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About the Exhibition

The Exhibition (Bellarmine Hall Galleries)

This special exhibition, organized around the theme of human rights features more than 50 works by acclaimed Polish Jewish miniaturist and political cartoonist Arthur Szyk (1894-1951), including political cartoons, and images that honor the power and importance of democratic ideals. A witness to the rise of totalitarianism in Europe, Szyk emigrated from London to America at the beginning of World War II.

Szyk lived and worked in Connecticut, and passed away in New Canaan in 1951. His powerful political cartoons animated the covers of magazines such as Time and Collier's, raising awareness of the plight of European Jews and helping sway public opinion toward support for American participation in the Second World War.

As a self-described “soldier in art,” Szyk’s work was acclaimed by First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt as a potent weapon “against Hitlerism." He advocated for religious tolerance, racial equality, and human dignity. Active in the years leading up to World War II and during the Holocaust, Szyk became one of America’s most celebrated political artists for his powerful artistic and social contributions against Nazism and fascism. As our communities continue to confront issues of structural racism and social upheaval — including the sharp rise in antisemitic rhetoric and violence across the United States— this exhibition provides a platform for conversations on the urgent topics of human rights and social justice.

Szyk: The Interactive Experience (Walsh Gallery)

Expanding on the power of the main exhibition, FUAM will also host an immersive Szyk experience in the Walsh Gallery featuring two workstations that will enable visitors to explore Szyk’s miniatures in high resolution, reconstructing the artist’s gaze through a “digital magnifying glass.” Visitors will be able to remix and repurpose individual elements, characters, and motifs drawn from the works in the exhibition, to create new cartoons that will be instantly “published” as projections on large wall surfaces in the gallery itself and online, giving the contemporary exploration and reinterpretations of Szyk’s art a broad audience in real-time.

Other features of Szyk: The Interactive Experience will include a screening room with films about Szyk’s art and life, a reading room, an art-making space, and an ambient soundtrack of American music from the era of Szyk’s prominence in the late 30s and 40s.

Organized by the University of California, Berkeley, The Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life, where it opened in May 2021, this exhibition is on view at the National World War II Museum in New Orleans from September 1, 2022 - May 7, 2023, before coming to the Fairfield University Art Museum, which is its only stop in the Northeast. At Fairfield, the exhibition is organized by Philip Eliasoph, PhD, Professor of Art History & Visual Culture, Department of Visual & Performing Arts, Sam & Bettie Roberts Lecturer in Judaic Studies, College of Arts and Sciences.

Visit the Fairfield University Library's resource page for this exhibition. An important gift of Szyk-related material was donated to the DiMenna-Nyselius Library at the time of this exhibition by Irvin Ungar (curator emeritus, Arthur Szyk Society), which includes Collier’s magazine covers, play cards, advertisements, illustrations from his 1945 Hans Christian Andersen Fairy Tales, and more. A finding aid to these materials is available at the link.


Image caption: Arthur Szyk, Israel (Heritage of the Nations series), 1948, watercolor and gouache, pen and ink and pencil on board. Courtesy of Taube Family Arthur Szyk Collection, The Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life, University of California, Berkeley.

Explore the Exhibition

Virtual Tour

Browse Selected Artworks

In Real Times. Arthur Szyk: Art & Human Rights (2020)

Video: "The Cartoon Crusader" (Universal Pictures, 1946)

Get Involved

Because our programs are always offered entirely free of charge, we rely on the generosity of our loyal benefactors and supporters of the arts to present exhibitions of the highest quality for the benefit of audiences of all ages in the tri-state area. Please click below to make a gift today and help bring this important exhibition to FUAM.

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Events listed below with a location are live, in-person programs. When possible, those events will also be streamed on and the recordings posted to our YouTube channel.



Join us to celebrate the opening of this landmark exhibition in the Museum’s Bellarmine Hall Galleries and enjoy the reception in the Great Hall.

September 28, 2023
5-6 p.m. Introduction by Irvin Ungar, Lecture by Philip Eliasoph, PhD
Dolan Event Space, and streaming via Vimeo webinar
Reception, 6-8 p.m.
Bellarmine Great Hall, Bellarmine Hall Galleries


Join leading scholars and curators from across the country to hear their perspectives on Szyk’s impact on art, politics, and culture. Speakers include Glenn Dynner, PhD; Samuel D. Gruber, PhD, Wendy Lower, PhD; Jonathan Petropoulos, PhD; Gavriel Rosenfeld, PhD; Ori Z. Soltes, PhD; Francesco Spagnolo, PhD; and Ellen M. Umansky, PhD,

October 4-5, 2023


Gallery Tour: In Real Times: Arthur Szyk-Artist and Soldier for Human Rights

Friday, September 29 | 12 noon

Irvin Ungar, Curator emeritus, The Arthur Szyk Society
Registration required, limited to 25
Dolan Event Space

Gallery Tour: In Real Times: Arthur Szyk-Artist and Soldier for Human Rights

Wednesday, October 4 | 12 noon

Irvin Ungar, Curator emeritus, The Arthur Szyk Society
Registration required, limited to 25
Bellarmine Hall Galleries, Bellarmine Hall

Art in Focus: Arthur Szyk, Madness, 1941

Thursday, October 12

Bellarmine Hall Galleries and streaming on, 11 a.m. (in person) and 12 noon (streaming)

Artist’s Talk: Elephants, Donkeys & Twitter Birds: How Cartoon Symbols Have Shaped Politics

Thursday, October 12 | 5 p.m.

