- SIGNIFICANCE OF ART AMONGST THE JEWS AND ISRAELI CULTURE
The Jews are an artistic people, beginning famously with the great Betzalel, who understood how to connect his artworks to their Divine Source in the construction of the Tabernacle. Since then, art has been a pastime and often profession of many famous Jewish figures, including Marc Chagall, Leon Bakst, Isidor Kaufman, and many others. Even at the height of the last and greatest persecution of the Jewish People during the Holocaust, Jewish artists plied their trade, mostly famously in the clandestine artwork – drawing and painting – in Theresienstad.
ancient history of the Jewish People is replete with shining examples
of Jewish artistic creation, from the Temples in Jerusalem to the
ancient community synagogues that can still be found – some in
ruins and some still standing – throughout the Jewish Diaspora. In
the Israel Museum,in the Givat Ram area of Jerusalem, examples of
this art from houses of worship throughout the world and from the
ancient Land of Israel can be found on display in one location.
during the Medieval period, a time of suffering and persecution for
the Jewish People at the hands of among others Crusaders, and
marauding sultans and caliphs, the Jewish People produced lovingly
crafted synagogues and holy books, such as the famous Sarajevo
modern Jewish history, Jewish artists participated in the
impressionist, expressionist (most famous Marc Chagall), cubist, and
abstract and even pop-art periods (for example, Man Ray). During the
building of the State of Israel by heavily Russian-influenced
socialist ideology, so-called “socialist realism” would show
happy Jewish workers and farmers building the State of Israel. Those
themes have largely given way to a return to tradition, with ancient
and still relevant Jewish themes and values arising from Torah
sources now occupying pride of place in the Jerusalem art scene.
- HOW IS THE CONTEMPORARY ART AND ANCIENT THEMES PRESERVED BY MENUCHA PAGE?
focuses on holy books – such as the Babylonian Talmud – and the
ancient Hebrew language and letters to bring out themes from Judaism
and the Torah in ways that inspire and lead to contemplation –
while emphasizing the esthetic beauty of the artworks. She uses
decidedly contemporary echniques to achieve these goals, using mixed
media including painting, drawing, plastic arts, photography on a
variety of media including metal, glass, and wood to renew and
reemphasize the beauty and truth that are imbued within the Jewish
tradition. Each work is a labor of love for Menucha, who loses track
of time as she creates her artwork in the middle of the night and
throughout the day.