Michel Fingesten bookplate

CU’s Stimilli on Artist Michel Fingesten plus Charming Hostess

CU’s Week of Jewish Culture concludes this week with two special events celebrating Jewish-Italian culture.

Michel Fingesten bookplate
A bookplate from the Fingesten Collection at CU Boulder

On Wednesday March 7 at 7:00 pm Davide Stimilli, associate professor of German and Comparative Literature and Jewish Studies, will present a lecture on the life and work of Jewish-Italian bookplate artist Michel Fingesten (1884-1943).

In March 2011, Stimilli recommended the purchase of a large collection of Fingesten’s works, including 154 items, that had been assembled by an unknown collector, possibly bibliophile Fridolf Johnson, editor of the American Artist Magazine. The CU Art Museum purchased this collection with funds generously provided by donors to the Program in Jewish Studies, and the Fingesten Collection is now part of the CU Art Museum’s Permanent Collection.

Michel Fingesten (originally Michl Finkelstein) was born in 1884 in the village of Buckovice (Buczkowitz), Silesia, in the Habsburg Empire, now part of the Czech Republic, from a Czech-Jewish father and an Italian-Jewish mother, and died in 1943 in Cerisano, Southern Italy, after the liberation by the allies of the camp in which he had been interned since 1941. He was one of the most original and productive graphic artists and bookplate designers of the twentieth century, especially noted for his Surrealist and Cubist influenced prints and paintings that capture the darkening mood of Europe associated with Fascism, Nazism, and World War II.

This lecture will introduce the work of this extraordinary artist and the collection at the CU Art Museum. Selections from the Fingesten Collection are on view at the CU Art Museum Lobby through March 9. The CU Art Museum will be open until 7:00 pm on Wednesday, March 7 to allow for viewing prior to the lecture.

Charming Hostess Performs at CU March 8 at 7:30 PM

On Thursday, March 8 at 7:30 pm in the ATLAS Center Black Box Theater we are excited to present a rockin’ performance with the “nerdy-sexy-commie-girly” band, Charming Hostess. Their music has been described as both physical and intellectual, using voices, vocal percussion, handclaps, heartbeats, sex-breath and silence to explore such topics as the Bosnian genocide in their album Sarajevo Blues and the political/erotic nexus of Walter Benjamin and his Marxist muse in Trilectic. Both of these works were released on John Zorn’s Radical Jewish series on Tzadik. L.A. Weekly described Charming Hostess “as the finest anarchist-feminist-polyphonic-polyrhythmic-polymorphously perverse-balkan-blue-ish-Jewish-freak-funk-punk band working in America today. Their live shows are as fabulous and eccentric as their music.”

This special Purim performance with Charming Hostess is inspired by the life and work of the Italian anti-facists Natalia and Leone Ginzburg.  Exploring their journeys of love, resistance, exile and liberation, this concert will feature new music composed and developed from the writings of the Ginzburgs as well as from the Italian regional traditions of Turin, Abruzzo and Rome, places central to their lives. This performance will also feature music from Italian Jewish liturgy, the oldest and most remote in Europe, as well as anti-fascist songs, and work chants to resistance anthems. Tickets are $5 for students, $10 for general public in advance or $15 at the door.  Tickets can be purchased on-line at www.brownpapertickets.com/event/226563. This concert will be held in the ATLAS Center Black Box Theater.  Seating is limited.  We are also excited to announce this concert has been selected to be taped for a joint production between the ATLAS Center and Colorado’s Public Broadcast System.

For questions or additional information, contact the Program in Jewish Studies at 303.492.7143 or via email at Jamie.Polliard@colorado.edu. Complete details about CU’s Week of Jewish Culture can also be found at jewishstudies.colorado.edu

About Jamie Polliard

Assistant Director of the Program in Jewish Studies at the University of Colorado at Boulder

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One comment

  1. Hi: I love Michael Fingesten. I wish I was able to catch Professor Stamilli's talk in March but I could not get free to catch a flight that week. I am still hoping it will get put onto a podcast or the like. Please let me know. Thanx, Herman Kalfen