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Yale University Library News, Events and Exhibits: Illuminating Tales: The Art of Mark Podwal Illuminating Tales: The Art of Mark Podwal

Many original works by renowned artist Mark Podwal are currently on display as part of an enticing new exhibit in Sterling Memorial Library. “Illuminating Tales: The Art of Mark Podwal” is being co-sponsored by Yale University Library’s Judaica and Arts of the Book Collections, both housed in Sterling Memorial Library. Podwal, a native New Yorker who is also Clinical Associate Professor of Dermatology at New York University School of Medicine, was a gifted artist even as a child. As he states in his own words,

"It started with an illness, perhaps just a 'bad cold’ that caused me to miss the first days of kindergarten. As a result, my name was not on the class roster. When my teacher read out the attendance list, as she did every morning, my name was never called. Until the day my teacher noticed my drawing of a train, I was invisible to her. And so it seemed to me, at the age of five, that my existence depended on my art."

Podwal has certainly enjoyed a prestigious career so far. His drawings have appeared in the New York Times since 1972. He has authored and illustrated a number of books including Jerusalem Sky, A Book of Hebrew Letters, A Jewish Bestiary and A Sweet Year. He has also collaborated with such authors as Elie Wiesel, Cynthia Ozick, Francine Klagsbrun and Francine Prose. While noted for his drawings and gouache acrylic paintings, Podwal has also been involved in special projects that include designs for the Congressional Gold Medal presented by President Reagan to Elie Wiesel, an Aubusson tapestry in collaboration with Gloria Ross for Temple Emanu-El in New York City and a seder plate for the Metropolitan Museum of Art. His art has been exhibited in solo exhibitions at the Jewish Museum in Prague, the Skirball Museum in Los Angeles, the Israel Museum in Jerusalem, among others. His work is in the collections of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Victoria and Albert Museum, the Harvard Fogg Museum, the Carnegie Museum of Art, among many others. He is represented by Forum Gallery. Currently, he is being honored by Random House Publishers as the “Kids' Author Spotlight of the month” for August 2005. Harold Bloom has written, "Mark Podwal, in every sense, is an illuminator.”

The exhibit includes original paintings, drawings, and prints, many of which were used as book illustrations. Books including the work of Podwal and other media to which his artwork has been adapted are also on display. The exhibit includes a section highlighting some of the books Podwal illustrated for Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, Elie Wiesel. A special reception to celebrate the exhibit and the art of Mark Podwal will be held on September 27th from 4-5pm in the Sterling Memorial Library lecture hall. Elie Wiesel will be attending the event and giving a few remarks to honor his great friend. The exhibit is open to the public until the end of October.

For further information about the exhibit or reception, please contact: or

"Come and Read" (page 51) from Wiesel, Elie. King Solomon and His Magic Ring. New York: Greenwillow Books, 1999.

Location: SML

Start Date: 8/19/05


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Page Last Updated: 4/23/2014
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