JTS Scholar Elected Fellow of Prestigious Professional Academy

Press Contact: Nina Jacobson
Office: (212) 678-8950
Email: nijacobson@jtsa.edu

August 11, 2009, New York, NY

Dr. Vivian B. Mann, director of the Master's Program in Jewish Art and Visual Culture at The Jewish Theological Seminary (JTS), has been elected a fellow of the American Academy for Jewish Research (AAJR), the oldest professional organization of Judaica scholars in North America.

Dr. Vivian B. MannAAJR fellows are nominated and elected by their peers and thus constitute the most distinguished and most senior scholars teaching Judaic studies at American universities. As the senior organization for Jewish scholarship on this continent, it is committed to enhancing Judaic studies throughout North American universities by creating a dynamic fellowship for its members and by providing programs and opportunities for more junior scholars and students entering the field.

For many years Dr. Mann was Morris and Eva Feld Chair of Judaica at The Jewish Museum, where she created numerous exhibitions and their catalogs, among them Gardens and Ghettos: The Art of Jewish Life in Italy; Convivencia: Jews, Christians, and Muslims in Medieval Spain; and most recently, Morocco: Jews and Art in a Muslim Land.

In addition to directing The Graduate School's Master's Program in Jewish Art and Visual Culture, Dr. Mann was instrumental in the formation of and oversees the JTS Artist-in-Residence Program, which was launched in December 2008, to bring a greater awareness of art to JTS. Over the course of the spring 2009 semester, fifteen students, faculty, and staff studied and created their own works of arts with renowned artist Tobi Kahn, JTS's inaugural artist-in-residence. An exhibit of these students' works will be held this fall. Dr. Mann also organizes the Faculty Seminar on Jewish Art (in partnership with The Jewish Museum.)

Dr. Mann's Jewish Texts on the Visual Arts was published by Cambridge University Press in 2000, and in 2005, her latest work, Art and Ceremony in Jewish Life: Essays in the History of Jewish Art, was published by Pindar Press. In 2007, Dr. Mann (together with Steve Fine, Margaret Olin, and Catherine Soussloff) founded Images: A Journal in Jewish Art and Visual Culture, the first American journal in the field. Her many articles and lectures cover a broad range of topics in medieval art and the history of Jewish art.

Dr. Mann has been a recipient of the Woodrow Wilson Fellowship, NEA Fellowship for Museum Professionals, NEH Fellowship for Research, and the NEH Collaborative Projects Grant for Interpretative Research (with Richard I. Cohen). She has also been a fellow at the Institute for Advanced Studies of the Hebrew University.

In 1999, Dr. Mann was awarded the Jewish Cultural Achievement Award in Jewish Thought by the National Foundation for Jewish Culture for her successful efforts at establishing a master's program in Jewish Art and for her scholarship in the field of Jewish art.

In addition to Dr. Mann, the following JTS scholars are also AAJR fellows: Professor Arnold Eisen, chancellor; Dr. Shamma Friedman; Dr. David Kraemer; Dr. Alan Mintz; Dr. David Roskies; Dr. Ray Scheindlin (current AAJR vice president); Dr. Ismar Schorsch, chancellor emeritus; and Dr. Seth Schwartz (current member of the AAJR executive committee).