Morocco: Jews and Art in a Muslim Land

Morocco: Jews and Art in a Muslim Land

by Vivian B. Mann
     
 

The richness and complexity of Jewish culture in Morocco, and the country�s unique intermingling of Jewish and Muslim traditions, have for centuries ensured an extraordinarily creative diversity. The result of this harmony between communities was cultural symbiosis, unbroken until the late twentieth century. The varied art and culture of Moroccan Jewry is seen in this… See more details below

Overview

The richness and complexity of Jewish culture in Morocco, and the country�s unique intermingling of Jewish and Muslim traditions, have for centuries ensured an extraordinarily creative diversity. The result of this harmony between communities was cultural symbiosis, unbroken until the late twentieth century. The varied art and culture of Moroccan Jewry is seen in this exquisite volume through several lenses: the works of Oriental artists, such as Delacroix, who made the Jews the subjects of their paintings; the intricate jewelry, metalwork, gold thread, and cloth created by the Jews themselves; and Jewish spiritual culture, as manifest in synagogues, in folklore and mysticism, and in pilgrimages to holy sites, many of which were shared with Muslim neighbors.

Contributions to Morocco: Jews and Art in a Muslim Land range from discussions of Moroccan Jewish history and spirituality to intensely personal accounts of Jewish�Muslim relations in the twentieth century. The mystical experiences of medieval kabbalists sit side by side with childhood memories of the schism in Moroccan society caused by the mass emigration of Jews to Israel after World War II. Collective and personal histories collide, illuminating one another in often unexpected ways, and offering new insights into the nature of this most intriguing outpost of the Diaspora: a rich blend of Spanish, Arabic, and traditional Jewish influences.

Along with these new and unique perspectives, this fascinating volume contains sumptuous color photography of the artifacts � ceramics, textiles, jewelry � that Jews in Morocco made, and that to a certain extent defined their daily lives. Morocco: Jews and Art in a Muslim Land sheds new light on the conundrum of Moroccan Jewish identity, from earliest times to the present day.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal - Library Journal
This volume opens with a discussion of the history of Morocco's Jewish communities, followed by fascinating reminiscences from two Moroccan Jews. An informative and important chapter on "The Kabbalah in Morocco" is included, and Mann, the organizer of the show for which this volume serves as catalog, contributes an illuminating chapter titled "Memory, Mimesis, Realia." The book's diverse texts, which intermingle thoughts on the customs of Morocco's Jews and the works created by the country's Jewish artists and artisans, precede a full descriptive catalog that includes beautiful, detailed photographs and informative entries on textiles, jewelry, ceramics, and much more. The essays make this volume a crucial component of the show as well as its faithful record. For all art libraries as well as collections in Jewish and Islamic culture. Martin Chasin, Adult Inst., Bridgeport, CT Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
New York Times Book Review
Evocative � [an] intense trip through the Moroccan past

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781858941103
Publisher:
Merrell Publishers
Publication date:
09/01/2005
Pages:
192
Product dimensions:
9.85(w) x 11.41(h) x 0.86(d)

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