Jewish Ritual Art in the Victoria and Albert Museum

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9780112904496: Jewish Ritual Art in the Victoria and Albert Museum

This is the first catalogue of Jewish artefacts housed in the Victoria & Albert Museum, London. For an institution with no specific Judaica department the V & A Museum has made a significant contribution to the history of Anglo-Jewry, and to Jewish art history. Few other museums started collecting Jewish objects as early as the mid-19th century, so a study of the V & A holdings gives an idea of what items of ritual art were being offered for sale in the last century. The V & A collection can also be used to demonstrate the changing attitudes towards Judaica over the last 130 years. Jewish art in the V & A was acquired solely on the basis of its own intrinsic merits. Outstanding examples of ritual objects such as kiddush cups and hanukkah lamps, everyday objects such as slippers and gowns, articles made by Jews, and items which throw light upon attitudes towards Jews, can all be found dispersed around the V & A. This guide brings them all together. Written by a former curator at the V & A, this book is not only a study of the V & A's collection, it provides an insight into Anglo-Jewry, Jewish customs and history.

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From Library Journal:

The objects in this catalog were collected from a variety of departments in the Victoria & Albert Museum, since there is not a Judaica department as such. After a brief discussion of collecting and exhibiting Judaic art in England, the work is divided into four parts: Public Worship and the Synagogue, Festivals and Holy Days, Domestic Worship and Observance, and Costumes and Miscellaneous Items. Each section includes an introduction, photographs, and discussion of the provenance, iconography, and ritual role of the objects pictured. The text, which includes discussion of many Hebrew inscriptions, is supported by an array of footnotes; there is a glossary of terms and a select bibliography. The work is beautifully illustrated with clear, precise photos. It is as complete a catalog as one could imagine and therefore a welcome addition to the literature in the field. Recommended for specialists as well as informed general readers.
- Martin Chasin, Adult Inst., Bridgeport, Ct.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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