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    Purim2010 Hc Purim2010 Hc Document Transcript

    • THE ART OF PURIM 14 th of Adar, 5770 February 27-March 1, 2010 Myrna Teck, Ph. D. Independent Scholar
    • THE ART OF PURIM
          • Purim celebrates the collapse of a plot
          • All the Jews of the Persian Empire were to be killed
          • This was in the 5th century BCE
          • The English text is in bright and colorful letters
      • MEGILAT ESTHER -Leonard Baskin, 1984
      • Baskin, L. (1984). The Five Scrolls . CCAR
          • The word “Megillah” is Hebrew for “scroll”
          • It is the name applied to five books of the Hebrew Bible
          • The books are
            • Ruth
            • Song of Songs
            • Lamentations
            • Ecclesiastes
            • Esther
          • This is because they were once read from separate scrolls
          • Only the Book of Esther is still read from a scroll today
          • It is thus commonly referred to as “The Megillah”
          • God’s name is never mentioned in this Biblical book
          • The story is written in the form of a scroll
          • The scroll was sent to all parts of the kingdom
          • The Hebrew is also in bright colors and vibrant patterns it creates a joyous and vibrant visual image
      • Baskin, L. (1984). The Five Scrolls . CCAR
          • The Scroll of Esther is read after an introductory Service
        • These are the first words of the Megilla or Scroll of Esther
        • They are written in English, Hebrew and Illuminated Hebrew
        • The latter has small images of some of the main characters
        • ` These are superimposed on the letters
      • AHASUERUS -Leonard Baskin, 1984
      • Baskin, L. (1984). The Five Scrolls . CCAR
          • The story begins in the days of King Ahasuerus of Shushan
          • He ruled from India to Ethiopia, over 127 provinces
          • In the third year of his reign, he gave banquets
          • These were for the nobles and the people
          • They were given to show the riches and glory of his kingdom
      • The artist, Baskin, has a unique idiosyncratic approach
      • This painting is in watercolor
      • The king wears a red robe and a vibrant green turban
      • These colors are opposites on the color wheel
      • They create a dynamic, energetic image
          • His Queen Vashti also gave a banquet
          • It was for the women in the royal house
          • On the seventh day, the king was merry with wine
          • He commanded Queen Vashti to show her beauty
          • (You can interpret that request as you like!)
          • He wanted to show her off to the people and to the nobles
          • But she refused
          • Then the king said to the sages:
            • “ What law shall be applied to Queen Vashti for not
            • obeying my command?”
          • After a suggestion, he requested Vashti to appear before him
          • Once again she refused
          • A second suggestion resulted in a royal decree
          • This ruling banished her from her royal position
          • It even gave her place to someone else
          • This advice pleased the king
          • He sent letters throughout his kingdom to this effect
          • Then he asked for beautiful young women to come to Shushan
          • He held a competition for them to vie for the royal position
      • Baskin used the same colors as he had with Ahasuerus
      • Perhaps he saw them as being of equal importance
      VASHTI -Leonard Baskin, 1984 Baskin, L. (1984). The Five Scrolls . CCAR
      • MORDECAI -Leonard Baskin, 1984
      • Baskin, L. (1984). The Five Scrolls . CCAR
          • In Shushan, there was a Jew named Mordecai
          • He brought up his cousin Hadassah after her parents died
          • The name “Hadassah” may be translated as “Esther”
          • Esther was one of the young women brought before the king
          • She pleased him and received kindness from him
          • She did not reveal her people or her kindred
          • Mordecai had cautioned her not to do so
      • Notice how quiet, war, and soft the colors are
      • These were clearly chosen by the artist
      • ESTHER -Leonard Baskin, 1984
      • Baskin, L. (1984). The Five Scrolls . CCAR
          • And the king loved Esther above all other women
          • He set the royal crown upon her head
          • He made her queen instead of Vashti
          • Then the king gave a great banquet for all his nobles
          • He granted a remission of taxes to the provinces
          • He gave gifts as befits a king
      • We associate white with purity
      • That may have been why Baskin showed Esther in white
      • He adds the letters of her name in bright red
      • That is to show the energy of her actions
      • Two of the king’s servants attempted to kill the king
          • They were unsuccessful
          • As a result, Ahasuerus promoted Haman
          • Haman became the chief above all the king’s other servants
          • The king then commanded that everyone bow down to Haman
          • But Mordecai would not bow down
          • Haman was filled with rage
          • He did not want to harm Mordecai alone
          • Rather, he wanted to exterminate all the Jews
          • This was throughout the kingdom of Ahasuerus
          • That meant Mordecai and all his people
          • It all happened in the first month, i.e. Nisan
          • This was in the 12th year of the reign of King Ahasuerus
          • They cast PUT—which means ‘the lot’—before Haman
          • Haman told the king that some people don’t keep his law
          • He thought that they should be destroyed
          • The king took the ring from his hand and gave it to Haman
          • The King told Haman to do as he pleased
          • Haman commanded that a decree be written
          • It was done and sealed with the king’s ring
          • The letters went out to kill and exterminate all the Jews
          • It was to take place on the 13th day of the 12th month, Adar
          • Baskin depicts Haman’s nastiness in his hot, red, angry face
      HAMAN -Leonard Baskin, 1984 Baskin, L. (1984). The Five Scrolls . CCAR
      • MORDECAI IN SACKCLOTH -Leonard Baskin, 1984
      • Baskin, L. (1984). The Five Scrolls . CCAR
          • Mordecai heard all that had happened and rent his clothes
          • He put on sackcloth and ashes
          • He went to the center of the city and cried bitterly
          • When Esther heard of this, she, too, was greatly distressed
          • She sent a message to Mordecai
          • He replied by telling her what was to happen to the Jews
          • He asked her to go in to the king
          • He asked that she appeal to the King on behalf of her people
      • Baskin shows Mordecai in the colors associated with sadness
      • What other choice did he have?
