Podwal, Mark 1945- (Mark H. Podwal)

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Podwal, Mark 1945- (Mark H. Podwal)


Born June 8, 1945, in Brooklyn, NY; son of Milton (a restaurant owner) and Dorothy (a homemaker) Podwal; married Ayalah Siev-or (an artist and jeweler), March, 1977; children: Michael, Ariel. Education: Queens College of the City University of New York, B.A., 1967; New York University, M.D., 1970. Religion: Jewish.


Home—Harrison, NY. Office—55 E. 73rd St., New York, NY 10021. E-mail—[email protected].


Artist and illustrator. New York University, New York, NY, clinical associate professor of dermatology, 1974—. Associate attending physician, Tisch University Hospital and Bellevue Hospital, both 1974—. U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, member of Committee on Collections and Acquisitions and Committee on Art in Public Spaces. Exhibitions: Work in solo and group exhibitions across the United States; work represented in permanent collections, including Metropolitan Museum of Art, Victoria and Albert Museum, Israel Museum, U.S. Library of Congress, Skirball Museum, and New York City's Jewish Museum. Military service: U.S. Army Reserve, 1970-76; became captain.


American Academy of Dermatology (fellow).


Award of excellence, Society of Newspaper Design, 1989, for a drawing in the New York Times; decorated officer, French Order of Arts and Letters, 1996; Sidney Taylor Award Honor Book, Association of Jewish Libraries, 1996, for Dybbuk, and 1998, for You Never Know; Aesop Prize, American Folklore Society, and silver medal, Society of Illustrators, both 1999, for King Solomon and His Magic Ring; Washington Irving Children's Choice Award Honor Book, Westchester Library Association, 2000, for You Never Know; honorary D.H.L., Hebrew College, Newton Centre, MA.



(Under name Mark H. Podwal) The Decline and Fall of the American Empire, introduction by Peter Fonda, Darien House (New York, NY), 1971.

Let My People Go: A Haggadah, introduction by Theodore Bikel, Darien House (New York, NY), 1972.

Freud's da Vinci, Images Graphiques (New York, NY), 1977.

A Book of Hebrew Letters, Jewish Publication Society (Philadelphia, PA), 1977, Jason Aronson (Northvale, NJ), 1992.

A Jewish Bestiary: A Book of Fabulous Creatures Drawn from Hebraic Legend and Lore, Jewish Publication Society (Philadelphia, PA), 1985.

The Book of Tens, Greenwillow Books (New York, NY), 1994.

Golem: A Giant Made of Mud, Greenwillow Books (New York, NY), 1995.

Židovskésny = Jewish Dreams, Židovské Muzeum Praha (Prague, Czechoslovakia), 1997.

The Menorah Story, Greenwillow Books (New York, NY), 1998.

A Sweet Year: A Taste of the Jewish Holidays, Random House Children's Books (New York, NY), 2003.

Jerusalem Sky: Stars, Crosses, and Crescents, Doubleday Books for Young Readers (New York, NY), 2005.

Doctored Drawings, Bellevue Literary Press, 2007.

Built by Angels: The Oldest Synagogue, Harcourt (Orlando, FL), 2008.

Contributor to periodicals.


The Book of Lamentations, National Council on Art in Jewish Life (New York, NY), 1974.

Paul Simon, Paul Simon: New Songs, Knopf (New York, NY), 1975.

Francine Klagsbrun, Voices of Wisdom, Pantheon (New York, NY), 1979.

Elie Wiesel, The Golem, Summit Books (New York, NY), 1983.

Howard Schwartz, The Captive Soul of the Messiah, Schocken (New York, NY), 1983.

The Elie Wiesel Collection, fourteen volumes, Bibliophile Library (New York, NY), 1985-88.

Elie Wiesel, Six Days of Destruction, Paulist Press (New York, NY), 1988.

Elie Wiesel, A Passover Haggadah, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 1993.

Francine Prose, Dybbuk: A Story Made in Heaven, Greenwillow Books (New York, NY), 1993.

A Passover Seder Presented by Elie Wiesel (video), Time Warner (New York, NY), 1994.

