MFA receives Judaica art gift

December 13, 2013
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The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (MFA) has recently acquired a gift of 119 pieces of Judaica, greatly enhancing the Museum’s collection.

The MFA’s collection of Judaica, or pieces of art that relate to the Jewish faith, now covers the 18th through 20th centuries and includes works from Europe, Asia, Israel and America. The collection now includes metalwork, works on paper, textiles, ceramics, sculptures and paintings.

A selection of the newly acquired works is now on view in the Museum’s European galleries, featuring objects that demonstrate the continuity of Jewish traditions over hundreds of years.

“This foundational gift establishes the MFA as one of a very few encyclopedic art museums in America working to build a collection of Judaica,” museum director Malcolm Rogers said in a press release.

The gift was made by Lynn Schusterman, who, with her late husband, Charles, established the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation.

The works in the Schusterman Collection represent pieces that were meant to be used in the home rather than in a synagogue or temple setting. The collection includes 71 pieces of silver and metalwork, five works on paper, seven textiles, three paintings, three sculptures, and numerous examples of ceramics and earthenware.

Among the diverse objects are 31 Hanukkah lamps in a variety of materials, 22 spice containers, six silver amulet cases, eight pairs of silver Sabbath candlesticks, and a brass Sabbath candelabrum.

“This gift from Lynn Schusterman transforms the museum’s holdings,” curator Marietta Cambareri said in a press release. “The superb collection represents a new area of collecting for the Museum and will allow us to present to our public a wide range of material that illuminates the history of Jewish culture and practice through works of art.”

The MFA is located at 465 Huntington Ave. For more information, see mfa.org or call 617-267-9300.

A Hanukkah lamp made around the year 1760 is among the Judaica items recently given to the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. (Photo by Museum of Fine Arts, Boston)

A Hanukkah lamp made around the year 1760 is among the Judaica items recently given to the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. (Photo by Museum of Fine Arts, Boston)

One Response to MFA receives Judaica art gift

  1. Maria Bywater on December 13, 2013 at 3:36 pm

    Congratulations to the MFA. This is a wonderful acquisition, and I can’t wait to see the collection. Do we know if any of the textiles are currently on display?

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