      • His hand, reaching toward the viewer is alive with warmth
      • QUEEN ESTHER BEFORE KING AHASUERUS -Judeo-Persian,18 th c
      • Rush, B. (2002) The Jewish Year: Celebrating the Holidays
      • New York: Stewart Taborri & Chang
      • Isaac Einhorn Collection, Tel Aviv/Erich Lessing/Resource,NY
          • Esther knew that it was against the law to ask to see the king
          • She would risk her life just by asking
          • She was hesitant to do so
          • Mordecai said that she would be included in the annihilation
          • He asked her to consider why she was in her royal role
          • Perhaps that she may be in it for just this situation
          • When the king saw Esther, she held favor in his sight
          • He wanted to know her request
          • He promised her anything she wanted
          • He was willing to give her up to half of the kingdom
          • She asked that the king and Haman come to the banquet
          • They accepted and did so
      • Persian art has richly repetitive patterns
      • they are seen in this image of Queen Esther before the King
      • ESTHER AND AHASUERUS -Malcah Zeldis, 1976
      • McDonough, Y. Z. (1996). Moments in Jewish Life: Folk Art of
      • Malcah Zeldis . NY: Friedman/Fairfax
          • At the banquet, the king inquired again about her request
          • Esther asked them to attend a second banquet the next night
          • In the meantime, Haman reveled in his newly found power
          • But Mordecai still vexed him mightily
          • The king ordered that a gallows be built to hang Mordecai
          • That night the king could not sleep
          • He read the book of records of the chronicles of his empire
          • He discovered that Mordecai was the one to be thanked
          • Mordecai had discovered the plot by the King’s 2 servants
          • At the banquet, the king had a question
          • He asked what honor was bestowed on Mordecai for this?
          • Esther said that nothing had been done
          • When Haman came to the banquet, the king asked him a question
      • What should be done to the man the king delights to honor?
      • Zeldis is a 20th century self-taught artist
      • mShe takes a very naïve and primitive approach to this event
      • ARK AND WALLS -Dura-Europos, 3 rd c.
      • Site guidebook . 64 3/16 x 154 5/16” (163 x 392 cm)
      • Courtesy of Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven
      • Dura Europos collection
          • This is from the wall paintings at Dura-Europos
          • The site was a Roman garrison town on the eastern frontier
          • An earthquake covered it in the late third century
      • It was only discovered in the early 1920s
      • This painting was created in the 3rd c., CE
      • It shows Eastern influences
      • The figures are symbolic of the characters in the story
      • they are not individualized and do not show any emotion
      • This is in contrast to Western (Roman) aesthetics
      • ARK AND WALLS-Dura-Europos, 3 rd c.
      • Site guidebook . 64 3/16 x 154 5/16” (163 x 392 cm)
      • Courtesy of Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven
      • Dura Europos collection
          • This is the Dura-Europos Ark niche and wall paintings
          • This site was a Roman garrison town on their eastern frontier
          • An earthquake covered it in the late third century
          • It was only discovered in the early 1920s
          • These paintings are the earliest known figurative Artworks
          • These are based on stories from the Hebrew Bible
      • PURIM FESTIVAL -Dura-Europos, 3 rd c.
      • Mazar, B. & Davis, M.(1963). Illustrated History of the Jews .
      • USA: Israeli Publishing Institute, Ltd.
      • Esther 9:11-14. West Wall. Lower register.
          • At the banquet, the king asked Queen Esther for her request
            • S he asked that her life be spared along with her people
            • She said that she and her people were to be exterminated
            • The king asked who had done this
            • Esther said that the adversary and enemy is the wicked Haman
            • The throne is decorated with lions and eagles
      • It is from the Biblical description of King Solomon’s throne
      • It is not clear exactly which part of the narrative is shown
      • It is clear that the king is being given a written request
      • He is shown with his Queen on the raised platform
      • MORDECAI AND HAMAN -Harry Lieberman, 1968
      • Hollander, S. (1991). Harry Lieberman: A Journey of
      • Remembrance , New York: Dutton
      • The king’s wrath was not abated until they hanged Haman
          • They did this on the gallows he had prepared for Mordecai
          • Then the king took off his ring and gave it to Mordecai
          • He held out his golden scepter to Esther
          • It was written that Mordecai commanded the Jews
          • It was sealed with the king’s ring
          • The Jews were glad on the 13th day of the 12th month, Adar
      • Then Esther asked that Haman’s ten sons be hanged
      • and it was done
      • This 20th c. primitive artist shows various parts of the story
      • They all appear in one composition
      • ` It is somewhat like a medieval painting
      • SCENES FROM THE ESTHER STORY- Joseph Zvi Geiger, 1843
      • Keller, S. (Ed.) The Jews. New York: Hugh Lauter Levin
      • Oil painting on glass. 21 x 12 13/16” (52.5 x 32 cm)
      • Israel Museum, Jerusalem. Feuchtwanger Collection
      • Baruch and Ruth Rappaport donated it to the Israel Museum
          • The 15 th day of Adar was a day of celebration and of gladness
          • Mordecai wrote all this down
          • We observe the 14th and 15th of Adar by feasting and joy
          • He also said that Jews should send portions to one another
