New Exhibitions of Jewish Art and History Now at The Library of The Jewish Theological Seminary

Press Contact: Eve Glasberg
Office: (212) 678-8089

October 21, 2010, New York, NY

Several notable exhibitions are currently on view at The Library of The Jewish Theological Seminary (JTS) during regular Library hours (Mondays through Thursdays, 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., and Sundays, 10:30 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.). Representing the depth and breadth of The Library’s collections, the new presentations will also be part of a special Library Open House on Tuesday, December 14, from 4:30 to 6:00 p.m., at which time Library curators will lead guests on a guided tour of the exhibits. Also on display at the Open House, in the Special Reading Room, on the fifth floor of The Library, will be a selection of items on the topic of marriage, in anticipation of a major JTS Library show on ketubbot (marriage contracts), to be held at The Jewish Museum from March through June 2011.

3Outside the Special Reading Room is an exhibit entitled Bernard Picart: Biblical and Religious Prints of the Eighteenth Century, presented jointly by interns from The Library’s Conservation and Jewish Art departments. The show was developed as an outcome of the discovery by Warren Klein, a Jewish Art Department intern, of a rare watercolor drawing by Picart, depicting the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem. Bernard Picart was a prolific French engraver and artist of biblical illustrations and scenes; the drawing, found in The Library’s Special Collections, was used as a guide for a subsequent engraving. On display are examples of Picart’s work from The Library’s holdings, as well as an overview of the printmaking process and an explanation of the conservation treatment of the watercolor drawing undertaken by Lisa Nelson, a conservation intern.

1A second exhibition, the Jewish Musical Response to German Kultur, is on view in the Alperin Lobby, on the first floor of The Library. Through the use of musical scores, historical photos, engravings, and correspondence, The Library’s music archivist, Dr. Eliott Kahn, explores changes in Jewish music from the Haskalah (Jewish Enlightenment) through the Nazi years. The show was inspired by the successful concert of German-Jewish music sponsored by The Library in May 2010 at New York’s Ethical Culture Society.

2Twelve Parshiot—Genesis, a series of digitally created images by award-winning graphic artist Rudi Wolff, is on display in the Evelyn Kasle Scholars Lounge of The Library (fifth floor). Twelve panels depict in bold, colorful, and abstract images the twelve weekly synagogue readings from the book of Genesis, with the Torah’s calligraphic text retained within the images. According to the artist, these vibrant abstracts reflect the vitality of the text itself.

On view through December 31, 2010, on the second floor of The Library, is an exhibit called Volumes, curated by JTS Artist-in-Residence Tobi Kahn, which showcases photography, sculpture, drawings, paintings, and more by JTS students, faculty, and staff.

The Library is located at 3080 Broadway (at 122nd Street) in New York City, and is open Mondays through Thursdays from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., and on Sundays from 10:30 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Photo ID is required at all times. To make reservations for the Library Open House, or for more information, please contact Hector Guzman at (212) 678-8075 or