Jewish Historical Society of Greater Washington | Lillian & Albert Small Jewish Museum

Collections: Objects of the Month

September 2010: Jewish New Years card, 1909

Rosh Hashanah card, 1909Archives Record
Object #: 1997.06.1
Donor: Edith and Charles Pascal
Description: Rosh Hashanah pop-up card featuring welcomed immigrants, 6" x 3.5" (1.75" deep when pop-up is unfolded), 1909

Background:
The central image on this Rosh Hashanah pop-up card is known as "Finding Refuge in America." Attributed to Joseph Keller, the original chromolithograph is in the collections of the Jewish Theological Seminary's Library.

In the illustration, American Jews (left) await their East European brethren who are seeking refuge. Above, at the left is an eagle bearing a crest of the stars and stripes and holding a banner with words from King David's plea, "Hide me in the shadow of your wings [from the wicked who oppress me]." A second eagle on the right has two heads and clutches a crown and scepter, symbolizing Czarist Russia.

Embossed chromolithographs were used by publishing companies to create elaborate greeting cards such as this. They were also purchased by individuals as collectibles or for use in constructing personal cards. This particular card is a pop-up card: the lower third of the card folds forward, forming a base and the image of the people pops out, displaying the "bronze" candelabra at right, a bit of greenery (hidden when the card is closed) and more of the blue-and-white house seen at the top of the card.

Do you have special greeting cards that you'd like to donate to the archival collection? Contact us at info@jhsgw.org or (202) 789-0900.