          • And they should send gifts to the poor
          • And it was done
          • They called these days Purim
          • And it continues to this day
      • Along with the reading of the Scroll of Esther, the Megillah
      • The artist dressed all the figures in contemporary clothes
      • He used a cell approach as in today’s cartoons
      • KING AHASUERUS’ SOLDIERS -Yossef Geiger, Safed, 1843
      • Keller, S. (Ed.) The Jews. New York: Hugh Lauter Levin
      • Oil painting on glass. 21 x 12 13/16” (52.5 x 32 cm)
      • Israel Museum, Jerusalem. Feuchtwanger Collection
      • Baruch and Ruth Rappaport donated it to the Israel Museum
        • This is a painting on glass
      • Notice that King’s soldiers wear Ottoman uniforms
      • MEGILAT SETARIM, MASHEHKHET PURIM -Amsterdam, 1734
      • Grossman, G. (1995 ). Jewish Art . NY: Hugh Lauter Levin
      • Paper. Bibliotheca Rosenthaliana, Amsterdam
          • It is a Purim custom to stage a Purim Parody
          • This began in medieval times
          • It is in the festive spirit of the holiday
          • Purim Shpieler, or Players, went from door to door
          • They enacted the Purim story in farcical fashion
          • This tradition was most active in the 17 th -19 th centuries
          • Sometimes more elaborate plays were presented in Yiddish
          • The players often went from shtetl to shtetl
          • Their productions were very popular
          • The story of Esther is the most popular subject for these
          • It was often staged with a contemporary or community twist
          • Local figures were substituted for the originals
          • This lent humor to the productions
          • Proceeds from the performances went to charity
          • This was in accordance with the requirement of Jewish law
          • The Scroll of Esther says to give “gifts to the poor”
          • MASHEKET PURIM is a parody on the Talmud
          • T he text is on the theme of drinking wine
          • It was written in the 14 th century
          • Levi ben Gershom wrote the Megilat Setarim then
          • He was from Provence
          • It is known as the “Scroll of Secrecy”
      • Revelers drink until they can’t tell Mordecai from Haman
      • PURIM CELEBRATION -Eretz Israel, 19 th c.
      • Rush, B. (2002) The Jewish Year: Celebrating the Holidays. New York: Stewart Taborri & Chang Collection of Isaac Einhorn, Tel Aviv/Erich Lessing/Art Resource, NY
          • The celebration of this merry holiday in unique
          • Jews generally do not drink alcohol
          • The only exception is for ceremonial wine
          • On Purim, they are urged to drink “ad d’lo yada”
          • That is, until they can’t the difference between
            • “ Cursed be Haman” and
      • “ Blessed be Mordecai”
      • This illustration is specific to its time and place
      • Notice the fur brimmed streiml, a Hasidic 17th c hat
      • Notice, too, the middle eastern Fez with tassel
      • PURIM MASK -Ita Aber, 1977-78
      • Rush, B. (2002) The Jewish Year: Celebrating the Holidays.
      • NY: Stewart Taborri & Chang. Gift of the Artist
      • The Jewish Museum, NY
          • Yeshiva students would do imitations of their rabbis/teachers
          • A yeshiva Purim highlight was the reading of “Purim Torah”
          • These are frivolous dissertations on the Talmud and law
          • They often used witty parodies of Talmudic texts
          • One example is the non-existent tractate “Purim” 
          • A special Purim guide was also composed and publicly read
          • It was a parody of the Passover Hagaddah and Seder
          • Satirical poetry was also sung at these yeshivah festivities
          • The poems were set to simple repetitive tunes
          • Purim kings were crowned with pomp and circumstance
          • They took oaths to observe the laws of the prophet Habakkuk
          • Habakkuk was also known as “the bottle”
          • In Hasidism, the Purim Rabbi was chosen on the first of Adar
          • He conducted parodies of Hasidic rabbinic discourses
      • He did this while sitting aside the Hasidic Rabbi
      • PURIM WINE JUG -Syria, 19 th c.
      • Grossman, G. (1995 ). Jewish Art . NY: Hugh Lauter Levin
      • Etched glass. 7 7/8 x 5 1/2 in. (20 x 14 cm)
      • Hebrew Union College, Skirball Museum, Los Angeles
      • Kirschstein Collection
          • This is a Purim jug for wine, in etched amber glass
          • The inscription on the neck is in Arabic
          • On the body it’s in Hebrew
          • Only a few bottles of this type remain
          • Several hanging lamps of etched glass have also survived
          • The inscription on this bottle is the Kiddush for the Sabbath
          • Around the neck, the Arabic writing appears to be decorative
      • Syrian Jewish glassblowers worked in the 17 th and 18 th c
      • The glassworker may have been illiterate or not jewish
      • This is thought due to the misspellings
      • GROGGER -Vienna, Austria, 1826
      • Snyder, J. (2004). The Jewish World 365 Days.
      • NY: Harry N. Abrams, Inc
          • Congregants turn noisemakers to drown out Haman’s name 
          • During the reading of Megilla Esther in synagogue on Purim
          • He symbolizes the various enemies of the Jewish people
          • The Russian grogger depicts Haman’s hanging for his crimes
      • There is a clown’s hat on the top of the Viennese noisemaker
    • GROGGER- Russia, 19 TH C. Korn, I. (1996). A Celebration of Judaism in Art . New York: Todtri Rush, B. (2002) The Jewish Year: Celebrating the Holidays. NY: Stewart Taborri & Chang. Silver. The Jewish Museum, New York/Art Resource, NY. Notice that Haman is hung in the roundel of this grogger
      • GROGGER- Cyprus, 1947
      • Barnavi, E. (Ed.)(1992). Historical Atlas of the Jewish People.
