"It used to be thought that the Second Commandment's prohibition on making images meant there could not be a Jewish visual art. In his 1966 essay "Is There a Jewish Art?" art critic Harold Rosenberg grappled with the very question posed by his title. He didn't think there was, because he didn't think there was a single Jewish style. Yet he found, as Margaret Olin writes in "The Nation Without Art," an "Old Testament provenance" for a Jewish found art, writing in his essay that "the idea that if you inhabit a sacred world you find art rather than make it is clearly present in the Old Testament." Forty-five years later, the new exhibit at the Jewish Theological Seminary, "Reading the Visual / Visualizing the Text," the inaugural exhibition of the JTS Arts Advisory Board, shows the tremendous creative potential in a Jewish art that finds art rather than makes it."
Continue reading "Contemplating the Meaning of Jewish Art at JTS" in The Jewish Daily Forward.