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  • The Jewish Museum - Collection - Six Prayers, 1965-66
    artist designer writer and teacher Albers elevated textiles from utilitarian product to a medium of powerful aesthetic statement Born into an assimilated Jewish family in Berlin Albers studied weaving before immigrating to America with her husband Josef a painter and instructor at the Bauhaus School As a student at the Bauhaus Anni learned from Paul Klee the expressive liberties of the formal grid and in the fabrics of ancient Andean cultures she recognized a powerful visual language Albers developed her own style of pictorial weavings which she mounted on linen bases and framed elevating textile to a pure aesthetic Her Holocaust memorial Six Prayers achieves both universality and intimacy and gently though powerfully provokes the viewer into private contemplation Albers s elegy is composed of six vertical tapestries woven of beige black white and silver While the use of so limited and somber a palette might call attention to the problem of differentiation in response to mass murder Albers varies the weave allowing one of these colors to dominate in each of the six panels thereby giving each segment a unique tone Against the structural grid of warp and weft Albers sets meandering threads of black and white whose spontaneous irregularity is suggestive of an individual will or individual wills charting some personal terrain across an imposed order of overlapping verticals and horizontals Poised within the restrained quiet of abstraction these ambling filaments are texts that spread across the scroll like tapestries transcending the limited utterances of verbal language for a more universal elegy Words are at once evoked and denied by the appearance and disappearance of these threads Though the six commemorative stelae are solemn in their monumentality there is an intimacy to the tapestries Weaving which consists of the intertwining of disparate threads symbolically suggests the process of tikkun or social repair Wilhelm Worringer a theorist whom Albers much admired in her Bauhaus days wrote in Abstraction and Empathy that beauty in representational art derives from our sense of being able to identify with an object which reflects our confidence in the world as it is Abstract art by contrast is the result of our insecurity and alienation from a world in which we can no longer comfortably envision ourselves or empathize with others When conceiving of her Holocaust memorial Albers may have meant to evoke something of Worringer s sense of anxiety and loss Yet Albers who devoted her life to developing the language of abstraction believed in the potential of nonobjective art to reach beyond the communicative capacities of the representational In mediating between abstraction and the suggestion of script and between the assertiveness of art that is framed and hung on the wall and the intimacy of entwining threads Albers creates a place of rest something in between the world of things and the transcendental unknown Her woven textiles not only elicit thought and hope they are themselves six prayers Source Berger Maurice et al MASTERWORKS OF THE JEWISH MUSEUM New York The Jewish Museum

    Original URL path: http://thejewishmuseum.org/collection/16696-six-prayers (2016-02-14)
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  • The Jewish Museum - Collection - Sabbath, 1919
    Emigrating with his Orthodox family from Bialystok Russia to Williamsburg Brooklyn at the age of ten Weber studied art at the Pratt Institute under Arthur Wesley Dow 1857 1922 and taught art classes in Virginia and Minnesota before heading to Europe in 1905 to continue his artistic training In Paris Weber met several leaders of the avant garde including collectors Leo and Gertrude Stein and artists Henri Matisse Pablo Picasso and Henri Rousseau In addition he saw works by Paul Cezanne and the Fauves at the Salon d Automne and was exposed to the Japanese prints African sculpture and pre Columbian imagery that greatly influenced the direction of modern art in the early twentieth century Returning to New York in 1909 Weber brought with him works by Europe s leading artists including Matisse with whom he studied in Paris and Picasso whose Cubist influence made a significant impact on Weber s work Considered the first American to work in a Cubist style Weber gained recognition from important American artists such as Arthur B Davies and had a one person exhibition of drawings and paintings at Alfred Stieglitz s influential 291 gallery in 1911 His fractured multiple viewpoint images of contemporary urban subjects such as the newly constructed Grand Central Terminal met with criticism from the public but praise from within the artistic community Weber began to explore spiritual and religious themes in his work around 1917 A few years later he became actively involved with a group of Yiddish writers called Di Yunge contributing woodcuts essays and poems to their journal Sabbath is one of Weber s