Robert Kirschbaum – The 42-Letter Name


c. 2009
edition of: 20
dimensions: 12.75 x 9.75 x 2

Inspired by the Sefer Yetzirah – The Book of Formation — The 42-Letter Name is a visual commentary on concepts found in early Jewish mysticism relating to The Creation. Its structure is based on one of the secret names of God, found on some Jewish amulets, and said to be derived from a nearly 2,000 year-old Jewish prayer. The 42-Letter Name also draws inspiration from Russian constructivist art, South Asian art traditions, and the artist’s memories of being prepared for entry into adulthood in the Jewish tradition, while studying drafting in a middle school shop class.


paper, ink, thread, cloth

About the artist:

Robert Kirschbaum received his MFA degree from Yale University in 1974, and undergraduate degrees from the University of Rochester and the Boston Museum School. The recipient of numerous grants and awards, including three Fulbright awards, and a NYFA Artist’s Fellowship, he has exhibited and lectured throughout the United States and abroad. Kirschbaum has held teaching positions at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville, and Montclair State University in New Jersey. He is currently Professor of Fine Arts at Trinity College in Hartford.


Robert Kirschbaum – The 42-Letter Name