Marshall Weber

My Bar Mitzvah Album (unique)

Marshall Weber

My Bar Mitzvah Album (unique)



Edition Size



Collage, Hand-painting, Ink, Natural Pigments


Leather case, half


Artist Book


10.5 × 9 × 2 in


Brooklyn, NY


$ 4,800.00


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Bainbridge Island Museum of Art

2011, unique, 22 pages, 10.5 x 9 x 2 inches, photo-collage, paint, ink, copy printing

This book uses the original documentation of my Judaic ‘coming to manhood’, ‘leaving childhood’ ritual as the basic terrain where my identities as a son, brother, child, political radical, Jewish-American, artist, and American collide. Childhood is a canvas of nostalgia, supposed innocence, confusion, maturing, separation from parents and their beliefs. Adolescence exponentially raises the bar on the traumas of growing up and growing old. Our families and our countries provide the identities, which we both embrace and refute. Bar Mitzvah is a remix of my life, a time machine that travels back and forth trying to make some sense of it all.

I have taken my original Bar Mitzvah photo album from 1973 (photographs taken by Richard Schaller of West Hartford, Connecticut), combined it with:

– my Haftorah book (the book one studies in Hebrew to learn the scripture that one recites during one’s Bar Mitzvah ceremony),
– other childhood papers, including my 1968 drawings of the Apollo spacecraft, handwritten reports of mine from elementary school
– iconic materials from my adolescence: 45RPM vinyl records, the receipt from my first hotel room experience, love notes to girlfriends, pages from my high school yearbook,
– Peter Handke’s poem “Childhood” (in German and English), perhaps best known as the lead text in Wim Wenders “Wings of Desire” film, my favorite film and one of my favorite texts, (the film is about coming to manhood as well)
– writing from my then seven-year-old daughter, and her friend Milo
– various elements of cultural interface, Catholic imagery from my grand tour of Italy,   
– Islamic calligraphy contrasted with wild style graffiti
– photographs of the 1800’s New York home streets of my American ‘ancestors’ and other enigmatic materials.

Materials: ink, turmeric pigment, photographs, photo-copy, various