      • NY: Knopf
          • Purim noisemakers are sounded by children (and some adults)
          • They make noise to drown out the name of Wicked Haman
          • That is when the Scroll of Esther is read
          • This grogger was made in a detention camp in Cyprus, 1947
    • HAMAN AND HIS TEN SONS -Northern Germany, mid-14 th c. Sassoon Collection, Letchworth, England This image is of Haman and his 10 sons hanging from a gallows Mordecai prepared the gallows A Jewish artist pictured this scene This was the popular tradition in northern Germany, mid-14 th c. This is a page from the De Castro Bible This Bible contains a manuscript of the bible & the 5 Scrolls The weekly portion from the Prophets are included Nathaniel the scribe wrote the Bible Levi ben David vocalized it in January 1344
      • HANGING HAMAN’S SONS- Leonard Baskin, 1972
      • Baskin, L. (1984). The Five Scrolls . CCAR
          • Seven hundred years later, the same topic is depicted
          • The artist ‘hangs’ Haman’s sons amidst the text
      • The modernist approach informs his aesthetic
      • PURIM- Minhogimbukh, Venice, 1601
      • Kosofsky, S. M. (2004). The Book of Customs. San Francisco:
      • Harper Collins
          • The Purim revelers wear Venetian Carnavale costumes
      • They were worn in the commedia Dell’arte
      • PURIM CELEBRATION - Shlomo Maduro, Amsterdam,1707-23/68
      • Kanof, A. (1973). Jewish Ceremonial Art . NY: Harry Abrams
          • Another custom on Purim was the burning of Haman in effigy
          • It was a relief from the constant oppression of the Jews
          • This custom dates back to Talmudic times
          • It happened in Macedonia, Byzantium, medieval Germany, Italy
      • These celebrants are dressed in jester costumes
      • They are consistent with a Royal Court!
      • THE MUSIC ACADEMY HEBREW BALL- NY, March 14, 1865
      • Korn, I. (1996). A Celebration of Judaism in Art . NY: Todtri
      • American Jewish Historical Society, Waltham, MA
          • This is an illustration of a Purim Ball
          • The first one was held in 1862
          • These balls were attended by both Jews and non-Jews
          • It was held on March 14, 1865 at the Academy of Music in NY
          • It was an extravagant example of the masquerade parties held
          • Charity balls were popular in mid-19th century America
          • The Purim Ball was a highlight of the Jewish social season
      • Notice the partygoer dressed as a Hanukkah dreidl
      • This illustration appeared in a Massachusetts publication
      • Interest by people outside NYC indicates its importance
      • PURIM BALL- New York, 1881
      • Grunberger, M. (Ed.) (2004). From Haven to Home . Wash, DC
      • Library of Congress
          • This is an announcement for the 1881 Purim Ball in NYC
          • Notice that the proceeds will benefit the Building Fund
      • It helped the Hebrew Benevolent and Orphan Asylum Society
      • PURIM BALL -Munich, Germany, 1932
      • Gidal, N. T. (1998). Jews in Germany from Roman Times to the Weimar Republic. Gutersloh: Konemann
          • This is the Jewish Choral Society of Munich, Germany
          • The photograph was taken in 1932
      • They are all in costume for their Purim celebration
      • American adults rarely dress in costume
      • This was not so in the past and in other parts of the world
      • PURIM CARNIVAL- Tel Aviv, 1930s
      • Barnavi, E. (Ed.) (1992). Historical Atlas of the Jewish People
      • NY: Alfred A. Knopf
          • The new culture in Eretz Israel was rooted in the Haskalah
          • It was nourished on nationalism and modernization
          • It emphasized its difference from the old Yiddish culture
          • Nostalgia was the foundation for the approach of E. Europe
          • This poster is clearly in the modernist idiom
          • Flat pattern, Clear, clean shapes characterize it
      • It advertises a Purim carnival in Tel Aviv in the 1930s
      • PURIM ARRIVES- Mea Shearim, 1980s
      • Snyder, J. (2004). The Jewish World 365 Days.
      • NY: Harry N. Abrams, Inc
          • In Jerusalem, Purim is celebrated on Shushan Purim
          • It is the fifteenth of Adar
          • This photograph is of a typical Hasidic family in Jerusalem
          • The children are dressed up and hold MISHLOAH MANOT
          • Those are traditional gifts of food
          • Father wears his fur STREIMEL hat
      • It is usually worn on the Sabbath and festivals
    • PURIM WALL DECORATION-S ara Eydel Weisssburg Jerusalem, l.19 th c Perforated paper embroidered with wool and silk 67 x53 cm Gift of Mrs. Pearl Schwartz, s1337 One can follow the action as in a comic strip
      • CELEBRATION- Marc Chagall, 1916-1918
      • Harshav, B. (2006). Marc Chagall and the Lost Jewish World
      • NY: Rizzoli
          • Chagall was inspired by childhood memories of his wife, Bella
          • He set this Purim celebration in a typical Russian village
          • Children bear gifts of food for friends, family, and neighbors
          • The custom of giving gifts survives today among some Jews
          • They send friends cakes, fruits and ‘Hamantaschen”
          • The latter is a German word meaning “Haman’s pockets”
          • These are triangular shaped pastries
          • They are filled with fruit, cheese, or poppy seeds
          • Today these gifts are often sent on paper plates
          • In the past special plates were used
          • They were often made of pewter and decorated
          • They had quotations or scenes from the Book of Esther
          • Emphasis was placed especially on the Triumph of Mordechai
      • Some congregations had collections cups used for Purim
    • PURIM WALL DECORATION-Maier Schwartz, Vienna, 1929 Printed on paper, mounted on cardboard, 35.9 x 45.7 cm. Gift of Dr. Harry G. Friedman, F 4308
