(After Isidor Kaufmann, The Son of the Miracle-Working Rabbi of Belz) Artist Ken Aptekar overlays paintings from the past with auto-biographical text from the present to help contemporary viewers think about history in relation to their own lives.

A common theme woven into contemporary work in the Spertus Institute collection is the artist's struggle to understand his Jewish identity and its impact on him as an artist and world citizen.

The design of this mezuzah was inspired by the Apollo Space Shuttle. An identical copy was taken into space by astronaut Gregory Chamitoff.


Maryan S. Maryan spent the majority of his artistic career painting solitary grotesque figures, many with hoods, animal ears, and explosions of innards. These “personnages,” as he called them, reflect the horror and trauma of his wartime experiences.

Maryan S. Maryan was born Pinchas Burstein in Nowy-Sącz, Poland, in 1927.