What is Jewish Art? - Lecture by Ori Soltes November 18

Nov 18 at the One Day University, New York

10:45am - 11:45am

What is Jewish Art?

This question begins with multiple questions. What defines “Jewish”—conceptually and historically? What defines art over the millennia? How are “Jewish” and “art” affected by juxtaposition and how is that affected by interpretations of the Second Commandment. Do we base our discussion on art (its subject? symbols? style? purpose?) or artist (birth? conversion? convictions? intentions?)?

Embedded in the broad questions are those particular to recent history. How does Israeli art fit into the inquiry that began decades before Israel existed? How does “Holocaust art” fit into it: from works of those who perished to those of artists born after the debacle? The increasing urge to address questions without answers—visually, musically, and otherwise—continues to transform Judaism’s dynamic tension between conserving and reshaping traditions of Jewish life from yesterday to today.

Ori Soltes teaches theology, philosophy, and art history at Georgetown University. His dynamic teaching, lecturing, curating and writing reflect a broad series of interests and a unique ability to combine them in unusual ways that are thought-provoking and both challenging and intellectually exciting. Dr. Soltes has lectured at dozens of museums across the country, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the National Gallery of Art, the Smithsonian Institution, the Art Institute of Chicago and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. For seven years, Dr. Soltes was Director and Chief Curator of the B’nai B’rith Klutznick National Jewish Museum, where he created over 80 exhibitions.

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