early religious paintings that link a modern Cubist vocabulary with a traditional Judaic theme The simplified angular forms create a dynamic setting for a scholarly Sabbath discussion While the two men in the foreground with their figures the women in the background would be as much at home in a bohemian salon as in a religious milieu Weber s introduction of contemporary figures and an avant garde style into a traditional religious theme offers a rarely seen modernist approach to Jewish imagery Source Berger Maurice et al MASTERWORKS OF THE JEWISH MUSEUM New York The Jewish Museum 2004 pp 136 37 Bibliography Berger Maurice et al MASTERWORKS OF THE JEWISH MUSEUM New York The Jewish Museum 2004 pp 136 137 Kleeblatt Norman L and Susan Chevlowe eds PAINTING A PLACE IN AMERICA JEWISH ARTISTS IN NEW YORK 1900 1945 Exh cat New York The Jewish Museum 1991 p 46 North Percy MAX WEBER AMERICAN MODERN Exh cat New York The Jewish Museum 1982 pp 48 77 Provenance Joy S Weber the artist s daughter until 2005 donated to TJM This information may change as the result of ongoing research Other Works in Highlights article data cycle auto height calc data cycle timeout 0 data cycle easing linear data cycle speed 1000 data cycle carousel offset 120 data cycle throttle speed true data cycle manual trump false data cycle swipe true data cycle prev

    Original URL path: http://thejewishmuseum.org/collection/20835-sabbath (2016-02-14)
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  • The Jewish Museum - Collection - Medal of Gracia Nasi the Younger, 1558
    the young wife of Samuel Nasci c 1522 1569 and niece of the older Gracia Nasi c 1510 1569 a woman of extraordinary wealth and a key figure in dramatic events of international importance In the early sixteenth century the family resided in Portugal one of many new Christian families that had abjured Judaism in order to remain in the country after the edict of expulsion was promulgated in 1496 In 1541 the older Gracia Nasi known originally as Beatriz de Luna and her sister in law Brianda de Luna began an international odyssey that ended when the sultan of Turkey invited the family to settle in Istanbul Earlier from 1546 until 1553 they lived in Venice and then in Ferrara Samuel Nasci married the younger Gracia Beatriz daughter of Brianda in Ferrara in 1557 Shortly afterward Samuel and his wife went to the Ottoman Empire This uniface medal was created by Pastorino de Pastorini in 1557 58 At left is the sitter s name in Hebrew characters and at right is a Latin inscription A nno AE tas XVIII in the year of her age eighteen During the Renaissance medals became a significant art form as men and women sought to emulate the Romans of antiquity In imitation of antique coins bearing portraits of Roman emperors Renaissance rulers and church officials as well as members of the lesser nobility and the bourgeoisie commissioned idealized likenesses that expressed their virtú character and glorified their personalities Generally the individual was depicted in a bust portrait that gave an ennobled version of his or her appearance The surrounding inscription identifies the sitter and may give additional information as on this example Since Gracia Nasi the younger is known to have been born in 1540 the inscription giving her age as eighteen indicates a date of 1557 58 for the medal Pastorino de Pastorini was a well known medalist who produced several similar portrait medals Many of them show the subject surrounded by a beaded border and an inscription like those seen on Gracia Nasi s medal but no other bears a Hebrew inscription Since Pastorino never worked outside Italy this medal must have been commissioned before the sitter left for Istanbul in 1558 Source Berger Maurice et al MASTERWORKS OF THE JEWISH MUSEUM New York The Jewish Museum 2004 p 207 Bibliography Berger Maurice et al MASTERWORKS OF THE JEWISH MUSEUM New York The Jewish Museum 2004 p 207 Ehrlich M Avrum ed ENCYCLOPEDIA OF THE JEWISH DIASPORA ORIGINS EXPERIENCES AND CULTURE ABC CLIO 2008 Mann Vivian B A TALE OF TWO CITIES JEWISH LIFE IN FRANKFURT AND ISTANBUL 1750 1870 New York The Jewish Museum 1982 p 134 Mann Vivian B ed GARDENS AND GHETTOS THE ART OF JEWISH LIFE IN ITALY Exh cat Berkeley University of California Press 1989 p 284 Sloan Dolores THE SEPHARDIC JEWS OF SPAIN AND PORTUGAL SURVIVAL OF AN IMPERILED CULTURE IN THE FIFTEENTH AND SIXTEENTH CENTURIES McFarland 2009 This information may change as the result

    Original URL path: http://thejewishmuseum.org/collection/12997-medal-of-gracia-nasi-the-younger (2016-02-14)
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  • The Jewish Museum - Collection - Hanukkah Lamp, 1787
