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Jewish Painters of Montreal: Witnesses of Their Time, 1930-1948

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Invaluable witnesses to their era, painters in Montreal's Jewish community offer unique insight into the atmosphere that reigned in the city between 1930 and 1948, evoking both the history of the working class and the misery of the Great Depression.


The exhibition reflects the rich and distinctive artistic contribution of these individuals through a selection of 80 works organized around four themes:

The City - During the interwar period, the expression of artistic modernity in Montreal emerged through innovative approaches to art and the artists' keen interest in a creative exploration of the city -- its neighbourhoods, architecture and atmosphere.

People in the City - An expression of leftist ideals and a progressive vision of greater social justice, the works are witness to both the inherent misery of urban life during the Great Depression and to Montreal's brimming cultural scene: leisure, entertainment, and the nightlife on the Main.

The War - World War II saw many artists from the Jewish community become actively involved in combat. They took an original approach to portraying the fundamental issues that were galvanizing the world in the fight against Hitler and fascism.

The Human Figure - The intimacy of the studio, self and family portraits all figured prominently in the desire of the artists to create living art that disassociated itself from traditional landscapes to focus instead on the human form while exploring shape, colour and emotion.

Among the artists represented are Sylvia Ary, Jack Beder, Alexander Bercovitch, Sam Borenstein, Rita Briansky, Guitta Caiserman-Roth, Eric Goldberg, Herman Heimlich, Harry Mayerovitch, Louis Muhlstock, Ernst Neumann and Moe Reinblatt.

Jewish Painters of Montreal - Witnesses of their Time, 1930-1948 is produced and its touring exhibition organized by the Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec. It is presented in Montreal by the McCord Museum with the financial support of the Ministère de la Culture, des Communications et de la Condition feminine du Québec.

Until May 2, 2010.

Opening Hours

  • Tuesday to Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Open Mondays on holiday weekends and during the summer months (From June 24 to September 6, 2010), 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Archives and Documentation Center: by appointment only,
    514-398-7100, ext 249, Tuesday to Friday, 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Note: All Museum services are offered in English and French.


The McCord is located in downtown Montreal, across from McGill University. It is accessible via McGill metro station (on the green line) or bus 24 on Sherbrooke Street. 

McCord Museum of Canadian History
690 Sherbrooke Street West
Montreal, Quebec  H3A 1E9

General Information : 514-398-7100

While there is no visitor parking at the Museum, there are parking meters and commercial parking lots close by.


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