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Steve Marcus: Top Dog of Kosher Pop Art

  • Art
  1. Museum at Eldridge Street
    Photograph: Courtesy of Museum at Eldridge Street
  2. Museum at Eldridge Street
    Photograph: Courtesy of Museum at Eldridge Street
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Time Out says

New Yorkers have got Jews to thank for the beloved hot dog.

Back in 1870, German-Jewish immigrant Charles Feltman started selling Frankfurt-style pork-and-beef sausages out of a pushcart on Coney Island and, since the food wasn't exactly neat, he thought of serving them inside of soft buns. (That's how the sausage became the hot dog, actually!)

Just a couple of years later, a fellow German-Jewish immigrant, Isaac Gellis, opened a kosher butcher shop on the Lower East Side, where he began selling an all-beef version of the German-style sausage—since pork isn't kosher.

Fast-forward to today and the hot dog has become part and parcel of American culture, the ideal subject for a new exhibit mounted at the Museum at Eldrige Street exploring the food's history through the eyes of artist Steve Marcus. 

According to a press release, "Steve Marcus: Top Dog of Kosher Pop Art" specifically dissects "Jewish life and immigrant culture through works on paper, a wooden sculpture, and selections from Marcus’s personal collection of New York City hot dog memorabilia."

The museum will also host a variety of related programs and tours throughout the run of the exhibit, which debuts on May 12 and is scheduled to close on November 6.

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