    century Arks are wooden or stone structures designed to house the most sacred object in Judaism the Torah first five books of the Hebrew Bible Those of eastern Europe were particularly ornate consisting of multistoried structures ornamented with elaborate openwork wooden carving Their style was related both to the European Baroque and Rococo in their scrollwork and twisted columns and to local folk art in their profusion of animals and birds that filled the curling vines In this lamp the ark has been rendered in pierced silver repoussé work that has been partly gilded and mounted on a brass back allowing for a lively contrast of gold and silver A balcony under the ark doors supports the oil containers in the form of leaping lions Below the double headed eagle of Austria proudly spreads its wings as Brody was under Austrian rule when this lamp was made The fact that it was designed to hang on the wall rather than stand on feet makes this lamp highly unusual for eastern Europe Wall hung Hanukkah lamps were more of a tradition of Sephardi and Mizrahi Jews of respectively Iberian and Middle Eastern origin Jews did immigrate to Poland from many lands including Spain and Italy in the fourteenth century and a century later there was quite active trade between Jews of the Brody region and Venice home of a Sephardi community Thus the hanging lamp may reflect the holdover of customs brought by immigrants and traders The Jews of Brody were granted the right to engage in all types of crafts in 1699 and by the eighteenth century Jewish metalsmiths were renowned for the quality of their work The maker of this Hanukkah lamp is unrecorded and could possibly have been Jewish Other lamps of this type were created in the same region of Galicia and date to the second half of the eighteenth century Standing versions of the silver ark shaped lamp appeared in the 1870s and twentieth century imitations of the wall hung lamps are known as well Source Braunstein Susan LUMINOUS ART HANUKKAH MENORAHS OF THE JEWISH MUSEUM New Haven and London Yale University Press 2004 pp 122 123 Bibliography Berger Maurice et al MASTERWORKS OF THE JEWISH MUSEUM New York The Jewish Museum 2004 pp 122 Braunstein Susan FIVE CENTURIES OF HANUKKAH LAMPS FROM THE JEWISH MUSEUM A CATALOGUE RAISONNÉ New Haven and London Yale University Press 2004 pp 122 123 Braunstein Susan LUMINOUS ART HANUKKAH MENORAHS OF THE JEWISH MUSEUM New Haven and London Yale University Press 2004 pp 122 123 Kayser Stephen and Guido Schoenberger eds JEWISH CEREMONIAL ART Philadelphia Jewish Publication Society of America 1959 no 138 Kleeblatt Norman L and Vivian B Mann TREASURES OF THE JEWISH MUSEUM New York Universe Books 1986 pp 110 111 This information may change as the result of ongoing research Other Works in Highlights article data cycle auto height calc data cycle timeout 0 data cycle easing linear data cycle speed 1000 data cycle carousel offset 120

    Original URL path: http://thejewishmuseum.org/collection/22456-hanukkah-lamp (2016-02-14)
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  • The Jewish Museum - Collection - Jacob Israel Avedon, 1969-73, printed 1980
    of his generation Known for his iconic images of celebrities from the worlds of art literature and politics he has also directed his camera toward the downtrodden and the mentally ill and has made these anonymous figures equally commanding and empathetic His meteoric rise in the fashion world resulted from innovative images photographed while working for Harper s Bazaar in the 1940s and 1950s an ascent reflected in the 1957 movie Funny Face partly inspired by his career and for which he acted as visual consultant The photographer in the film played by Fred Astaire is named Dick Avery However portraits have always been Avedon s passion His preoccupation with faces started with his assignment at age nineteen in the merchant marine taking identification photographs of thousands of servicemen The artist s portfolio of seven photographs of his terminally ill father Jacob Israel Avedon taken from 1969 until his death in 1973 represents a stunning anomaly in his oeuvre In this series chronicling the deterioration of a patriarch Avedon approaches an intensely personal subject and makes it universal Set against a white background the sitter reveals himself unflinchingly to the spectator s gaze Characteristically the artist employs no effects to soften his subject s vulnerability He does not flatter or cajole his father but waits for the defining moment He uses his signature white wall no props no complimentary lighting no constructed poses to distract the camera from capturing his father s raw emotions of fear pain and resignation In these photographs Avedon confronts not only his father s mortality but his own and ours Born in Russia in 1889 Jacob Israel Avedon endured a difficult childhood in America including several years in a Jewish orphanage After studying at the College of the City of New York he taught elementary school in Hell s Kitchen In 1917 he and a brother opened a women s retail shop on Fifth Avenue which lasted until the Depression led to its closing in 1930 Later he moved to Sarasota Florida where he began a new life as a stockbroker His biography reads as a classic narrative of the struggles of an American Jewish immigrant That struggle ends with his son s study of man s inevitable frailty When asked how he felt about taking photographs of his dying father Richard Avedon replied that these images represent what it is to be any one of us Source Berger Maurice et al MASTERWORKS OF THE JEWISH MUSEUM New York The Jewish Museum 2004 pp 226 227 Bibliography Berger Maurice et al MASTERWORKS OF THE JEWISH MUSEUM New York The Jewish Museum 2004 pp 226 227 This information may change as the result of ongoing research Other Works in Highlights article data cycle auto height calc data cycle timeout 0 data cycle easing linear data cycle speed 1000 data cycle carousel offset 120 data cycle throttle speed true data cycle manual trump false data cycle swipe true data cycle prev cycle prev data cycle next cycle

