Issachar Ryback’s Agro-Joint Album
A portfolio commemorates JDC’s efforts to strengthen the Jewish communities of Eastern Europe during the interwar period.
In 1926, Ryback spent two months in such Jewish villages in the province of Kherson and in the Crimea. Observing Jewish farmers at work, he recorded his perspectives in this pictorial portfolio. In the forward to his album, Ryback writes of viewing “the healthy sunburnt, wind beaten men and women [who] were a perfect joy, and indeed revealed to [him] new colours.” He utilized these “new colours” in the first image of the album (at right), which depicts a laborer at rest amid his fellow workers. The vibrant, expressionistic shades are intense, casting glowing light throughout the picture as if it were a dream. After all, the images are meant to be fleeting visual impressions of a new world conveyed to Ryback, requiring original colors and proportions.
Infused with the artistic atmosphere of the period, Ryback created colorful snapshots of daily life and labor, simultaneously recording the mission of Agro-Joint.
Click here to rifle through the pages of the full album.
To learn more about Agro-Joint and see photographs from the field, view our online exhibit Beyond Relief: JDC in Interwar Ukraine and Crimea.