The three plays and the libretto in this collection were all written by Judith Weinshall Liberman when she was in her eighties. All four dramatic works are semi-autobiographical and give expression to the insight the author gained through half a century of creating visual art and of writing. The ﬁrst play, SOUL MATE, was inspired by Ms. Liberman’s collaboration with a gifted young composer on her own ﬁrst musical play. Both VINCENT’S VISIT and JUDITH AND ANNE were inspired by the author’s experience as a visual artist, especially by the years she devoted to creating her three series of artworks about the Holocaust. TO BE AN ARTIST integrates elements from VINCENT’S VISIT and JUDITH AND ANNE into a musical play in which the characters express themselves not only through frank dialogue but also in twenty lyrics which provide insight into their minds and hearts. Also included in the book are black-and-white reproductions of twenty-ﬁve of Judith Weinshall Liberman’s artworks. These reproductions are designed to help the reader better understand some of the matters discussed in the book.
Born in Haifa, Israel (then called “Palestine”), Judith Weinshall Liberman came to the United States in 1947 to pursue higher education. She earned four American university degrees, including a J.D. from the University of Chicago Law School and an LL.M. from the University of Michigan Law School. After settling in the Boston area in 1956, she studied art and creative writing. She spent most of her adult life creating visual art and is best known for her three series about the Holocaust. Her artwork has been exhibited in numerous one-person museum exhibitions and is in the collection of museums and other public institutions. Despite her devotion to creating visual art, she did, over the years, take time out to write and had ﬁve books published. She wrote her ﬁrst play while in college in the late 1940s. During the ensuing decades, other plays followed. LOOKING BACK, a book containing four of her plays, was published in 2010. ON BEING AN ARTIST is the author’s second published collection of plays and the ﬁrst to include the libretto for one of her musicals. Ms. Liberman’s archives can be found at the Smithsonian Archives of American Art and in the Special Collections Department of the Boston Public Library. Having spent half a century writing and creating visual art, Judith Weinshall Liberman is eminently qualiﬁed to oﬀer insight into the meaning of being an artist.