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Everything Old is New Again: Israeliana Collecting of the 1940’s-1970’s

Hosted By: The Lower East Side Jewish Conservancy (LESJC)

Judaica of the Contemporary period has largely been influenced by the creation of the State of Israel in 1948. From the 1940’s through the 1970’s, a new type of art emerged that celebrated the traditional images of the new State. Mass produced pieces, designed exclusively by Israeli firms infused a “Jewish consciousness” in their art, many of which were archaeological in theme with greenish and bronze patina. Forms feature the Maccabees, the Spies of Joshua, and the flora and fauna of Ancient Israel.

Visitors to the newborn and developing state participated in celebrating it by being consumers of “luxury” goods and trinkets: items produced exclusively for the tourist trade, which contributed directly to the new economy. They brought these things home, representing what Israel might mean to them, through articles made of metal, enamel and written phrases, which were also sold through catalogues distributed by synagogues and religious organizations in an attempt to increase funds for the new state.

Q&A will follow the program.


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