Francine Klagsbrun, Jewish Days: A Book of Jewish Life and Culture around the Year, Farrar, Straus & Giroux (New York, NY), 1996.

Francine Prose, The Angel's Mistake: Stories of Chelm, Greenwillow Books (New York, NY), 1997.

Francine Prose, You Never Know: A Legend of the Lamed-Vavniks, Greenwillow Books (New York, NY), 1998.

Elie Wiesel, Le Golem: Legende d'une legende, Bibliophane (Paris, France), 1998.

Ileene Smith Sobel, Moses and the Angels, introduction by Elie Wiesel, Delacorte Press (New York, NY), 1999.

Elie Wiesel, King Solomon and His Magic Ring, Greenwillow Books (New York, NY), 1999.

Francine Prose, The Demons' Mistake: A Story from Chelm, Greenwillow Books (New York, NY), 2000.

Harold Bloom, Fallen Angels, Yale University Press (New Haven, CT), 2007.

Contributor of illustrations to periodicals in the United States and abroad.


Mark Podwal told CA: "It started with an illness, perhaps just a ‘bad cold,’ that caused me to miss the first days of kindergarten. As a result, my name was not on the class roster. When my teacher read out the attendance list, as she did every morning, my name was never called. I participated in whatever my classmates were instructed to do, but, until the day my teacher noticed my drawing of a train, I was invisible to her. And so it seemed to me, at the age of five, that my existence depended on my art.

"Though I loved to draw, I never pursued formal art training, and eventually my parents encouraged me to become a physician. But while attending medical school, my passion for drawing once again crept in: the tumultuous events of the 1960s compelled me to create a series of political drawings that were published as my first book. These images were brought to the attention of an art director at the New York Times and, in 1972, my first drawing appeared on the ‘Op-Ed’ page of that newspaper. That drawing of the Munich massacre was later included in an exhibition at the Louvre in Paris.

"My pictures are full of ‘unexpected juxtapositions’ like a book growing on a tree or a constellation made of fruits. Prior to illustrating for children, I had only drawn in black and white. Nowadays I prefer working in color.

"How I came to write and illustrate my first children's book is a story in itself. In 1994, when the rabbi of my synagogue was planning his winter vacation, he asked me to give the Friday evening sermon. When I asked what the weekly Torah reading was, he told me ‘The Ten Commandments.’ Consequently, the following week I addressed the congregation for ten minutes on the significance of the number ten in Judaism. My two young sons, Michael and Ariel, liked the talk so much that they urged me to expand it into a book for children. The result was The Book of Tens.

"Neither from a religious family nor observant, I nonetheless derive continuing inspiration from my heritage. Fascinated by Jewish history, moved by its teachings, enchanted by its legends and folklore, and delighted by Yiddish proverbs, I have attempted through my work to enliven its traditions, wisdom, beauty, and wit in a visual way.

"Still pursuing my parallel career as a physician, I have been fortunate to see my art exhibited in major museums, animated for television, and woven into a tapestry to adorn the largest synagogue in the world, to design ceramic plates and jewelry for the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and to collaborate on numerous projects with Nobel laureate Elie Wiesel. Perhaps it all springs from missing those first few days of kindergarten and needing my drawings to say that I am here."



Booklist, October 1, 1999, Hazel Rochman, review of King Solomon and His Magic Ring, p. 372; August, 2000, Hazel Rochman, review of The Demons'Mistake: A Story from Chelm, p. 2144; October 1, 2003, Ellen Mandel, review of A Sweet Year: A Taste of the Jewish Holidays, p. 334; October 1, 2005, Ilene Cooper, review of Jerusalem Sky: Stars, Crosses, and Crescents, p. 68.

Kirkus Reviews, August 1, 2005, review of Jerusalem Sky, p. 856.

Publishers Weekly, July 26, 1999, review of King Solomon and His Magic Ring, p. 83; August 28, 2000, review of The Demons' Mistake, p. 83.

School Library Journal, October, 2000, Teri Markson, review of The Demons' Mistake, p. 152; August, 2003, Susan Pine, review of A Sweet Year, p. 151; September, 2005, Susan Scheps, review of Jerusalem Sky, p. 195.


Mark Podwal Home Page,http://www.markpodwal.com (February 23, 2008).