Sunday, March 19, 2017

Charlemagne Palestine’s Bear Mitzvah in Meshugahland


Norman Kleeblatt's masterfully curated show of Charlemagne Palestine's vision is full of humor. Bear Mitzvah, at the Jewish Museum, is contemplative and bursting with a rainbow of color and whimsy.

The teddy bear’s invention in 1902 by an immigrant couple in the same Brooklyn neighborhood where Palestine was born has become a near obsession for the artist. The first bear was hand sewn by Morris and Rose Michtom as a tribute to President Theodore Roosevelt following his much publicized hunting trip during which he refused to shoot a bear cub that had been readied for his aim. The incident was popularized by the prominent illustrator Clifford Berryman’s cartoons in the Washington Post. The Michtoms, along with the rest of America, became fascinated by the story and thus dubbed the newly invented toy “Teddy’s bear.” The bear’s invention quickly became a commercial and media success

Charlemagne Palestine’s Bear Mitzvah in Meshugahland, March 17 - August 6, 2017. The Jewish Museum, NY.