The Dura Europos Project: An ancient site revisited through 21st century eyes

29 Nov

By The Jewish Art Salon | November 29th, 2010 |

Opening reception Dec. 5 from 4-6 p.m at the Philadelphia Museum of Jewish Art.

Artists examine what the Dura Europos artists did with subject, style, history, idea, underlying texts and their myriad commentaries and they provide their own 21st century interpretations. This includes depictions of the Jewish texts, episodes from history, ideas of the sacred, evoking a historical style, Jewish and pagan identities, ancient beginnings and sacred space.

This show, which is curated by Richard McBee and Joel Silverstein, will be held from Dec. 5, 2010, to March 27, 2011, at thePhiladelphia Museum of Jewish Art. The opening reception will be held Dec. 5 from 4-6 p.m, and there will be a panel discussion, as part of the Conference of the Council of American Jewish Museums, on Feb. 28 titled “A new creative spirit: How contemporary Jewish artists are forming partnerships with American Jewish museums, synagogues and institutions.”

The Feb. 29 panel will be held from 6:45 – 7:30 p.m. at the Philadelphia Museum of Jewish Art, and will feature panelists Tobi Kahn, Richard McBee, Cynthia Beth Rubin and Ori Z. Soltes. Joel Silverstein will moderate.

The Dura Europos Synagogue murals are the earliest known examples of Jewish art (c. 250 CE). The synagogue murals effectively call for the restoration of the Jewish people to their land and Temple ritual through the deployment of visual narratives. These paintings utilize biblical and midrashic sources to create images that yearn for transformation in both the public and personal arena. They establish beyond doubt an ancient source of Jewish art and visual tradition in Jewish culture.

Images from the show can be viewed here. Read more on the Jewish Art Salon’s official project page.

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