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Exhibitions in the Arts Library: Current Exhibitions

Now at the Arts Library

Detail from Illuminating Visions by Andi Arnovitz

Arnovitz, Andi, [one of 53 leafs], Illuminating Visions, 2012. Image copyright Andi Arnovitz. Used with permission.

Text and Image in the Hebrew Bible

May 17 - September 16, 2019

Artists have been drawn to the Hebrew Bible for inspiration from the Middle Ages to the present. The vivid stories recounted in the biblical text from Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden in the Book of Genesis, to Ruth gleaning in the field of Boaz in the Book of Ruth serve as fertile ground for the creation of graphic art. This is particularly true for book artists for whom image and text are integrally bound. Choosing from the rich holdings of biblical art books in the Arts Library Special Collections, this exhibit illustrates how several modern artists interpret and reinterpret books in the Hebrew Bible.  

We generally understand commentary to be with words. However, an image may also serve as a lens through which we view text. Beyond the image, magnificent calligraphy and design are other features that enhance the aesthetic pleasure of viewing the works on display. The books on view represent the work of artists who have a deep emotional attachment to the texts they illustrate and who bring this passion to their work. On display one can view the same biblical book illustrated by different artists. The Scroll of Esther, for example, is illuminated by Metavel, Tamar Messer and Avner Moriah. Ecclesiastes is illuminated by Tamar Messer and Shraga Weil. Also of note are superb calligraphy examples of modern-day scribes such as Metavel, David Moss, and Izzy Pludwinski. Each artist brings their individual artistic style and sensitivity to the books’ illustrations and calligraphy.

Curated by Nanette Stahl, Joseph and Ceil Mazer Librarian for Judaic Studies, Yale University Library