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Johns Hopkins University Press


Menorah Journal, founded in 1915 to foster a “Jewish Renaissance,” published essays, poetry, fiction, and political commentary. Along with articles addressing Jewish life and history, it attended to Jewish visual culture, publishing numerous works of art as well as articles by artists and cultural critics. Over the course of the magazine’s existence, only art magazines carried more reproductions of artworks in their pages. Yet when discussing Menorah Journal’s commitment to art, scholars have invariably dealt with it cursorily and as if it was no more than an attractive embellishment to the magazine. Nonetheless, the illustrations appeared, month after month, year after year, on the covers and within its pages, usually comprising approximately ten percent of the magazine. Indeed, Menorah Journal kept publishing artworks even in times of limited financial resources, particularly in the 1930s. The fact that the magazine kept publishing images which required expensive glossy paper, even when it was in difficult financial straits, underscores the key role played by art in its ongoing construction of a modern Jewish identity.


Copyright © 2002 The American Jewish Historical Society. This article first appeared in AMERICAN JEWISH HISTORY, Volume 90, Issue 3, September, 2002, pages 205-238.



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