Sean Kelly is known for his award-winning illustration, visual journalism and political commentary as seen on the arts, business, features and op-ed pages of major American newspapers.
Diffley Board Room, Bellarmine Hall, and streaming on

Lecture: Exhibiting Classical Antiquity During the Nazi Era*

Friday, October 13 | 12:30 p.m.

Irene Bald Romano, PhD, Professor of Art History and Anthropology, University of Arizona
Bellarmine Hall, Diffley Board Room and streaming on
*Part of the Edwin L. Weisl, Jr. Lectureships in Art History, funded by the Robert Lehman Foundation
Co-sponsored by the Department of Visual and Performing Arts and the Classical Studies Program

Open VISIONS Forum and the College of Arts and Sciences Common Ground Series
Art Spiegelman – Maus and the Power of Illustration

Tuesday, October 17 | 7:30 p.m.

Presented in collaboration with the Bennett Center for Judaic Studies, the Quick Center for the Arts, and the Jewish Federation of Greater Fairfield County.
Quick Center for the Arts (Tickets Required from Quick Center Box Office)

Lecture: How Arthur Szyk's Cover Art for Collier's Magazine Helped Americans Visualize the Evil of Fascism

Thursday, October 19 | 5 p.m.

Deborah Varat, PhD, Professor of Art History, Director, Public Humanities Initiative, Southern New Hampshire University
Diffley Board Room, Bellarmine Hall and streaming on

Virtual Lecture: Mastering Evil: Arthur Szyk's Style

Wednesday, October 25 | 12 noon

Donald Kuspit, Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Art History and Philosophy at Stony Brook University
Streaming only on

Virtual Lecture: Southbury: The German-American Bund Dream for Connecticut

Wednesday, November 1 | 5 p.m.

Arnie Bernstein, author of Swastika Nation: Fritz Kuhn and the Rise and Fall of the German-American Bund
Co-sponsored by the Department of History
Streaming only on


Exhibition Tour: In Real Times: Arthur Szyk-Artist and Soldier for Human Rights

Saturday, November 11
12 noon

With Curator of Education Michelle DiMarzo, PhD
Registration required, limited to 25
Bellarmine Hall Galleries, Bellarmine Hall



"Revisiting the Work of Arthur Szyk, Artist and Soldier for Human Rights"

CT Magazine
"In WWII, Arthur Szyk fought the Axis powers with his art. Now his works have come back to his CT home"

Jewish Ledger
"Fairfield U museum awarded grant for exhibit of WWII-Era Political Art by Arthur Szyk"

Art New England
"Fairfield University Art Museum"

Westfair Online
"A new appreciation of political artist Arthur Szyk"

The Rearview
"Arthur Szyk Exhibition Soon To Debut At Fairfield U Art Museum"

Times of Israel
"Connecticut university houses largest display of artist Arthur Szyk’s work in 50 years"

Art Daily
"Largest exhibition of human rights advocate Arthur Szyk's work in Northeast in over 50 years at Fairfield University"

Antiques and the Arts Weekly
"In Real Times: Arthur Szyk’s Anti-Nazi Propagandist Art"

"Arthur Szyk in Connecticut: A New Look at a 20th Century Master"


Exhibition Benefactor


Exhibition Co-Sponsors



Fiona Garland

John Meditz ’70

Rick & Debi Smilow on behalf of the Smilow Foundation

Terra Foundation for American Art

Sy Syms Foundation


The Maximilian E. & Marion O. Hoffman Foundation


The Robert Lehman Foundation

Scott C. Nevins ’80

Brian Machler and Eileen Machler ’87


Jill and Alex Dimitrief

Anita and Harold Rosnick

Steven Saft

David and Debby Zieff


Media Sponsors


Community Partners

Visit the Pequot Library to view the related exhibition Artists Mobilize: Graphic Art During the World Wars, on view in the Rennell Room September 27 – December 2, 2023


Additional Information

Bellarmine Hall Galleries and Walsh Gallery Hours:

Tuesday through Saturday, 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. We have extended hours until 8 p.m. on Thursdays. We are closed for national and university holidays and during inclement weather.


The FUAM's main galleries are located on the lower level of Bellarmine Hall. For GPS please use the following address: 200 Barlow Road, Fairfield, CT 06824 (or click the map at right for directions).


Free parking is available in front of Bellarmine Hall. Handicap parking is available next to the museum’s service and classroom entrance on the lower level of Bellarmine Hall.


The museum is open to the public and admission is free.


Private tours with a curator are available for a fee; please contact or 203-254-4046.

Reach Us By train:

Take Metro-North, New Haven Line, to Fairfield Station (approximately 70 minutes from Grand Central Station).

For further information or to schedule a visit or tour, please contact

Fairfield University Art Museum
1073 North Benson Road
Fairfield, CT 06824
(203) 254-4046

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