Skip to main content Smithsonian Institution

Catalog Data

Kurtz, Aaron  Search this
Physical description:
1 phonograph record : analog, 33 1/3 rpm ; 12 in
Jews  Search this
Phonograph records
Cover design by Irwin Rosenhouse.
Marc Chagall (1887 - 1985) and Aaron Kurtz (1891 - 1964) had much in common. In addition to having been born just four years apart, both were originally from Hasidic Jewish communities near the small Russian city of Vitebsk (now in Belarus), and spent at least some of their adulthood in the U.S. (although Chagall spent most of his adulthood based in France.) Since much of the art of Chagall reflects - through the eyes of a "modernist" painter influenced by cubism - the folk culture of East European Jewry of his youth, poet Aaron Kurtz was intimately familiar with what Chagall was portraying in his quasi-realistic paintings or in the other media he employed, such as stained glass and ceramics. Aaron Kurtz, who edited a journal of Yiddish poetry and wrote various poems and books of poetry, wrote the book "Marc Chagall" - an extended poem based on the imagery and life of Chagall - in 1947, from which Mr. Kurtz reads excerpts on this recording. He peppers his recitation with excerpts of Yiddish songs, often modifying the lyrics to relate to Chagall and his imagery. Liner notes contain a transcript of the Yiddish along with a complete English translation plus black-and-white illustrations by Chagall.
Text of poem in English and Hebrew in booklet (16 p. : ill.) inserted in original container.
Written and performed by Aaron Kurtz.
Related materials may be found in the Moses and Frances Asch Collection, also held by this repository. Related materials may include correspondence between the studio, producers, and/or performers; original cover art designs; original production materials; business records; and audiotapes from studio production.
Track information:
101. Part 1
201. Part 2
Publisher number:
FL 9949 Folkways Records
Repository Loc.:
Smithsonian Institution, Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage, Ralph Rinzler Folklife Archives and Collections, 600 Maryland Ave., S.W., Suite 2001, Washington, D.C. 20024. Call 202-633-7322 for appointment. Fax: 202-633-7019. Email:
Yiddish poetry  Search this
Oral interpretation of poetry  Search this
Local number:
Folkways 9949
Restrictions & Rights:
Restrictions on access
See more items in:
Folkways Records Collection 1948-1986
Data Source:
Ralph Rinzler Folklife Archives and Collections