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Yellow badge

Yellow badge

France, c. 1942
  • Cotton: printed
  • 3 3/4 x 3 1/8 in. (9.5 x 8 cm)
  • The Jewish Museum, New York
  • Gift of Juliette Stern, Paris, S 1403
Not on view

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Yellow badge

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This yellow star is inscribed with the word Juif (Jew in French). Jews in German-occupied France were forced to wear the yellow stars beginning in 1942. Michael David's painting Warsaw refers to the yellow badge that Jews throughout Europe were forced to wear during the Holocaust, but it does not recreate it exactly.

Discuss:

  • How is Michael David's piece different from the actual Jewish badge?

  • Are these differences relevant to the meaning of David's work? How?

  • What kind of response do you have when you look at this badge? What about when you look at David's artwork? How are your responses similar or different?


A Jew in Germany

Michael David (American, b. 1954)

A Jew in Germany, 1993

  • Encaustic on wood
  • 60 x 60 in. (152.4 x 152.4 cm)
  • The Jewish Museum, New York
  • Gift of Zita Rosenthal, 1993-270

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A Jew in Germany

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A Jew in Germany


Have students compare this work with Michael David's painting Warsaw:

  • What are the differences between these two works by Michael David?

  • What different associations or feelings do the two works elicit in you?

  • What does the color of this work suggest to you? What if it were a different color--blue, or pink, or red? What would the effect be?

  • Like Warsaw, this work is also quite large. How would its effect be different if it were very small?


Broken Glass

Shoshana Dentz (American, b. 1968)

Broken Glass, 2000

  • Gouache on waxed paper
  • 7 1/2 x 8 7/8 in. (19.1 x 22.6 cm)
  • The Jewish Museum, New York
  • Purchase: Ruth Rose Fund, 2002-11

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Broken Glass

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Broken Glass


Like Michael David, Shoshana Dentz uses emotionally charged symbols in her abstract compositions. Here, she employs the yellow star, the same symbol that David uses in Warsaw. Dentz creates a field of stars, all pushed up to the surface of the picture plane. Her title, Broken Glass, is a reference to a specific historical event, Kristallnacht, the "Night of Broken Glass." Dentz writes, "The nature of the gouache on the waxed paper, the particular transparency of that combination, along with the imperfect 'boxes' in which each of the stars is enclosed, all made me think of stained glass and of broken glass."

Have students examine this work in relation to Michael David's Warsaw:

  • What are the similarities between Shoshana Dentz's Broken Glass and Michael David's Warsaw?

  • What are the differences?

  • What is the effect of Dentz's use of multiple stars? What does her work make you think of?

  • Notice the yellow rift running across the watercolor. How does it affect the work's composition? Does it have any symbolic connotations?

  • How does the title, Broken Glass, affect your understanding of the work? Why do you think the artist chose this title?