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Harry McCormick’s Paintings: A Unique Jewish Genre


Rabbi Lieberow and Family; oil on canvas by Harry McCormick.
Courtesy Chassidic Art Institute

Rabbi Lieberow and Family; oil on canvas by Harry McCormick. Courtesy Chassidic Art Institute

Finally in the Eldridge Street Synagogue we shift into a much more down to earth mode. Warm earth colors vibrate with luminous gold that only allows a few hints of celestial blue in the stained glass windows and painted wall above the carved ark. Our spiritual seeker seems to have come home to a synagogue in which he is not alone. He is now seen with a young mentor who will guide him. Ironically, for all of the artist’s splendid rendering of details and surfaces that place the figures in a very real physical space, the synagogue itself is tragically only a finely wrought museum, no longer used as an actual house of Jewish worship in an area almost totally bereft of religious Jews. Glorious history but precious little Jewish spirituality.

In the quest to create these impressive paintings over the last two years Harry McCormick has begun to discover many of his very real Jewish roots, both in his maternal heritage and in artistic insights to the traditions, core values and spiritual explorations prized by the Jewish people. These keystones of Jewish life unfold in his masterful Jewish Genre Paintings.

The Eldridge Street Synagogue continues to offer weekly Shabbos, Rosh HaShanna / Yom Kippur holiday services and classes under the leadership of Rabbi Abraham Laks and Mrs. Tovah Bookson.  For times and information call 917-860-3942. 

About the Author: Richard McBee is a painter and writer on Jewish Art. Contact him at rmcbee@nyc.rr.com


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