1909 Studied art in Paris at the Academie Julian.

1913 Studied art in Krakow.

1914 Visited Palestine with young Polish-Jewish artists and writers.

1914 Enlisted in the Russian Army.

1916 Married Julia Liekerman.

1917 Birth of Arthur and Julia's first child, George.

1919-20 Artistic Director of the Department of Propaganda for the army in Lodz. Served in Polish Army as an officer in war against Russian Bolsheviks.

1919 Rewolucja w Niemczech [Revolution in Germany] was published, one of Szyk’s first illustrated books, a satirical commentary on post-World War I Germany.

1921 Moved to Paris. During the next ten years, while in Paris, Szyk illustrated several French books, such as Le Livre D'Esther, La Tentation de Saint Antoine, Le Juif Qui Rit, and Le Puits de Jacob [The Book of Esther, The Temptation of St. Anthony, The Jew who Laughs, The Well of Jacob.]

1922 Exhibited at Paris' Galeries A. Decour, the first of four one-man exhibitions in France.

Birth of second child, Alexandra.

1924 Commissioned by French government to paint portrait of the Pasha of Marrakesh. Szyk and his wife spent seven weeks in Morocco.

1926 Began 2-years of work on his 45-page illumination of the Statute of Kalisz, the "Jewish Magna Carta," the thirteenth-century "Bill of Rights" for the Jews of Poland.

1931 At the invitation of the League of Nations, Szyk began the illumination of the League Covenant. Though unfinished, it was exhibited in Geneva. Awarded Gold Cross of Merit by the Polish government in honor of exhibitions abroad at the Musee Galliera in Paris and the Musee d'Art et d'Histoire in Geneva.


1931 (cont) Began series of 38 miniatures dealing with the American Revolution entitled Washington and His Times. These would be purchased by President Moscicki of Poland, and presented by him to President Franklin D. Roosevelt. Now in the Collection of the FDR Library in Hyde Park, New York.

Early 1930s Traveled extensively throughout Poland, London and North America. Visit to the United States coincided with exhibition of Washington and his Times at the Library of Congress. In honor of the Bicentennial of Washington's birth, Szyk was presented The George Washington Medal.

1932 Statute of Kalisz published.

1934 Returned to Poland to continue work on illuminations for The Haggadah begun in the mid-1920s.

1937 Settled in London. Supervised printing of The Haggadah. When published in 1940, it was dedicated to George VI, the King of England, who was presented with the first copy.

September 1939 Germany invaded Poland. Szyk turned his attention to anti-fascist cartoons, satires, and caricatures to fight oppression and tyranny.

July 1940 Szyk toured his works in Canada and then the United States at the suggestion of Great Britain and Poland in order to heighten American awareness of the war in Europe.

May 1941 Exhibited his work to aid British-American Ambulance Corps.

1941 Published The New Order in July 1941, one of the earliest books published in America to feature World War II anti-fascist caricatures.

1943 Szyk's 70-year-old mother and her Polish companion were taken from the Lodz Ghetto in Poland and murdered in Maidanek Concentration Camp (near Lublin.) In the mid-1940s, Szyk worked on behalf of the Emergency Committee to Save the Jewish People of Europe, becoming, according to writer Ben Hecht, a "one-man art department" for the Irgun, a militant pro-Jewish group in Palestine.

1945-49 Following the war in 1945, while continuing his work for a Jewish State in Palestine, Szyk returned to the art of illumination and book illustration; works included Andersen's Fairy Tales, Pathways Through the Bible, The Ten Commandments, and several commissions for the Limited Editions Club. Received major commission to produce The United Nations Series from Canadian entrepreneur and stamp connoisseur, Kasimir Bileski. Ink & Blood was published in 1946.

1948 Illuminated Declaration of the Establishment of the State of Israel.

May 22, 1948 Received American citizenship.

July 4, 1950 Public dedication of illuminated Declaration of Independence in his town of residence, New Canaan, Connecticut.

April 1951 Investigated by the House Un-American Activities Committee for being an assumed member of a Communist front organization. His son, George, responded on Szyk's behalf to Judge Simon Rifkind, asserting his father's non-affiliation with any Communist organization.

September 13, 1951 Died of a heart attack at 57, possibly due to the stress of the investigation.



Courtesy of Spertus Museum, Chicago

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