Lehrhaus Judaica > Courses > The Art of Prophetic Justice: Bernard Zakheim in Depression-Era San Francisco
The Art of Prophetic Justice: Bernard Zakheim in Depression-Era San Francisco
Bernard Zakheim (1896-1985), who was born and raised in Warsaw under Czarist Russia and lived in his old age on a commune near Sebastopol, California, was one of the most seminal Jewish artists of the 20th century. He vividly portrayed Hasidism, the Holocaust, Israel, and the American Civil Rights Movement in his watercolors and oils, murals and sculptures. This lecture, explicating a 12-panel photo exhibit, will focus on Zakheim's most productive period, the early 1930s, when he was at the center of the greatest public art controversy in San Francisco's history, the Coit Tower murals.
Ruth Gottstein, daughter of the artist Bernard Zakheim, will reflect on the life of her father and the times in which he lived.
Fred Rosenbaum, co-curator of exhibition, will position Zakheim’s life in historical context and discuss how his artwork contained symbols that depicted his eclectic lifestyle.
Exhibition and program co-sponsored by:
Protect Coit Tower: Dedicated to restoration and preservation of Coit Tower and its unique and historic murals.
At this event, Protect Coit Tower will display a recently discovered original Bernard Zakheim portrait that has been generously donated to help raise funds to preserve the damaged Coit Tower murals.
Zakheim: The Art of Prophetic Justice is on display at the BJE Jewish Community Library from October 10, 2012 to February 28, 2013.
Library hours for visitors:
Sunday 12 – 4
Monday and Wednesday 10 – 4
Tuesday 12 – 6
Thursday 12 – 8
Closed Fridays, Saturdays, and holidays
Thursday, October 25
7:00 - 8:30 pm
|Oct 25||7:00 PM–8:30 PM||Thu||Jewish Community Library||Fred Rosenbaum Ruth Gottstein|
Jewish Community Library
1835 Ellis Street
San Francisco, CA 94115
The Library is located between Scott and Pierce on the campus of the Jewish Community High School. There is a free and secure parking garage accessible from Pierce Street; buzz the intercom, announce that you’re coming to the Library, and the gate will go up. For more information call (415) 567-3327.
Ruth Gottstein, Bernard Zakheim's older daughter at 90 years old, vividly remembers the days of the 1934 San Francisco general strike, and what it looked like walking with her father through a silent city—no street cars, no autos, no people. And more—visiting her father while he and 24 other artists were painting their incredible murals at Coit Tower—the smell of the wet plaster, the scaffolds, the activity in that tiny space. Diego Rivera and his wife, Frida Kahlo visiting Ruth's family in the Haight Ashbury district in the 1930s. And then, the opening of the Tower delayed by the general strike because of fear of what might happen. Gottstein is publisher emerita (this is correct word!) of Volcano Press. Her son Adam is now publisher, and they have produced Coit Tower San Francisco: Its History and Art, written by Masha Zakheim, sister, in an updated edition.
Fred Rosenbaum, founding director of Lehrhaus Judaica, has written four books on Bay Area Jewish history and three books on the Holocaust. He has taught numerous courses on the history of contemporary Israel at Lehrhaus and the University of San Francisco. He has been awarded the S.Y. Agnon Gold Medal for Intellectual Excellence by the Scopus Society of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, the Covenant Award for Exceptional Jewish Educators, as well as the Anne and Robert Cowan Writers’ Award for making an exceptional impact on the Bay Area by writing on Jewish themes.
Support for the creation of this exhibition and related programs is provided by the Koret Foundation, the Laszlo N. Tauber Family Foundation, and the Fleishhacker Foundation. This lecture is co-presented by the Jewish Community High School of the Bay, the Mechanics’ Institute Library & Chess Room, The Workmen’s Circle/Arbeter Ring of Northern California, and The Mexican Museum.