Page 193 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 25

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Jew ish C e rem on ia l A r t
(Philadelphia, Jewish Publication Soci-
ety, 1959) is a model catalog to the collection of the Jewish
Museum of the Jewish Theological Seminary of America in New
York. The
Synagoga
and
M o n um en ta Juda ica
catalogs, done
with scholarly thoroughness, w ill acquaint the reader w ith the
wide variety of exquisite objects in such outstanding collections
as the Musee Cluny, Paris, Joods Historisch Museum, Amster-
dam, and the Bezalel National Museum in Israel.
A r t in the Jew-
ish T r a d i t io n
(Milan, Adei-Wizo, 1963) by Silvio G. Cusin is a
beautifully illustrated book of Italian ceremonial objects still in
private and public collections in Italy.
P rague G h e t to in the
R ena issan ce P e r io d
(Prague, The State Jewish Museum, 1965),
edited by Otto Muneles,
Schicksal des J iid ischen M u seum s in
P rag
(Prague, Artia, 1965), and
H is to r ica H eb ra ica ,
the catalog
of an exh ib ition held in Jiidisches Gemeindehaus Berlin (Berlin,
1965), give a glimpse of the finest and richest collection of Jew-
ish ceremonial objects extant in the world, all housed in the
State Jewish Museum of Prague. Most of the objects now in
Prague were systematically gathered during World War II by
the Nazis, who planned to use the Prague collection as a propa-
ganda showpiece after their world conquest. They intended to
display the relics of an extinct murdered people—the Jews.
The interested reader who might like to pursue the subject
of Jewish ceremonial art can consult the excellent scholarly
studies of the late Franz Landsberger on such objects as Hanuk-
kah lamps, Sabbath ceremonial objects and the Mezuzah, pub-
lished in the
H eb r ew U n ion C o llege A n n u a l
and listed in the
bibliography of my book,
J ew ish C erem on ia l A r t .
“Wedding
Customs and Ceremonies in Art” is treated by this writer in my
chapter contributed to
T h e Jew ish M a r r iage A n th o lo g y ,
edited
by Philip and Hanna Goodman (Philadelphia, Jewish Publica-
tion Society, 1965).
On Synagogue Architecture
A major contribution to the field of synagogue architecture
is the
A r ch i te c tu re o f th e E u rop ean Synagogue
(Philadelphia,
Jewish Publication Society, 1964) by Rachel Wischnitzer. Th is
book is the first complete survey of how the synagogue in the
periods under discussion reflected the structural and stylistic
forms of the dominant cultures in which Jews lived, as well as
the ways in which they adapted these forms for specific Jewish
liturgical purposes. Worthy of being singled out are two excel-
lent studies on synagogue architecture by non-Jews. Both studies
are models of conciseness, objectivity and diligent scholarship,
but unfortunately they deal with monuments which were, like
their pious worshippers, victims of the Nazi holocaust.
W o o d en
G
u tm a n n
— R
ecent
L
iterature
on
J
ew ish
A
rt
173