      • FEAST OF LOTS: PURIM -Chaim Gross, 1967
      • Soltes, A., Abrams, J. & Blecher, A. (1968 ). The Jewish
      • Holidays, Customs, and Traditions by Chaim Gross . NY:
      • Associated American Artists
          • Chaim Gross was primarily a sculptor
      • His light-hearted depictions of Purim capture the spirit
      • DRESSED FOR PURIM -Malcah Zeldis, 1985
      • McDonough, Y. Z. (1996). Moments in Jewish Life: Folk Art of
      • Malcah Zeldis . NY: Friedman/Fairfax
          • A childlike simplicity characterizes this joyous painting
      • Purim symbols are evident
      • These are the grogger, mask, and costumes
      • Zeldis’ chose vibrant primary colors: red, yellow, blue
      • These create a stimulating and happy environment for Purim
    • SHALACH MANOT -Malcah Zeldis, 1995 McDonough, Y. Z. (1996). Moments in Jewish Life: Folk Art of Malcah Zeldis . NY: Friedman/Fairfax Zeldis used high intensity bright colors in a naïve style She shows the tradition of giving gifts to others The children in the two families wear Purim costumes An elderly man waits for them to join him at the table
      • Memory and remembrance are central concepts in Judaism
          • They are also at the core of most jewish festivals
          • On Purim, Jews remember their narrow escape
          • They remember the occasions on when Haman did prevail
          • That is, a symbolic Haman—as he has had many successors
          • The artist deals with the darker aspects of this festival
          • These are children at a Purim party in Paris Jewish school
          • These photographs were taken in 1939
          • T hey were taken just before most of them died
          • They did not die of natural causes, but were murdered
          • Their festive costumes bestow an individual identity
          • This would be taken away from then not longer after Purim
          • For Boltanski, photographs possess the connotation of death
          • They are reminiscent of the still-preserved clothing
          • The items Jews removed before entering the gas chambers
          • He says: “They have in common that they are simultaneously
          • present and absent”
          • The lights are associated with the memorial lights Jews burn
          • Boltanski’s photographs are blurred and anonymous
          • They are symbols of the Holocaust and of death in general
          • Boltanski was born in Paris, 1944,when it was liberated
          • His Jewish father came out of hiding to register his birth
          • His non-Jewish mother had hidden his father
          • Christians may chose to be Jewish but Jews could not
      THE FESTIVAL OF PURIM Christian Boltanski, 1988 Van Voolen, E.(2006 ).Jewish Art and Culture. Munich: Prestel Verlag. 10 Black and white and color photographs. 41 Lights, 1 Tin box, 210 X 120. cm (82 11/18 x 47 1/4”) the Israel Museum, Jerusalem, Israel. Gift of the artist in memory of Jacques Ohayon.
      • PURIM PLATES -Amsterdam, 1785
      • Grossman, G. (1995 ). Jewish Art . NY: Hugh Lauter Levin, Inc
      • Faience. Diameter of each: 9 5/8 in. (24.4 cm). Hebrew Union
      • College Skirball Museum. Kirschstein Collection
          • These plates honor Rabbi Moses ben Aaron and his wife Bayle
          • Their daughter and son-in-law commissioned the plates
          • This highlighted the custom of exchanging gifts on Purim
      • They are dated 13 th of Adar [5] 545 (1785)
      • These plates all have the same shape and border design
      • They have the same interior frame for Hebrew phrases
      • SHALACH MANOT PLATE -Les Islettes, France, 18 th c.
      • Grossman, G. (1995 ). Jewish Art . NY: Hugh Lauter Levin
      • Korn, I. (1996). A Celebration of Judaism in Art . NY: Todtri
      • Snyder, J. (2004). The Jewish World 365 Days. NY: Abrams
      • Faience. The Israel Museum, Jerusalem
      • One plate is in Les Islettes (Meuse); Musee de Cluny , Paris
      • Gift of Eliahu Siddi
      • Given in memory of his parents, Raphael and Hanna Sidd
          • The border text is from the Purim mandate in Esther 9:22
          • It is to “send portions one to another and gifts to the poor”
          • In the center is a humiliated Haman
          • He wears his signature three-cornered hat
          • He leads Mordecai, wearing Haman’s royal cloak, on horseback
          • The figures are identified by name and by the verse:
      • “ Thus shall be done to the man whom the king
      • delights to honor.” (Esther 6:11)
      • SHALACH MANOS PLATE -1813
      • Grossman, C. (1989). A Temple Treasury . NY: Hudson Hills
      • Master: [?]SRF Zinn. Pewter. Cast and rolled. Engraved
      • Diameter 8 3/8 in; (21/3 cm). Width of rim 1 3/8 in. (3.5 cm)
      • Mark: Master. Inscribed on rim: Sending portions to one
      • another and gifts to the poor (Esther 9:22)
      • In the year [5] 573, according to the sh[ort] c[ounting] (1813)
      • There is a six pointed star inscribed with circle containing
      • overlapping circles, petals, and three interlocking fish
      • Between outer corners of star, birds, and lilies
      • Swaab, 1984. (CEE85-4)
          • The Hebrew word for “to the poor” has a playful misspelling
          • It is based on a change in the Hebrew grammatical root
          • The change is to one that means, “to bake”
          • It stressed baked goods, the usual gift on Purim
          • A local engraver did the crosshatched engraving
          • He bought the blank plate from a Christian pewter artisan
          • This is because Jews were not allowed in the pewter guild
          • Their artistry was limited to decoration
          • The designs usually came from books
          • Here the tooled lettering and design imitate embroidery
      • The intertwined fish may be that the owner’s name was Karp
      • ESTHER SCROLL CASES -Middle East, 17-19 th c.
