Item 54762. SEFER AMOS: HA-KETAV, HA-ITUR
Item 54762. SEFER AMOS: HA-KETAV, HA-ITUR

SEFER AMOS: HA-KETAV, HA-ITUR ספר עמוס: הכתב, העטור

Tel-Aviv: Gutenberg, 1940. Item #41540

1st edition. Original illustrated Cloth in dust jacket, 4to (large), [64] pages. Includes 34 full-page linocut illustrations, each one signed in pencil by the artist. Also signed and dated by the artist in pen on the title page. Calligraphic typeface, initials, double-sided dust jacket, and text illustrations, all in linocut, also by the artist. “sheloshim ve-arba'ah ha-tsiyurim me-et Aryeh Alv'ail.” Text in Hebrew. Beautiful accordion-style (double page) binding. In our research, we have come across no other copies with signed linocuts, so this may represent a special sub-edition, given that Allweil bound all published copies of the book himself. Published in the midst of the Holocaust, the ancient themes in Amos of abuse of the marginalized are everpresent in Allweil’s production. As Scott Ponemone notes, “In his autobiographical essay in the book Allweil (Arieh Allweil, Max Brod and I.M. Lask, Sinai Publishing, Tel Aviv, Israel, 1955), Allweil again used the quote ‘The prophet spoke to all generations…’ that served as his motto. He then said: ‘One of the writers advised me to quote these words as a motto in my illustrations to the book of Amos [this work]. This text I wrote with my personal lettering [i.e. his own Hebrew font], and opposite every written page I printed a Lino-cut. I similarly made three megillahs [scrolls, or more loosely translated, narratives]: Ruth, Esther and Lamentations. I put figures into our home, the people are our brothers, our parents and our children.’ I believe that what Allweil meant by the last sentence (‘I put figures into our home,…) is that his linocuts would reflect not only the Old Testament days of the Prophet Amos but the agonies of the Holocaust that began in the 1930s. In his essay, he then quoted from the biblical text of Amos and then indicated how he used contemporary events to illustrate that text: ‘ ‘Shall a trumpet be blown in the city.‘ This is a siren for an air-raid. On the day when I finished the book Amos, the first Italian bombs fell; they fell on our house, and we were saved. ‘Though they climb up to heaven, thence will I bring them down.’ This mean[s] aeroplanes. ‘With threshing instruments of iron.’ I know what this means–tanks.”” Indeed, several of the full-page linocuts show modern soldiers, a tank, an airplane, and German-style grenades, in addition to general scenes of death, destruction, and public torture, interspersed with the biblical-era characters and settings. Ponemone also notes that for Amos, Allweil “printed, cut and bound the pages himself. This herculean effort, while notable, would not have been sufficient had his illustrations not exhibited tremendous energy and imagination. If his Amos had been an isolated accomplishment, Allweil would deserve lasting renown.”Biographer and curator Galia Bar Or notes that Allweil (1901-1967) “made a distinctive contribution to Israeli art in two very different and contrasting fields: a new visual interpretation of biblical texts by means of black-and-white prints and calligraphy, in works that in a unique and topical way express his suppressed anguish at the horrors of the Holocaust period, and an original development of richly colorful and pictorial landscape painting…. The dialectical relations between these two orientations in Allweil’s oeuvre, nightmare and utopia, hints its complex character….In 1939 Allweil established an independent publishing firm named ‘Hillel’ [after his father], and in the course of the war years and the Holocaust he published books that he produced with his own hands, among them The Anonymous Jew, Lamentations, Amos and Esther. He hand-gouged the texts on linoleum, interspersed the illustrations with allusions to events of the period, printed the sheets, cut, folded and bound the books all by himself.”Galia Gavish, the author of two books on Allweil writes that he “produced his illustrated books in a German expressionist style and in a Jewish spirit. Similarly to European artists, who used Greek mythology as an political allegory for their period, Allweil drew his allegorical materials from the Jewish classics the Bible. Allweil’s choice of the Scrolls of Esther, Lamentations and Amos, and the Passover Haggadah, are significant. Each of these books has an apocalyptic atmosphere with a hopeful ending.”For more on Allweil, see Bar Or’s catalog “Arieh Allweil: Letters, Figures, Landscapes”(https://museumeinharod.org.il/en/letters-figures-landscapes), Gavish’s “Arieh Allweil: Prints & Calligraphy” and “Arieh Allweil: From Bitania to Vienna and Back;” and the Israel Museum’s information page on Allweil (https://museum.imj.org.il/artcenter/newsite/en/?artist=Allweil,%20Arieh). For more specifically on this work, Amos, see Scott Ponemone’s discussions online at http://www.scottponemone.com/arieh-allweil-the-book-of-amos-part-1/ and http://www.scottponemone.com/arieh-allweil-the-book-of-amos-part-2/. About the Biblical Book of Amos: The prophet Amos’s connection to the simple life of the people made its way into the center of his prophecies, as he showed a heart for the oppressed and the voiceless in the world. Though he came from the southern kingdom of Judah, Amos delivered his prophecy against the northern kingdom of Israel and the surrounding nations, leading to some resistance from the prideful Israelites (Amos 7:12). Jeroboam’s reign had been quite profitable for the northern kingdom, at least in a material sense. However, the moral decay that also occurred at that time counteracted any positives from the material growth. Amos was fed up. While most of the prophets interspersed redemption and restoration in their prophecies against Israel and Judah, Amos devoted only the final five verses of his prophecy for such consolation. Prior to that, God’s word through Amos was directed against the privileged people of Israel, a people who had no love for their neighbor, who took advantage of others, and who only looked out for their own concerns. More than almost any other book of Scripture, the book of Amos holds God’s people accountable for their ill-treatment of others. It repeatedly points out the failure of the people to fully embrace God’s idea of justice. They were selling off needy people for goods, taking advantage of the helpless, oppressing the poor, and abusing young women (Amos 2:6–8; 3:10; 4:1; 5:11–12; 8:4–6). Drunk on their own economic success and intent on strengthening their financial position, the people had lost the concept of caring for one another; Amos rebuked them because he saw in that lifestyle evidence that Israel had forgotten God. However, the people in the north used Amos’s status as a foreigner as an excuse to ignore his message of judgment for a multiplicity of sins.Rather than seeking out opportunities to do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly, they embraced their arrogance, idolatry, self-righteousness, and materialism. SUBJECT(S): Illustrated works. Bible. Amos -- Illustrations. art and symbolism. Painting. OCLC: 54756106. OCLC lists only 6 copies of the (standard) first edition worldwide, all of them in the US (JTSA, Stanford, Spertus, HUC, Penn, UToronto). OCLC does also list 4 copies of the second printing from 1941, all in Israel. Light edgewear to double-sided dustjacket with small tape residue stain on reverse side, bookplate removed, slight foxing to margins of final two pages. Very Good Condition in Very Good Jacket. A Very Nice Copy. (ART-28-2).

Price: $2,000.00