Welcome to The Amichai Windows, a limited edition artist book of Yehuda Amichai poems. One of the great modern Hebrew poets, Amichai was often considered for the Nobel Prize in Literature and his poems have been translated into more than 30 languages.
The Amichai Windows opens a window onto love, war, and being Jewish in the 20th century in Israel and abroad. It is a visual odyssey through Jewish history as filtered through 18 Amichai poems. So far we have had a few private showings in Israel and America; here is a selection of reactions to The Amichai Windows:
“A wonderful emotional and visual window into the poetry of Yehuda Amichai.” Hana Amichai
“The noise of the world was quieted last evening and we were all given a wonderful gift.” Myra Sklarew
“An exquisite presentation of 18 Amichai poems lovingly crafted . . .” Robert Alter
“A visual and tactile feast—not only does one become immersed in the words and images but one must reveal and discover the poems, too . . . a marvelous experience and a must for fine artist book collectors.” Andi Arnovitz
“I am still in awe of the entire production. I continue to look at each poem, one by one, studying the images, with great admiration for the entire creative process.” Gary Rendsburg
“What a stunning book! The Amichai Windows is marked by so much love, care and brilliance in the spirit of the old school makers of illuminated books. Black is a spiritual artisan and visionary.” Kwame Dawes
“A phenomenal piece of work.” Yehuda Miklaf
“Rick Black has created a gorgeous, deep and richly complex piece of art that feels endless in its capacity to evoke emotions, thoughts and sensations about Amichai, Israel, Judaism, life, and what lies between words, form and matter.” Assaf Harel
“An amazing work of art.” Irene Lazar
“A wonderful book! Both Yair and I loved it. The level of craftsmanship, detail, use of materials and design are all so impressive. And for me, it’s an introduction to some poetry that I expect to explore further.” Marsha Goldberg
“Such a beautiful labor of love. You have contributed greatly to the world with your art and Amichai’s poems.” Barbara Green
“A rare treat.” Judy Hurvitz
“What an incredible undertaking—beautiful, moving, powerful.” Ed and Shelley Grossman
“A glorious match for a glorious poet.” Herman Schwartz
“Mille fois merci!” Sandy Leibowitz
It is impossible to replicate the experience of opening each poem and discovering a different world within.
Each poem is wrapped and folded in an individual, handmade paper triptych and collected in an enclosure resembling a Jerusalem window. These photo montages span millennia in terms of geographic and temporal references, including birds and flight, exile, dislocated clock hands, Jewish ritual objects and, of course, curtains and windows.
The book incorporates replicas of some of Amichai’s original, handwritten poems found among his papers at the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library. Images of Jewish history and life have been culled from archives around the world. A special introduction has been written by Hebrew literary critic and translator, Professor Robert Alter.
In the works for 10 years, the book has been issued in a limited edition of 18 copies that is meant primarily for libraries, museums and artist book collectors. All of the poems have been letterpressed and blind embossments have been hidden in the design. Gold leaf has been used to highlight some of the poems and design elements.
In our blog, we document the making of this artist book and discuss Amichai’s poetry. If you would like to receive our occasional blog posts, please just sign up in the box to the upper right. We will be letting you know of upcoming programs and exhibitions as well as reflecting on the making of this unique artist book.
For inquiries about purchasing, please contact Rick Black through the email listed on our contact page.