All Around the House
Photographs of American-Jewish Communal Life
Paperback, 96 pages
In the stillness of these images one can hear the silent cries of exile, the anguished whispers of “Who am I? Who was I?” American photographer Wolke presents an entirely different view of the Jewish experience: his color photographs, exhibited this year at the Art Institute of Chicago (this book is the catalog), show Jews of Chicago and its suburbs, full of life and passion, glorying in their communal life: a baby’s bris, men reading the Torah, boys at a morning service, a Passover seder, Chanukah candle lighting. As University of Chicago art historian Joel Snyder remarks in his introduction, Wolke’s snapshot-like photographs allow “a view of the complex culture of a people whose devotion to the past everywhere intersects with the anxieties and pressures and pleasures of the present.” These two very different documentary volumes are highly recommended for both Judaica and photography collections.