A cache of silver and bronze objects from the 17th to 20th centuries — hidden away from Nazis during World War II — has been rediscovered and restored. These works of art are on display in America for the first time in Lost Treasure of the Jewish Ghetto of Venice. The MFAH presentation is complemented by Venetian paintings from the same time period.
The objects in Lost Treasure of the Jewish Ghetto of Venice, made by master craftsmen using traditional silversmithing and bronze-casting methods, represent an in-depth look at Venetian Jewish silver from the 1600s to early 1900s. The exhibition comprises predominantly liturgical works, including wooden Torah cases, silver Torah crowns and lamps of silver and bronze. Among the objects that relate to dining traditions are silver vegetable plates, used during Passover Seders and a silver ewer and basin, used for the washing of hands prior to eating. Also on view are Venetian paintings from a private collection and from the collections of the MFAH and Houston's Sarah Campbell Blaffer Foundation.