De’Via and Deaf Jewish Art
Within the Western ranking system for culture, a more or less constant canon of classic works of art testifies "high culture". Whenever the artistic production of minorities enters the canon, the works tend to have served identity formation. What about visual Deaf Art, especially Deaf Jewish Art? This report covers the biographies and presents the works of Richard Lieberman (1900-1966), Rudolf Franz Hartogh (1889-1960), David Bloch (1910-2002) and other German Deaf Jewish artists. These artists had survived the Holocaust and left us a wealth of works exposing particular features they have in common. Do we encounter a new artistic direction in these works to be defined as modern Deaf Jewish art? A comparison with modern and post-modern Jewish Deaf artists outside of Germany, for example the former Russian Alexei Svetlov (1964), the Israeli Uzi Buzgalo (1956), the Polish Deaf Jewish artist Maurice Minkowski (1881-1931) help us to arrive at the conclusion that modern Deaf Jewish art did exist in Germany before the Holocaust although it was only afterwards that the minority aspect of the Holocaust experience was foregrounded. Until now the study of these artists has been absolutely ignored by the German Deaf community and by art historians in general.