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New MFAH Judaica exhibit showcases exquisite works from world-renowned New York museum

New MFAH Judaica exhibit showcases works from famed NYC museum

Beauty and Ritual: Judaica from The Jewish Museum, New York Menorah
Josef Kohn, Menorah, 1872–1921. Photo courtesy of Jewish Museum of New York
Beauty and Ritual: Judaica from The Jewish Museum, New York Torah Ark
Torah Ark, 18th century. Photo courtesy of Jewish Museum of New York
Beauty and Ritual: Judaica from The Jewish Museum, New York hanging lamp
Johann Valentin Schüler, Hanging Lamp for the
Sabbath and Festivals
, 1680–1720.
Photo courtesy of Jewish Museum of New York
Beauty and Ritual: Judaica from The Jewish Museum, New York Menorah
Beauty and Ritual: Judaica from The Jewish Museum, New York Torah Ark
Beauty and Ritual: Judaica from The Jewish Museum, New York hanging lamp

Beginning with an exhibit this July, Houstonians will be able to see a striking collection of Judaica at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. The MFAH announced a partnership with the The Jewish Museum, New York that will not only an ongoing presence of Judaica at the museum, but will also bring several exceptional objects to Houston over the coming years.

Opening July 10, "Beauty and Ritual: Judaica from The Jewish Museum, New York" will feature over 140 objects from the Jewish Museum's world-renowned collection, examining Jewish ceremonial objects from antiquity to the present and exploring their artistic, ritualistic, and cultural significance. Unfolding across three galleries and with works from Western Europe, North Africa, and Central Asia, the exhibit explores the practice of the Jewish faith in synagogues, the home, and beyond.

On display will be items such as an 18th-century Bavarian pinewood Torah arc. Used for housing Judaism's central text, the Torah, this arc is nearly 10 feet high and is an echoes the colorful decoration of Bavarian homes. Another gallery centers around the history and significance of the menorah, the lamp used in the Jewish celebration of Hanukkah.

"With this significant partnership with The Jewish Museum, New York, and access to their extraordinary collections, we are able to amplify the cultural and artistic history of Judaism," said Gary Tinterow, MFAH director and Margaret Alkek Williams chair in a press release announcing the partnership and exhibit. 

"Beauty and Ritual: Judaica from The Jewish Museum, New York" and the partnership with The Jewish Museum are part of MFAH's World Faiths Initiative, a program of interfaith projects based on the museum’s collections and exhibitions and funded by the Lilly Endowment Inc.

A centerpiece of that initiative will be the Albert and Ethel Herzstein Gallery for Judaica which, beginning in 2023, will house ongoing presentations centered on objects on loan from the Jewish Museum.

The exhibition is on display July 10 through September 18. For hours, tickets, and more information, visit the MFAH site