Marc Chagall: An Artful Life

Temple University

Matthew Palczynski holds a Ph.D. in art history and has been teaching at Temple University’s Tyler School of Art since 2004, where his focus is on vanguard art post-1850. He has lectured extensively at colleges, including the University of Pennsylvania and Stanford University, and for organizations such as The Barnes Foundation, Road Scholar, Chicago’s Museum of Contemporary Art, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and the Art Institute of Chicago.



Throughout Marc Chagall’s long career, his work retained a kind of youthful exuberance–one of the many reasons his imagery is so beloved. His scenes reflect the many important historical and artistic moments he experienced, including both World Wars and Paris at the heyday of Cubism. Along the way he merged subjects and themes recollected from a childhood in modern-day Belarus with the complexities inspired by the avant-garde communities around him, ultimately visualizing a world filled with love, wonder, and imagination.



Chagall: A Biography, by Jackie Wullschlager

Marc Chagall ex. cat., San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, 2003

Marc Chagall: My Life, by Marc Chagall



  1. In which ways was Chagall an innovator?
  2. What role did his Jewish identity play in his work?
  3. What are some of Chagall’s most important works?




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Doug Schallau


The professor seemed to know the subject

2 months ago
Maggie Olmstead


I learned a lot about Chagall, about whom i knew very little before. I especially like the encouragement to respond to his art (and all art) at a variety of levels: intellectual, historical, emotional, etc.

1 month ago
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