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Woodblock Print by Ilya Schor

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Woodblock print by Ilya Schor from Adventures of Mottel: The Cantor’s Son, a novel by Sholem Aleichem.

The story, narrated by a young orphan boy named Mottel, centres on an Orthodox Jewish family from early 20th-century Tsarist Russia. It follows them and other members of their small village on their immigration to the United States. Schor portrays grave events, like Russia’s pogroms (violent attacks on Jews) and New York’s labour riots, with an uplifting, humorous tone.

This print appears in chapter 15 when Mottel and his family are with other immigrants in Krakow, sharing stories about why they want to immigrate. 

Ilya Schor was born in Zloczow, Poland in 1904 to a Chassidic family. He studied art in Warsaw and Paris, earning educational support from the Polish government. In 1941 he immigrated to the United States, where he created a diverse body of work with Jewish themes. Many of his originals hang in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and Jewish Museum in New York City. Schor died in New York in 1961.

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M2008/077:007

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