          • Keller, S. (Ed.) The Jews. NY: Hugh Lauter Levin Assoc
      • From Yemen, Turkey, Persia, Morocco
      • Sir Isaac/Lady Edith Wolfson Museum
      • Hechal Shlomo, Jerusalem
          • The Megillot are as starkly plain as the Torah scroll itself
          • Family-owned megillot are ornamented
          • Jewish Artists generally did the illuminations
          • The dramatic story of Purim lends itself to illustration
          • Master illuminators and folk artists illuminated it
          • There are no decorated Megillot before the sixteenth century
          • This does not mean they did not exist before that time
          • It simply means that either they did not survive
          • Or they haven’t been discovered yet!
          • Decorated Megillot were rare in Oriental Jewish communities
          • Figurative art was almost never seen on their Megillot
          • This was due to the iconoclasm of the Muslims mainstream
          • Italian 16-18 th c. megillot are considered particularly special
          • The scrolls were often kept in cases made of carved wood
          • Decorated silver cases had scenes from the Book of Esther
      • These were often gifts from the bride to her bridegroom
      • ESTHER SCROLL - Salom D’Italia, Amsterdam, 17 th c
      • Grossman, G. (1995 ). Jewish Art . NY: Hugh Lauter Levin, Inc
      • Etching and manuscript on parchment
      • 4 7/8 x 71 5/8 in. (12.4 x 181.9 cm)
      • Jewish Historical Museum, Amsterdam
          • Salom d’Italia was born in Mantua
          • He came from a well-known family of printers
          • After Austria invaded, Jews were expelled from the city
          • He spent some time in Venice
          • He ultimately settled in Amsterdam
          • He made several different designs of Esther scrolls
          • A portal type design influenced many other artists
          • In this Megillah, the text is written in round medallions
          • The architectural elements are not prominent
          • They are part of the repeating motif between the roundels
          • They are accompanied by vases of flowers and rabbit heads
          • Above each medallion a lion or bear menacingly eyes a lamb
      • The story of Esther appears in the panels beneath the text
      • ESTHER SCROLL- Italian, Walters Art Museum, e. 17 th c.
          • This is an Italian Esther Scroll
          • It is from a nearby Museum, The Walters, in Baltimore
          • The design of megillot is frequently in segments
          • It is parallel to Oriental scrolls
          • They are intended to be opened to only one section
          • This is to encourage contemplation and comprehension
          • so, too, this Megillot Esther scroll
      • ESTHER SCROLL -Aryeh Loeb ben Daniel of Guria, Italy, 18 th c
      • Grossman, G. (1995 ). Jewish Art . NY: Hugh Lauter Levin, Inc
      • Aryeh Loeb ben Daniel of Guria, Italy, mid-18 th c
      • Ink on parchment. Height: 9 in. (22.9 cm).
      • Hebrew Union College, Skirball Museum, Los Angeles
      • Kirschstein Collection, formerly the Frauberger Collection
          • Esther and Mordechai are shown between the text columns
          • A Polish scribe-artist, living in Italy, created this scroll
          • Mordecai wears the regal garb of contemporary nobility
          • birds and “Esther Story” vignettes are in the upper border
          • Scenes from the story are in the small lower medallions
      • Lions flank these
      • The artist combined folk images of Poland with Italian curves
      • He achieved an integrated composition
      • ESTHER SCROLL -Germany, early 18 th c.
      • Grossman, G. (1995 ). Jewish Art . NY: Hugh Lauter Levin, Inc
      • Pen and ink, and gouache on parchment
      • 10 x 117 in. (25.4 x 297.2 cm)
      • The Israel Museum, Jerusalem
          • This artist is the most famous one in the world: Anonymous
          • There are three other known scrolls done in a similar hand
          • The characters in the Purim story wear 18 th c. dress
          • Zodiac roundels frame the text
          • A man points to Pisces, the sign of the Hebrew month of Adar
          • This is the month when Purim is celebrated
          • The zodiac may refer to the lots cast to select the month
      • This is when Haman wanted to annihilate the Jews
    • ESTHER SCROLL- -Corfu, Greece, 1708. Korn, I. (1996). A Celebration of Judaism in Art . NY: Todtri Ink and tempera on parchment; 46 3/4 x 10 1/4 in(120 x 26.5 cm) Israel Museum, Jerusalem Megillah Esther is the only decorated book of the bible Traditionally, human figures are shown throughout Corfu was the apex of the decoration of 18th c., Ketubbot It also was the source of many Esther Scrolls Italian aesthetics influenced their imagery
      • ESTHER SCROLL -Italy, c. 1700.
      • Kaniel, M. (1989). A Guide to Jewish Art . NY: Allied Books.
      • Ink and gouache on parchment, carved ivory roller
      • Collection of the B’nai Brith Klutznick Jewish Museum
          • This Megillot is barely two inches high
          • It has scenes from the Purim story
          • These celebrate the triumph of virtue and faith
          • They support courage over wickedness, and cowardice
          • It may have been intended for the use of a traveling merchant
      • Italian Esther Scrolls use many colors and column dividers
      • ESTHER SCROLL -Italy, c. 1700
      • Kaniel, M. (1989). A Guide to Jewish Art . NY: Allied Books
      • Ink and gouache on parchment, carved ivory roller
      • Collection of the B’nai Brith Klutznick Jewish Museum
          • This Megillot is barely two inches high
          • It has scenes from the Purim story
          • These celebrate the triumph of virtue and faith
          • They support courage over wickedness, and cowardice
      • It may have been used by a traveling merchant
      • The stylistic approach is somewhat naïve
      • The illustrator does not employ linear perspective
      • It was strongly characteristic of Italian work
      • Especially so after the Renaissance, in the l.15th-e.16th c.
