Greetings, Saul Steinberg: Crown Center Exhibit Highlights Work of Jewish Artist

Greetings, Saul Steinberg

As a complement to the Auschwitz: Not long ago. Not far away. exhibition at Union Station, the Hallmark Art Collection presents Greetings, Saul Steinberg, a free art exhibit featuring original mixed-media drawings by Saul Steinberg at Crown Center.

Perhaps best known for his cover illustrations for The New Yorker magazine, Steinberg (1914-1999) was born to a Jewish family in Romania. He trained as an architect in Milan, Italy, during the 1930s, and while there, he began drawing cartoons for an Italian humor newspaper. Steinberg fled Europe in 1941 to escape persecution. According to the Saul Steinberg Foundation, he provided anti-Fascist cartoons for various publications during World War II.

While living in the U.S., Steinberg illustrated for a number of magazines and collaborated with many companies who featured his memorable illustrations on their products, including Hallmark Cards in Kansas City.

Erin Dodson, curator of the Hallmark Art Collection, reviewed and selected Steinberg’s art pieces for this exhibit.

“This is a great chance to see these works, which are not often on view publicly,” said Dodson. “We have not exhibited this many Steinberg works together since we shared a traveling show in the 1980s.”

During Steinberg’s long partnership with Hallmark, he created more than 100 pieces for greeting cards, calendars, and gift products. The original artworks used to create those products are now part of the Hallmark Art Collection. In the Greetings, Saul Steinberg art exhibition, visitors can see a selection of 27 original drawings and mixed media works from the 1950s and 1960s, as well as historic Hallmark products featuring Steinberg’s work.

“Learning about Steinberg’s early career, the difficulty he encountered as a Jewish person in Europe in the 1930s, and his eventual immigration to the United States was really interesting,” Dodson said. “I think it helps us understand his artwork better, and why he focused on the idiosyncrasies and peculiarities of humanity. His curiosity and sense of humor, which are apparent in these works, are very inspiring.”

The Greetings, Saul Steinberg exhibit runs through Sept. 6, 2021, in the Gallery at 2450 on Level 2 of the Crown Center Shops. Hours: Monday – Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Sunday and holidays, noon to 5 p.m. Admission is free. Visit CrownCenter.com or call 816-274-8444 for more information.

KC Studio

KC Studio covers the performing, visual, cinematic and literary arts, and the artists, organizations and patrons that make Kansas City a vibrant center for arts and culture.

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