Ceramic Art Donated to Judaic Studies
Center to Form Permanent Display
wenty ceramic art pieces modeled on ancient Hebrew motifs are now on permanent display at the Center for Judaic Studies and Contemporary Jewish Life. The works were donated recently by artist Judith Liberman.
Among the works are 12 plaques, one for each of the tribes of Israel. Each of these circular plaques has imprinted upon it the name of the tribe rendered in Hebrew and the symbol that represents the tribe. The plaque representing the Tribe of Judah, for example, is emblazoned with the image of a lion.
Six ceramic coins patterned after those struck during the time of the Second Temple in ancient Israel - the period from the 4th century B.C. to the 1st century A.D - are also included in the collection. A lily, a chalice and an eight-rayed star are some of the images embossed on these replicas.
The remaining two pieces in the collection are renderings of the Ten Commandments. One is a plaque etched with modern Hebrew script and the other a scroll with raised ancient Hebrew script.
The design and lettering on all the works reflect the artist's fascination with ancient Jewish symbols and old Hebrew writing - a fascination she says grew from being born and raised in Israel.
Liberman, who has explored a number of different subjects through a variety of media, says her art expresses her ideas and feelings about the human condition. She decided to donate the pieces to the center so they could be appreciated as a collection by large numbers of people. "I created these pieces to express my affinity with the Jewish past and I would rather they be seen in groupings rather than hanging over someone's sofa," she says. "Artists want to say something and they want what they say to be heard."
Arnold Dashefsky, the director of the center, says the display is important to the center because, "it gives a visual and dramatic representation of Jewish symbols as you are walking down the corridor to the Center for Judaic Studies. It draws you in," he says.
The ceramic pieces, the center's first permanent exhibit, are on display at the Thomas J. Dodd Research Center, outside room 158.
Liberman's work has been exhibited extensively in both private and public collections in the U.S. and Israel, including a showing at the Jorgensen Gallery in 1995. She now lives and works in Newton, Mass.