      • Since Jews were not allowed to be members of the guilds
      • This illustrator may have been a Jewish folk artist
      • SCROLL OF ESTHER -Northern Italy, mid-18 th c.
      • Grossman, G. (1995 ). Jewish Art . NY: Hugh Lauter Levin, Inc
      • Ink, gouache, gold and silver paint on parchment
      • 21 1/2 x 202 5/8 in. (54.6 x 514.7 cm)
      • Michael and Judy Steinhardt Collection
          • This Megillah’s composition relates to Ketubbot
          • Both often use an architectural approach
          • Northern Italian illuminated marriage contracts are similar
          • The text is framed in a highly decorated archway
          • Allegorical figures and narratives appear in each manuscript
      • Below the text are additional scenes from the Esther story
      • Spiraling columns are a reminder of Boaz and Joachim
      • Those columns were in front of King Solomon’s Temple
      • ESTHER SCROLL -Italy, early 18 th c. Illuminated parchment
      • Collection of the B’nai Brith Klutznick Jewish Museum
      • Kaniel, M. (1989). A Guide to Jewish Art . NY: Allied Books
      • A colonnade frames the handwritten text
      • These are inside rectangular areas
          • Depictions of the main characters in the Book of Esther
      • These are found at the capitals of the columns
      • ESTHER SCROLL (detail) -Italy, e. 18 th c. Illuminated parchment
      • B’nai Brith Klutznick National Jewish Museum Collection
      • Kaniel, M. (1989). A Guide to Jewish Art . NY: Allied Books
      • A vase with flowers surmounts each image
          • Actors’ masks are below each column
          • Between the columns are depictions from the story of Purim
      • These are above and below the text
      • This view continues the Esther story
      • Considering its small size, how many people read this scroll?
      • Were they seated around a table?
      • Was it just read by adult men?
      • Was it held during a synagogue service
      • Further research is needed to answer these questions
      • ESTHER SCROLL -Italy, 18 th c.
      • Gold and metalwork with turquoise
      • B’nai Brith Klutznick National Jewish Museum Collection
          • These illuminations are only at the beginning of the reading
          • Spiral columns separate each segment
          • Again there are visual references to Boaz and Joachim
      • Those two columns stood at the entrance to the Temple
      • This case was probably done by a jewish craftsman
      • He may have lived in Arabic lands
      • Those Jews were especially known for their filigree work
      • They also were experts in setting cabachon stones
      • ESTHER SCROLL -Eastern Europe, e. 19 th c.
      • B’nai Brith Klutznick National Jewish Museum Collection
          • Esther Scrolls contain the biblical Book of Esther
          • Narrative scenes and decorative motifs adorn the scroll
          • The scroll is fully unrolled prior to reading
      • Only then does the reader chant the text
      • This Esther case is intricately decorated with repousse
      • Bas-Relief is the technique to create raised images
      • Pounding on the reverse side creates the dimension
      • A globular form surmounts the top of the case
      • It resonates with royal crowns and Onion domes
      • ESTHER SCROLL AND SHEET OF BLESSINGS- Izmir, 1873
      • Grossman, G. (1995 ). Jewish Art . NY: Hugh Lauter Levin
      • Silver, parcel gilt; ink on parchment
      • Height: 11 3/4 (30 cm); diameter: 1 3/89 (3.5 cm)
      • The Gross Family Collection, Tel Aviv
          • Megillah and gold filigree case were a wedding gift
          • They were for the son-in-law of a wealthy Izmir merchant
      • This type of filigree originated in Izmir
      • This Megilla is from the late 19th c. in Turkey
      • The highly patterned meticulous border motif is repeated
      • It is in the larger portal archways, which divide the text
      • The blessing recited before the reading is at the beginning
      • A bouquet of flowers separates it from the story
    • ESTHER SCROLL IN LEATHER CASE -Germany, 1834 Grossman, C. (1989). A Temple Treasury . NY: Hudson Hills Vellum. Height 4 5/8 in. (11.2 cm). Text columns 3 7/16” x 2 5/8” (8.7 x 6.7 cm), 27 lines Case: Leather, covered cardboard, tooled Length 4 ½” (11.5 cm), diameter 1 1/4” (3.2 cm) Inscribed: On the birthday of my beloved husband, Franz Koritschoner, 1832 Gift of Mrs. Louise Brandeis Popper, Maternal Great- Granddaughter of the Original Owner, 1982 (CDD 82-111) This is a “Ha-Melekh” (or “The King”) scroll It was copied so the word “King” opens every column This emphasis is an oblique reference to the King of Kings It was a way of instilling God’s name in the text The scroll is written on vellum It is the skin of an unborn calf or goat It is a much finer surface than parchment It is of much higher quality
      • The silver case bears a Vienna 1840 hallmark
      • Double-headed eagle in a circle indicates an Austrian origin
      • The fine Ashkenazic scroll is in the Ha-Melekh style
      • The name of God does not appear in the text
      • The letter ‘shin’ is attached to ‘hay’ at the top of the columns
      • This suggests ha Shem, one of the names of God
      • It is not in the scroll But always remembered
      • This cylindrical container has embossed and chased panels
          • They are of roses and petalled flowers in high relief
          • They alternate with unadorned flat bands
          • Rounded beaded bands are at the top and bottom border
          • There is a cast flower-shaped case handle at bottom
          • At the top, there is an open flower finial
          • It is one of the names of God
      FLOWERED PURIM CASE AND ESTHER SCROLL -E. Europe, 1840 Grossman, C. (1989). A Temple Treasury . NY: Hudson Hills Gift of Mr. And Mrs. Henry M. Toch, 1928
      • ESTHER SCROLL -Ze’ev Raban, Jerusalem, 1927
      • Altshuler, L. (1988). In The Spirit of Tradition , Wash., DC
      • B'nai B'rith Klutznick National Jewish Museum
      • Architectural frameworks are common on Esther scrolls
      • They are along with illustrations of scenes in the story
      • Artists probably used book or stage sets as models
      • MEGILLA CASE -Bezalel, Eretz Israel, 1950s.
