Marc Michael Epstein, PhD, Presents “Is a Manuscript a Mirror? Reading Jewish History in Jewish Art” for Annual Adolph and Ruth Schnurmacher Lecture

“Is a Manuscript a Mirror? Reading Jewish History in Jewish Art” on Nov. 26

From a Haggadah written and illustrated by Moses Leib Wolf of Trebitsch.

Free and open to the public, this lecture by Marc Michael Epstein, PhD, is made possible through the generosity of the Adolph and Ruth Schnurmacher Foundation.

Marc Michael Epstein, PhD, professor of religion and visual culture, director of Jewish Studies at Vassar College, and author of The Medieval Haggadah: Art, Narrative, and Religious Imagination, will deliver the 2018 Adolph and Ruth Schnurmacher Lecture in Judaic Studies. The lecture entitled “Is a Manuscript a Mirror? Reading Jewish History in Jewish Art” will be held on Monday, November 26 at 7:30 p.m. in the Dolan School of Business Dining Room.

In his lecture, Dr. Epstein will challenge the widely held notion that Jewish art is a mirror of Jewish life, showing the details of Jewish home life. It is widely believed that Jewish art revealed how Jews lived, the style of clothing they wore at the time, and the types of household items they owned. Dr. Epstein proposes replacing the paradigm of the mirror with that of a projector. He believes “art, in other words, should be understood as evidence of the things patrons desired to say about themselves and to project to viewers: everything we see that is apparently a representation is also an aspiration.”

Dr. Epstein received his PhD at Yale University, and conducted his graduate research at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. 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 2015 Skies of Parchment, Seas of Ink: Jewish Manuscript Illumination was the winner of the National Jewish Book Award. Dr. Epstein is the former director of the Hebrew Books and Manuscripts division of Sotheby's Judaica department, and continues to serve as consultant to various libraries, auction houses, museums and private collectors throughout the world. He is currently working on a book project titled People of the Image: Jews & Art.

Free and open to the public, this lecture is made possible through the generosity of the Adolph and Ruth Schnurmacher Foundation. Contact the Bennett Center at bennettcenter@fairfield.edu or call (203) 254-4000, ext. 2066 for reservations.

“Is a Manuscript a Mirror? Reading Jewish History in Jewish Art”

Date: Monday, November 26
Time: 7:30 p.m.
Location: Dolan School of Business Dining Room

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Last modified: 11-16-18 10:28 AM

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