JTS Book Talk to Feature Editor of Uneasy Communion: Jews, Christians, and the Altarpieces of Medieval Spain

Press Contact: Nina Jacobson
Office: (212) 678-8950
Email: nijacobson@jtsa.edu

February 8, 2010, New York, NY

vmDr. Vivian Mann, director of the Master's Program in Jewish Art and Visual Culture at The Jewish Theological Seminary (JTS), will discuss her essay, “Jews and Altarpieces,” published in the exhibit catalog Uneasy Communion: Jews, Christians, and the Altarpieces of Medieval Spain (D. Giles Ltd, 2010), at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 4, at JTS, 3080 Broadway (at 122nd Street), New York City. Dr. Mann is the volume editor of the catalog. The title of Dr. Mann’s talk will be “An Odd Coupling: Jews and Altarpieces in Medieval Spain.”

Little attention has been given to the role of Jews as artists in medieval Spain and even less to their creation of works of art for the Church. Among these were the large altarpieces of the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries known as retablos. This talk will examine examples of altarpieces painted by Jews and conversos; and the depictions of contemporary Jews and their synagogues on late medieval retablos.

For many years, Dr. Mann was Morris and Eva Feld Chair of Judaica at The Jewish Museum, where she created numerous exhibitions and their catalogs, among them “Gardens and Ghettos: The Art of Jewish Life in Italy”; “Convivencia: Jews, Christians, and Muslims in Medieval Spain”; and most recently, “Morocco: Jews and Art in a Muslim Land.” In 2000, her Jewish Texts on the Visual Arts was published by Cambridge University Press, and in 2005, her work, Art and Ceremony in Jewish Life: Essays in the History of Jewish Art, was published by Pindar Press.

Dr. Mann has been a recipient of the Woodrow Wilson Fellowship, NEA Fellowship for Museum Professionals, NEH Fellowship for Research, and the NEH Collaborative Projects Grant for Interpretative Research (with Richard I. Cohen). She has also been a fellow at the Institute for Advanced Studies of the Hebrew University. In 1999, Dr. Mann was awarded the Jewish Cultural Achievement Award in Jewish Thought by the National Foundation for Jewish Culture for her successful efforts at establishing a master's program in Jewish Art and for her scholarship in the field of Jewish art.

The exhibit that accompanies this catalog is currently on display at the Museum of Biblical Art (MOBIA) under the same title, Uneasy Communion: Jews Christians and the Altarpieces of Medieval Spain.

The talk is open to the community at no charge; reservations are required. For further information and to RSVP, please contact Hector Guzman at (212) 678-8075 or heguzman@jtsa.edu.