Tuesday, March 28, 2017

"Escape with Torah" by Willy Gordon
(1918-2003), bronze sculpture by Stockholm
 Great Synagogue on Wahrendorffsgatan
in Stockholm in Sweden.
The sculpture depicts a Jew
 escaping with the Torah scrolls. 

(1918 – 2003)

Willy Gordon (1918 – 2003) was a Swedish-Jewish sculptor and artist. Gordon was born at Ringen in the Russian gubernia of Courland (present day Reņģe, Ruba parish, Saldus Municipality, Latvia) and emigrated with his family to Malmö in 1925, Sweden when he was seven years old. 

He studied sculpture by Nils Sjögren, at the Royal University College of Fine Arts (Konsthögskolan) in Stockholm and later with the Russian artist in exile, Ossip Zadkine in Paris.

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Ossip Zadkine (1890 - 1967)

Gordon was active in Stockholm for a major part of his life, and there about a dozen of his public sculptures can be found. For example, ”Wives” in the Fruängen centre (1968), ”Living ore" in Karlavägen street in the district of Österhalm in Stockholm and "Flight with the Torah" outside the Great Synagogue, in Stockholm's inner city. In Malmö a monument created by Gordon exists at the cemetery to commemorate all the victims of the Holocaust.

He also created statues of famous people such as the one for tenor Jussi Björling that is exhibited at the Björling Museum in Borlänge, Evert Taube playing the lute (1990) at the Evert Taube terrace in Riddarholmen or a sculpture of Nobel prize laureate Selma Lagerlöf called The Crystal of Pain (Swedish: Smärtans Kristall) in Farsta.

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Gordon also created a monument in honour of Swedish diplomat Raoul Wallenberg in Lidingö, an island outside Stockholm. Wallenberg is famous for saving tens of thousands of Hungarian Jews during the Nazi Holocaust.