt in the land of his ancestors as he illustrated the scenes from the
ancient cities around him. The second print is one of the Biblical scenes Chagall was working on during his stay and convey a deep sense of identity in the tradition and symbols used to depict this
scene from Exodus. He was quoted concerning this project, "I did not see the Bible, I dreamed it. Ever since early childhood, I have been captivated by the Bible. It has always seemed to me and still
seems today the greatest source of poetry of all time."
The style Chagall uses greatly resembles the work of another artist in this library, Mauricio Lasansky, whose work hangs in the lobby of the library currently.
Salvador Domingo Felipe Jacinto Dali, commonly known as Salvador Dali, was considered by many to not only be a great artist but an incredibly strange man. Dali’s career is well documented and serves as standard in the modern canon, serving as the figurehead of the Surrealist movement. His often eccentric behavior drew more attention than his arguably genius body of work, much to the frustration of his critics, and employed the encouragement of his Surrealist friends like Man Ray and Andre Breton. These antics influenced the deeply cerebral nature of his work which depended upon evoking one's subconscious to interpret its meaning. The dream-like atmosphere in which the Virgin and Child are enshrined is similar to those seen in his paintings at the time and speak of an endlessly complicated series of layers involved in the creation of this image.