    Original URL path: http://thejewishmuseum.org/collection/3829-jacob-israel-avedon (2016-02-14)
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  • The Jewish Museum - Collection - Sabbath/Festival Lamp, 1680-1720
    that was incorporated into the synagogue services of Frankfurt during the first half of the seventeenth century The small figures atop the fountain of the lower shaft were cast from stock molds and modified to fit the Jewish purposes of the lamp Each holds aloft symbols of the holy days of the Jewish year The figure bearing matzah and a matzah iron represents Passover Sukkot is marked by a lulav and an etrog Shavuot by the Tablets of the Covenant Yom Kippur by the knife and chicken used in the kapparot atonement ceremony Hanukkah by a menorah and an urn for oil Purim by a grogger and scroll case Rosh Hashanah by a trumpet and Book of Life and the Sabbath by a flaming havdal candle Such symbolic figures appear on other types of Judaica made in Frankfurt during the eighteenth century to mark the times when the objects were used The small figures of animals and zodiac symbols at the top of the shaft as well as the rampant lion appear on other works by the Schülers and their contemporaries In 1902 03 the lamp was transformed into a ner tamid eternal light Various additions were made most of which were removed when the piece was acquired by The Jewish Museum New York Only the two flags held by the lion remain because they bear an inscription recording the donation of lamp by Mathilde Freifrau von Rothschild in memory of her husband Shimon known as Willie Freiherr von Rothschild Source Berger Maurice et al MASTERWORKS OF THE JEWISH MUSEUM New York The Jewish Museum 2004 pp 110 111 Bibliography Asa El Amotz DIASPORA AND THE LOST TRIBES OF ISRAEL Universe 2004 Berger Maurice et al MASTERWORKS OF THE JEWISH MUSEUM New York The Jewish Museum 2004 pp 110 111 Gray Victor and Melanie Asey eds THE LIFE AND TIMES OF N M ROTHSCHILD 1777 1836 London N M Rothschild Sons 1988 p 82 Grossman Grace Cohen JEWISH MUSEUMS OF THE WORLD Universe 2003 Kleeblatt Norman L Dr Vivian B Mann TREASURES OF THE JEWISH MUSEUM New York The Jewish Museum 1986 pp 80 81 Mann Vivian B A TALE OF TWO CITIES JEWISH LIFE IN FRANKFURT AND ISTANBUL 1750 1870 New York The Jewish Museum 1982 no 116 pp 118 119 Mann Vivian B The Golden Age of Jewish Ceremonial Art in Frankfurt Metalwork of the Eighteenth Century LEO BAECK INSTITUTE YEAR BOOK 31 1986 Mann Vivian B and Richard I Cohen eds FROM COURT JEWS TO THE ROTHSCHILDS ART PATRONAGE AND POWER 1600 1800 Munich Prestel 1996 no 127 p 184 Shkalim Esther Diana Schiowitz ed and Frieda R F Horowitz ed A MOSAIC OF ISRAEL S TRADITIONS UNITY THROUGH DIVERSITY Trans Chuck Becher Devora Publishing 2006 This information may change as the result of ongoing research Other Works in Hanukkah article data cycle auto height calc data cycle timeout 0 data cycle easing linear data cycle speed 1000 data cycle carousel offset 120 data cycle throttle speed

    Original URL path: http://thejewishmuseum.org/collection/18630-sabbath-festival-lamp (2016-02-14)
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  • The Jewish Museum - Collection - Night of the Cabbalist, 1935
    of the twentieth century and he was one of the innovative photographers whose work helped guide the development of modern photojournalism from the late 1920s His photo reportages transmitted in his direct photographic style are invaluable historical and social documents The 1930s witnessed a massive immigration of photographers from Europe to the Land of Israel At the beginning of his career Gidal was not under the influence of other photographers nor did he know any of the leading figures in the field Nonetheless in his accomplished modernist photographs taken in the 1930s he was clearly aware of prevailing artistic attitudes as he experimented with composition viewing angle and other aspects of photographic language Born Ignatz Nachum Gidalewitsch in 1909 he began his photographic reporting in 1929 with images that appeared throughout Europe In 1932 and again in 1935 Gidal spent several months in Palestine He immigrated there in 1936 but continued to travel and work as a photographer for magazines around the world In the photograph Night of the Cabbalist which also has been called Night at Meron or