Jewish Art Salon Members at AJS Conference

Jewish Art Salon Board Members Matthew Baigell, Richard McBee and Ben Schachter are taking part in a Jewish Art Panel at the Conference of the Association of Jewish Studies. 

The AJS 44th Annual Conference takes place December 16-18, 2012 in Chicago, Illinois at the Sheraton, Chicago

“The Golden Age of Jewish Art”: Art and its Advocates
 Mon, Dec 17 - 11:00am - 12:45pm  

Session Participants:
ModeratorBen Schachter (Saint Vincent College) 
DiscussantRichard McBee (Jewish Art Salon) 
DiscussantDaniel Schifrin (Contemporary Jewish Museum) 
DiscussantMatthew Baigell 

As Matthew Baigell, eminent art historian, has said, “We are living in the Golden Age of Jewish Art.” This belief is affirmed by the numbers of artists who continually broaden our understanding of Jewish Art.

Just as important to their work is the audience for it. This roundtable will bring together non-profit organizations, artist groups and museums that are contributing to the “golden age of Jewish art.” For example, the Jewish Art Salon, founded by Yona Verwer in 2008, advances the idea that “the time had come for contemporary Jewish Art to take its rightful place in the art world. Gone are the days when artists disavowed Jewish subject matter” merely to assimilate. To that end, JAS organizes meetings, exhibitions and collaborations.

Also founded in 2008, the Contemporary Jewish Museum in San Fransisco “makes the diversity of the Jewish experience relevant for a twenty-first century audience.” Their exhibitions foster the dissemination and creation of new artistic ideas.

Ben Schachter
, Associate Professor of Fine Arts and Pittsburgh based artist serves on the advisory board to the Jewish Art Salon. He will lead the discussion and present his ideas concerning the recent broadening of Jewish subject matter in the work by some contemporary artists. Richard McBee, Jewish Art Salon executive board member and New York based artist and critic will share his observations on the exhibition of Jewish Art. Dan Schifrin, Director of Interpretation at the Contemporary Jewish Museum, will discuss the history of art commissions over its first five years. He will also discuss other influences on Jewish Art including new media and Israeli artists working here and abroad.

Beyond Baigell’s observation, why is the field growing? What attitudes does it reflect? How is each group achieving success? Is there evidence that a new generation of Jewish artists is more successfully and explicitly combining “Jewish” with “artistic?” How are all these groups, looked at from a distance, building an artistic milieu, and what does it say about Judaism today?

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