Page 192 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 25

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J
e w i s h
B
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w ill appreciably enhance his knowledge by consulting some of
the fine catalogs w ith many illustrations which have been pub-
lished on this subject.
M a n o s c r i t t i b ib l ic i eb ra ic i d e co ra ti
is a
catalog of an exh ib ition held at the Biblioteca Trivulziana
(Milan, 1966) and reproduces many of the beautiful illum inated
manuscripts in Italian libraries.
Synagoga ,
a catalog of the ex-
h ib ition held at Historisches Museum Frankfurt (Frankfurt/M ,
1961) and
M o n um en ta Juda ica ,
the catalog of the exh ib ition held
at Kolnisches Stadtmuseum (Cologne, 1964), feature many illus-
trations of the splendid illum inated Hebrew manuscripts in the
B ibliotheque Nationale, Paris, in the Royal Library in Copen-
hagen, and in the Kaufmann collection in the Hungarian Academy
of Sciences, Budapest, and those still housed in many German
libraries. It is interesting, but sad to note, that two of the fac-
simile editions come from countries behind the Iron Curtain
and that the two outstanding catalogs come from Germany, all
lands which lack active Jewish communities, whereas the richest
and most active Jewish community in the world, the Un ited
States, has produced nothing comparable to these beautiful edi-
tions.
In their rich variety of styles and forms, the surviving medieval
illum inated Hebrew manuscripts reflect Jewry’s un ique involve-
ment in numerous societies of the Christian and Islamic civiliza-
tions. Th e same can be said of Jewish ceremonial art, which like
the medieval Hebrew miniatures, still begs for a comprehensive
study. My book,
Jew ish C e rem on ia l A r t
(New York, Thomas
Yoseloff, 1964) is intended to introduce the reader to the complex
history of ceremonial art from antiquity to the present day. The
objects reproduced in it range from the earliest surviving ones—
rimmonim from 15th-century Sicily—to objects from contem-
porary Israel and the U.S. In addition to discussing problems of
style, it deals with the origin, symbolic significance and artistic
development of each object in the light of its use in the observance
of home and synagogal ceremonies.
A fascinating book by the late Mark Wischnitzer,
A H is to r y
o f Jew ish C rafts and G u ild s
(New York, Jonathan David, 1965),
traces the role Jews played as artisans in a variety o f different
cultures and countries from the biblical period to the end of the
18th century. Especially interesting are the chapters which ad-
dress themselves to the struggles of Jewish artisans w ith the
Christian guilds, the formation of Jewish guilds in Eastern Eu-
rope, and the internal struggles w ithin the Jewish gu ild system
in Europe.
A number of scholarly catalogs have been issued, all lavishly
illustrated, which w ill acquaint the reader with the rich cere-
monial treasures, mainly from 17th- and 18-century Europe, still
extant in collections. Stephen S. Kayser and Guido Schoenberger’s