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Response Art Series There is a short list of things that really matter: family, friends, country and faith top most.  For many Jews, our people and Israel occupy an almost sacred place in the order of commitment and passion.  Therefore when either the Jewish people…
The Art of Matrimony Ketubot are the magical crystal ball into the life, concerns and joys of the Jewish community.  Perhaps no other Jewish artifact is so openly expressive of the dreams, desires and fears of the everyday world of Jewish life throughout the ages. …
A Photographic Journey with Yuri Dojc Can the Holocaust be memorialized by an aesthetically beautiful object?  Doesn’t the obscenity of the crime create a fundamental contradiction?  The question still stands 66 years later, even as art is still being made about the Holocaust. Jewish creativity…
Three Faiths at the Public Library People believe different things and when they group together as religions, they pretty much agree that most of what the other groups believes is wrong.  But one thing that unites the big three monotheistic faiths, aside from the ostensible…
Paintings by Batya F. Kuncman The world is complicated.  Surely it seems that Divine justice is elusive.  God’s role is frequently masked and our human situation is terribly fragile. Yet according to artist Batya F. Kuncman our condition is “most promising.”  Her optimistic artwork is…
A Stitch in Jewish Time: Provocative Textiles Textiles as a Jewish art medium have a long and distinguished history, frequently the sole surviving artifact testifying to a community’s existence and history.  Elaborate paroches from 17th century Italy still proclaim a rich and artistic love of…
Painting and Feminism An exhibit now on view at New York's Jewish Museum purports to chart the course of a cultural revision—specifically, the rise of women artists, or, more specifically, the rise of Jewish women artists, or, more specifically still, the rise in the numbers…
Rina Castelnuovo: Photographs Iconic images are rare, especially in the mundane world of photojournalism.  But when they happen their intense simplicity compresses a host of ideas and emotions in a single picture, making complexity seem transparent. Israeli photojournalist Rina Castelnuovo excels at this skill.  Her…
Modern Art / Sacred Space From the earliest synagogues preserved to the present, Jews have struggled with the role of art in their sacred spaces.  Decorative or contemplative, subservient to architecture or an independent aesthetic experience?  The Dura Europos murals (235 CE) and many early…
To Serve My People: Part II Arthur Szyk saw the face of Haman. It was Hitler. And he knew what had to be done. His only tools were his art and he labored mightily against the terrible enemy.  In the early 1930’s Szyk took up…
To Serve My People: Part I Arthur Szyk believed that Art can change the world and he spent his life trying desperately to prove it. In 1934 he stated “…I am resolved to serve my people with all my art, with all my heart, with…
The Braginsky Collection Five hundred years of Jewish manuscript and printed book illumination are presented in Highlights from the Braginsky Collection scheduled to open at Yeshiva University Museum on March 17, 2010.

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