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Jewish Manuscript Illumination

In the Suburbs

Jewish Manuscript Illumination

Expressions of Jewish Culture — Part 1

Thursday, March 17, 2016 - 6:30 pm to 8:00 pm

Took place at the

Evanston Art Center

1717 Central Street, Evanston

Spertus Institute brought three renowned Jewish art experts to Evanston to share fascinating examples of the ways Judaism and Jewish culture has been expressed through the arts.


Session 1 — Jewish Manuscript Illumination

Dr. Marc Michael Epstein led a journey through the luxurious and beautiful world of handcrafted books made for Jewish use over the centuries. They also encountered books that reveal the soul and the deep aesthetic consciousness of a people, their frustrations, desires, and social, political, and religious aspirations — in living color and stunning detail.

Dr. Marc Michael EpsteinDr. Marc Michael Epstein holds the Norman David Chair in Religion and Visual Culture at Vassar College, where he serves as the college’s first Director of Jewish Studies. He is the former Director of the Hebrew Books and Manuscripts Division of Sotheby’s and continues to consult for libraries, auction houses, museums, and private collectors throughout the world. His 2011 book, The Medieval Haggadah: Art, Narrative, and Religious Imagination was selected by the London Times Literary Supplement as one of the best books of the year. His most recent book, Skies of Parchment, Seas of Ink: Jewish Manuscript Illumination, is “a magisterial large-format survey of the genre with over 300 illustrations in brilliant digital color.”

Image at left

Illuminated manuscript, early 14th century Germany. Collection of the British Library. Featured in Marc Michael Epstein's Skies of Parchment, Seas of Ink.

Session Information

Jewish Manuscript Illumination
Thursday, March 17 from 6:30 to 8 pm
With Dr. Marc Michael Epstein

(see bio below left)

American Synagogues and Jewish Identity
Tuesday, March 22 from 6:30 to 8 pm
With Dr. Samuel Gruber

Architectural Preservationist, President of the
International Survey of Jewish Monuments

The Case of the Missing Kiddush Cup
Thursday, March 31 from 6:30 to 8 pm
With Dr. Jenna Weissman Joselit

Director of Jewish Cultural Arts at GW, Winner of the National Jewish Book Award for History