      • Altshuler, L. (1988). In The Spirit of Tradition , Wash., DC
      • B'nai B'rith Klutznick National jewish Museum
          • Jews read the Scroll of Esther to celebrate Purim
          • Jews are obligated to hear the Megillah read aloud.
          • It is read from an unadorned handwritten parchment scroll
          • This is an annual commemoration of their victory
          • Congregants follow along from embellished versions
      • Some have elaborate carved wood, silver, or ivory cases
      • MEGILLOT CASE -Smilovici, 20 th c.
      • Grossman, C. (1989). A Temple Treasury . NY: Hudson Hills
      • MASTER: Moshe Smilovici, Tel Aviv, 1950s
      • Silver, niello, appliqué, and engraving: semiprecious stones
      • Height 7 3/4 in. (19.7 cm). Scroll: Parchment: handwritten
      • Height 2 3/4 in.(7 cm).Text columns 2 1/8 x 3 1/8 in. (5.4 x 7.9cm)
      • Gift of Arthur Diamond in memory of Estelle,1978/CEE 783
      •  Lucica Koffler Smilovici identified the case as her husbands’
          • His name was Moshe Smilovici and he lived from 1912-1962
          • The case clearly identifies itself by its exuberant style
          • Smilovici worked with old silver for collage
          • He usually added set colored stones to enrich the surface
          • This is one of his best works, characterized by:
            • Sophisticated foolish charm
            • Juxtaposition of unrelated materials
            • Use of color with silver
            • Slightly askew dimensions
      • The scroll was written in 1938
    • GREAT MOURNING -Ze’ev Raban, Tel Aviv, 1947 Raban, Z. (1982). Raban Remembered . Yeshiva University Museum Exhibition. NY. “Sinai”, Tel Aviv, publisher Photographed by Allan Rokach Yeshiva University Museum, NY This is an illustration to a Book of Esther (4:3), 1947
      • ARDASIR BOOK -Persia, 17 th c.
      • Grossman, G. (1995 ). Jewish Art . NY: Hugh Lauter Levin, Inc.
      • Paper. 9 7/8 x 7 5/8 in. (25.1 x 19.4 cm)
      • The Jewish Theological Seminary of America, NY
          • This is an Ardasir Book, Judeo-Persian book
          • The Esther story is interwoven into a classic 10 th c. tale
          • The latter is about the history of Persia
          • The heroes are Ardasir, who is identified with King Ahasuerus
          • Here, the king seeks a new queen after banishing Vashti
          • The Ardasir book is not a Megillah
          • It is a manuscript composed in Judeo-Persian in 1332
          • The Jewish poet Maulana Sahin composed it
          • His work was based on the Sahnameh, written in the 10th c.
          • That is a classic work of Persian culture
          • The 1 st chapter of the Ardasir Book is from the Sahnameh
          • The Esther story is combined with Jewish and Muslim legends
      • This demonstrates the integration of cultural traditions
        • PURIM DOLLS -Yemen, 1930s
      • Snyder, J. (2004). The Jewish World 365 Days.
      • NY: Harry Abrams
      • Wood, rags, plastic, metal37 x 24.5, 39 x 29.5 cm
      • Permanent Loan of Salman Schocken, Tel Aviv
      • The Israel Museum. Photograph by David Harris
        • These Purim dolls are from Yemen
        • They are made of wood and rags
        • They represent Haman and Zeresh, the villains in the story
        • Young boys pulled them through the streets in a cart
        • Laughter, noisemakers and toy guns accompanied them
        • Eventually the dolls were kicked off or burned
        • They symbolically did this to ‘smite Haman’
        • The custom was also known in other Jewish communities
      • PURIM BREAD
      • Snyder, J. (2004). The Jewish World 365 Days.
      • NY: Harry N. Abrams, Inc.
      • Photograph: Israel Museum/Orpa Slapak
      • On Purim, Jews send each other gifts of food
      • In Morocco these foods included a special bread
      • It was called KBEBZA DI PURIM or BOYOZA
      • The bread was baked in various shapes and forms
      • However, it always contained eggs in their shell
      • The number of eggs are the no. of the children in the family
      • They also symbolized the eyes of Haman
      • PURIM SHIVITI -Kurdistan, 19 th c.
      • Kaniel, M. (1989). A Guide to Jewish Art . NY: Allied Books.
      • Paper. Height: 13 inches (33 cm.)
          • This Shiviti has Songs and prayers relating to Purim
          • It also features a depiction of Psalm 67 in micrography
          • Micrography is the writing a text in very tiny letters
          • These form the configuration of shape of some object
          • Many people consider this the only unique Jewish art style
          • Thus, the psalm forms a seven-branched menorah
          • This Psalm
            • Acknowledges God’s presence
            • Asks God to show us favor
      • It states that He should be revered to the ends of the earth
    • In the Art World, it is said that the love of: art cannot be TAUGHT It can only be CAUGHT!
    • The Art of Purim contagious to you today! I hope I’ve made