Ars Judaica: The Bar-Ilan Journal of Jewish Art, Volume 8

Edited by Bracha Yaniv, Mirjam Rajner, and Ilia Rodov

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ISBN: 9781906764340

Publication: April 26, 2012

Series: Ars Judaica: The Bar-Ilan Journal of Jewish Art 8

In the USA? Buy the Paperback US edition

Bringing to light little-known artistic traditions, the latest volume of Ars Judaica focuses on the local and temporal contexts of objects and their images and explores collective and personal memories and identities in art.

Rivka Ben-Sasson examines modes of symbolic perception of nature prevalent in religious thought and art by analysing images of the lulav and etrog. Iwona Brzewska and Waldemar Deluga discuss the significance of Hebrew script in paintings and prints of the fifteenth to seventeenth centuries originating from the borderland between the Catholic and Christian Orthodox domains of eastern Europe. Michelle Klein studies the typological development of the havdalah candle-holder, based on an analysis of 170 examples. Matthew Baigell suggests that American Jewish artists are characterized by concern for the betterment of humankind; his sources include Jewish postcards, photographs, and caricatures as well as the work of contemporary American Jewish artists. Astrid Schmetterling discusses how Else Lasker-Schüler’s Orientalism offered a serious aesthetic-political challenge to both German and Jewish society. Mor Presiado argues that the contemporary use of sewing and embroidery by contemporary Jewish women artists to depict women’s experience of the Holocaust initiates a new, feminist response to the Holocaust.

The Special Item in this volume, an article by Shalom Sabar on the earliest illustrated Esther Scroll by Shalom Italia, is an illuminating insight into early modern Jewish art in the making.  Also included are exhibition and book reviews.

Ars Judaica is an annual publication of the Department of Jewish Art at Bar-Ilan University. It showcases the Jewish contribution to the visual arts and architecture from antiquity to the present from a variety of perspectives, including history, iconography, semiotics, psychology, sociology, and folklore. As such it is a valuable resource for art historians, collectors, curators, and all those interested in the visual arts.

Volumes of Ars Judaica are distributed by the Littman Library of Jewish Civilization throughout the world, except Israel. Orders and enquiries from Israeli customers should be directed to: Ars Judaica, Department of Jewish Art, Bar-Ilan University, Ramat-Gan 52900, Telephone 03 5318413; Fax 036359241; Email

Bracha Yaniv is Professor of Jewish Art History at Bar-Ilan University, Israel, and founding editor of Ars Judaica: The Bar-Ilan Journal of Jewish Art. She has published two pioneering books in Hebrew on the history, design, and iconography of ceremonial synagogue objects.

Ilia Rodov is Head of the Department of Jewish Art at Bar-Ilan University. He is the author of many works on European synagogue art, focusing on the history, patronage, and meanings of synagogue paintings, sculptures, architectural decoration, and furniture design.

Mirjam Rajner is Lecturer in the Jewish Art Department at Bar-Ilan University. Her numerous publications deal with the early art of Marc Chagall, the art of Russian, Polish, and South-Eastern artists of Jewish origin in the nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries, and the art created during and immediately after the Holocaust.

Editor's Note

Botanics and Iconography: Images of the Lulav and the Etrog
A Note on the Hebrew Script in Christian Art between Wroclaw and Lviv
The Havdalah Candle-holder
Social Concern and Tikkun Olam in Jewish American Art
'I am Jussuf of Egypt': Orientalism in Else Lasker-Schüler’s Drawings
'These Threads Captured Shadows': Sewing and Embroidery in Holocaust Art Works of Contemporary Jewish Women Artists

Special Item
A New Discovery: The Earliest Illustrated Esther Scroll by Shalom Italia

Exhibition Review
Hommage à Lucien Hervé

Book Reviews
Mati Meyer, An Obscure Portrait: Imaging Women's Reality in Byzantine Art 
Marc Michael Epstein, The Medieval Haggadah: Art, Narrative, and Religious Imagination 
Herbert L. Kessler and David Nirenberg, Judaism and Christian Art: Aesthetic Anxieties from the Catacombs to Colonialism
Jewish Dimensions in Modern Visual Culture 
Musya Glants, Where Is My Home? The Art and Life of the Russian Jewish Sculptor, Mark Antokolsky, 1843–1902 

Format: Paperback

Size: 280 x 220 x 15 mm

168 Pages

67 colour illustrations and 93 B&W illustrations

ISBN: 9781906764340

Publication: April 26, 2012

Series: Ars Judaica: The Bar-Ilan Journal of Jewish Art 8

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