The Painted Shul
In 1978, almost a year after Archie Rand had finished the upstairs murals at the B’nai Yosef synagogue in Brooklyn, he was invited to create additional murals downstairs in the two study halls. The pomp and ceremony of the Holidays and Sabbaths were represented upstairs in an open and expansive space, but downstairs was a weekday, down-to-earth affair. In these rooms, enclosed and intimate, there was a constant flow and presence of male Jews in over ten consecutive minyans conducted every morning, noon and evening. The study hall, occupied all day by men learning Torah, is the creative hub of Torah knowledge in this and every synagogue complex. In this different environment Rand altered his aesthetic strategy. What he created was a sanctuary of security and beauty.