‘Jewish Giant’ Headlines New York Jewish Museum Exhibit
Eddie Carmel, dubbed “The Jewish Giant” by American photographer Diane Arbus, is the centerpiece of a new exhibit opening April 11 at The Jewish Museum in New York.
Arbus met Carmel, who was billed “The World’s Tallest Man,” at Hubert’s Dime Museum and Flea Circus in 1959 but waited until 1970 to photograph him at his parents’ home in the Bronx, according to the museum. The son of immigrants from Tel Aviv, Carmel posed for Arbus with his head bowed to keep it from hitting the ceiling while his parents looked up at him. Carmel, who was 34 when the photo was taken, died two years later.
It was this particular image of Carmel and his parents that inspired the exhibit, aptly named Masterpieces & Curiosities: Diane Arbus’s Jewish Giant.
Surrounding other images of Carmel, the show also has on display his size 24 shoes and other artifacts accrediting to what Jewish Museum curator Daniel Palmer called “the fickleness of the human body,” according to the New York Post.
Carmel was a normal child until age 15, when he began suffering from a hormonal condition that caused extreme growth. He claimed he was 9 feet tall, but no one ever measured him.
Masterpieces & Curiosities: Diane Arbus’s Jewish Giant runs until Aug. 3.