Fryderyk Kleinmann’s drawings enriched the POLIN Museum collection

Fryderyk (Fryc) Kleinmann (1897–1943), a painter, caricaturist, and stage designer was among the most interesting figures in the artistic circles of Lvov. 

The fact that few original works by Kleinmann have been preserved until today in the collections both in Poland and abroad makes the two drawings from the “Hershele Ostropoler” series inspired by the Jewish folklore all the more precious. The drawings—very expressive, grotesque and mysterious at the same time—illustrate the famous tale of the small-town Jewish impoverished prankster and wanderer who was famous for his extraordinary wit. The anecdotes about Hershele’s adventures, originally passed on orally during daily fairs, became highly popular in the 19th century after they had been published in Yiddish, Polish and German. 

The purchase of these precious drawings, until recently considered missing, was possible thanks to the support of the Association of the Jewish Historical Institute of Poland.