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Richmond Foundation program to focus on Elvis and Chagall

| Date Posted: 8/3/2015


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Vivian Jacobson

ROCKINGHAM – American pop star Elvis Presley and Russian-French artist Marc Chagall were two very different men, with very different backgrounds, very different lifestyles and very different visions of life.


Yet for Pinehurst resident Vivian Jacobson, both were men of art with much in common – especially in their reverence for religion and their ability to express the power of love in their work.


A recognized expert on Chagall’s life and work, Jacobson will discuss the parallels she has observed between the two during an upcoming complimentary lecture hosted by the FirstHealth Richmond Memorial Hospital Foundation. Scheduled for Saturday, Aug. 15, at 6 p.m. in Cole Auditorium on the campus of Richmond Community College in Hamlet, “Elvis and Chagall” will feature Presley’s music and some of Chagall’s most important art with commentary by Jacobson.


“Although they never met, Chagall, who is often referred to as the quintessential Jewish artist of the 20th century, shared striking similarities with Elvis,” says Jacobson. “The fervor of Chagall’s paintings and the energy of Elvis’ music are both electric. Both of them were born into the humblest of circumstances to mothers who had confidence in them and their early talents. Women played important roles in the lives of both men.”


The Cole Auditorium audience will hear Presley’s rendition of “Amazing Grace” while viewing Chagall’s paintings of the “Crucifixion and Resurrection.” Jacobson will also present several of Chagall’s most well-known paintings depicting lovers – “Lovers in Red Sky,” “Bella in Green” and “Bouquet with Flying Lovers” – against the background of Presley’s recording of “The Wonder of Love.”


“I fervently believe in the commonality of these two men, one a Jew, one a Christian, who came from different parts of the world and engaged in very different forms of expression,” Jacobson says, “yet each impacted the lives of millions of people through their power of their art.”


Biographies of both Presley and Chagall led Jacobson to recognize the similarities between the two men, and that inspired her to develop the multi-media program that will be presented to the Richmond County community on the eve of the 38th anniversary of Presley’s death on Aug. 16, 1977.


“I hope a strong message on the universality of all people is the message that people take home from this evening,” says Jacobson.


Long recognized for her expertise on Chagall’s artwork and history, Jacobson was appointed as Chagall speaker for the North Carolina Humanities Council Forum in 2001. She has lectured for art groups, museums, churches, synagogues, colleges and schools nationally as well as in Europe and Israel.


To register for the complimentary “Elvis and Chagall” program hosted by the FirstHealth Richmond Memorial Hospital Foundation, call (910) 695-7510 or email by Aug. 7. A reception will follow the program.


What: “Elvis and Chagall”

When: Saturday, Aug. 15, 6 p.m.

Where: Cole Auditorium, Richmond Community College Campus

Hosted by the FirstHealth Richmond Memorial Hospital Foundation, this lecture featuring the music of Elvis Presley and the art of Marc Chagall will be presented free of charge. To register, call (910) 695-7510 or email A reception will follow the program.




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