Lag B Omer on the Tomb of Rabbi Shimon Bar Yohai the man sleeps atop the building waiting for the night to pass and the moon to wane In this near Surrealist depiction time seems to stand still and yet it marks Lag B Omer the thirty third day of the counting of the omer which begins on the second day of Passover and continues until Shavuot The photograph documents the major celebration held in Meron in Upper Galilee believed to be spot where Bar Yohai the second century rabbinic scholar whom kabbalists consider to be the author of the Zohar is buried The man on top of the roof is one of thousands of Hasidim and kabbalists who gather to celebrate sing and dance It is not unusual for Jewish pilgrims to travel to Meron and other burial sites to prostrate themselves on the tombs of holy people where they beseech the deceased to intercede with God on their behalf This work signifies Gidal s ability to recognize and record special moments and the incident captured in Night of the Cabbalist is the result of careful observation and sympathetic concern for human situations Gidal often made photographs in series comprising a journalistic essay that conveyed the subject the event and the atmosphere In the series of photos taken in Meron during the same period as Night of the Cabbalist Gidal conveyed the impact of the festival of Lag B Omer In this work Gidal sympathetically captures the man propped on the roof while acknowledging the ceremony being marked He merely documents what he saw and experienced He has no mission or agenda and stated The viewer can take what he sees if he sees or leave it Source Berger Maurice et al MASTERWORKS OF THE JEWISH MUSEUM New York The Jewish Museum 2004 p 54 Bibliography Berger Maurice et al MASTERWORKS OF THE JEWISH MUSEUM New York The Jewish Museum

    Original URL path: http://thejewishmuseum.org/collection/4612-night-of-the-cabbalist (2016-02-14)
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  • The Jewish Museum - Collection - Necklace, 19th-20th century
    Amulets Jewelry Metalwork Collection Area Ceremonial Art Submit Picture Request According to various accounts Jews arrived in Yemen either during the time of Joshua or in the tenth century B C E The first secure evidence for their presence is a series of grave markers dated four centuries later Some documents from the Cairo Genizah of the tenth to the twelfth century refer to the Jews in southern Arabia but it is only in the eighteenth century that the Jews of San a the capital of Yemen began to record their history in the city and the surrounding region Their long presence in Yemen ceased after the founding of the State of Israel when the Jews of southern and central Yemen emigrated en masse leaving only a small community in the north The departure of the Jews meant the loss of most of the craftsmen of Yemen especially its silversmiths a métier that Jews had practiced even prior to the Arab conquest in the seventh century C E The fine work evident in this necklace and the small detailed forms that compose it are the marks of a long tradition of skilled silversmithing The choker consists of fifteen or more strands This necklace known as ma anageh was worn by Jewish girls and women from San a for weddings and festive occasions The silversmith alternated silver and gilt octagonal and cubic beads to create a rich coloristic effect The same beads decorate the tadarif the triangular pieces that cover the ends of the strands of beads again resulting in a color contrast that is enhanced by small colored glass stones Characteristic of this type of necklace is the twisting of the strands in the middle An unusual aspect of this necklace is the biblical inscriptions engraved on the back of the two triangular end panels These amuletic texts may have been added later possibly in Israel In the Islamic world jewelry worn by women represented their dowry and the wealth of the household The great variety of forms and their ownership by all sectors of the Jewish community signify the importance of jewelry to Yemenite Jews Source Adapted from Berger Maurice et al MASTERWORKS OF THE JEWISH MUSEUM New York The Jewish Museum 2004 p 135 Bibliography Berger Maurice et al MASTERWORKS OF THE JEWISH MUSEUM New York The Jewish Museum 2004 p 135 Bloom Jonathan M ed and Sheila S Blair ed THE GROVE ENCYCLOPEDIA OF ISLAMIC ART ARCHITECTURE Oxford University Press 2009 This information may change as the result of ongoing research Other Works in Highlights article data cycle auto height calc data cycle timeout 0 data cycle easing linear data cycle speed 1000 data cycle carousel offset 120 data cycle throttle speed true data cycle manual trump false data cycle swipe true data cycle prev cycle prev data cycle next cycle next Purse Purse of Abraham Cohen Learn More Abraham Shulkin American b Russia 1852 1918 Torah Ark Torah Ark from Adath Yeshurun Synagogue Learn More Joshua

    Original URL path: http://thejewishmuseum.org/collection/4779-necklace (2016-02-14)
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