I just received the following note from the NC Museum of Art, which I thought would be of interest to many of you.
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For Immediate Release
June 26, 2006
Media information: Alesia DiCosola, (919) 664-6795
Renovated space displays important ceremonial objects including new acquisitions
“The Museum periodically refreshes all of our galleries in order to introduce new thinking in how we display and interpret the art,” said Museum Director Lawrence Wheeler. “With the Judaic Art Gallery, we also wanted to show off the many new objects acquired in the past three years.”
One of the most
spectacular new objects is a large silver and gilt Torah Case (or Tik)
made in China for a community of Baghdadi Jews in Mumbai (formerly
India. Baghdadi Jews immigrated to South Asia from
“This case is an exceptionally powerful work of art, both aesthetically and historically” explained John Coffey, deputy director for art. “It is the ultimate Diaspora object.”
recently acquired other ceremonial objects related to the Torah. The
oldest is a rare late 18th-century silver Torah Shield from
Not all of the objects in the Judaic Art Gallery are old. One of the most striking objects in the gallery is a modernist Torah Crown by Israeli artist Moshe Zabari. Inspired by the space race and Sputnik, it consists of meandering loops of forged silver like the sky traces of jets or rockets. Pearls, like stars or planets, dangle in the voids. To complement this “cosmic crown”, the Museum commissioned Zabari to design and make a Torah Shield and Pointer. Funding for the commission was provided by Gale and Steve Sons of Raleigh.
additions to the collection are gifts from
The Museum also acquired
an important Hanukkah Lamp
(Hanukkiah), made in
Grander in scale
is the Standing Hanukkah Lamp,
one of the masterpieces of Ze’ev Raban, the foremost designer at the
early Bezalel Workshop. Raban and other Bezalel artists created a
self-consciously “Hebrew Style,” rooted in the romantic belief that
the artistic traditions of the Islamic and local Jewish communities
closest to the forms and styles of art of the ancient Hebrews. The lamp
the form of the Menorah, the seven-branched lamp stand of the ancient
Temple. However, two additional branches have been added to allow for
required eight candles plus the central server candle. The lamp was
“More than an astonishing work of art, this lamp beautifully summarizes Jewish history and aspiration in the early 20th century,” said Coffey.
All of the recent acquisitions were made possible through the work of the Friends of the Judaic Art Gallery, a volunteer support group affiliated with the Museum.
“None of these magnificent new objects would have been possible without the commitment and support of the Friends of the Judaic Art Gallery,” said Wheeler. “We owe this group and its many donors a loud round of applause.”
About the Judaic Art Collection
The Judaic Art Gallery, founded by Dr. Abram Kanof, displays the ceremonial art of the Jewish people. The ritual objects, often made of precious metals and embellished with great artistry, beautify the ceremonies that define Jewish life and worship. Visitors may tour the gallery during Museum hours or arrange for a guided tour with one of the Museum’s trained docents. Guided tours should be scheduled at least three weeks in advance by calling (919) 664-6748.
For more information on the Judaic Art Gallery or the Friends of the Judaic Art Gallery, call (919) 664-6759. For more information on the Museum, visit www.ncartmuseum.org or call (919) 839-NCMA (6262).
The North Carolina
Museum of Art’s permanent collection spans more than 5,000 years, from
Carolina Museum of Art,
Lawrence J. Wheeler, director, is located at
Marketing and Communications Coordinator
Ground: Discovering Community
in 150 Years of Art
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