This week we're installing the exhibition Expressions of Jewish Life through Texts and Objects. The exhibition opens on Monday, April 6, and continues through Sunday, June 28, 2009.
The exhibition begins in Olin Library's Grand Staircase Lobby, where materials on loan from the University of Michigan's Jewish Heritage Collection Dedicated to Mark and Dave Harris (pdf) are on display. The collection, founded in 2003 through a gift from Constance and (the late) Theodore Harris, was formed to reflect Jewish life, and it does so in an unusual assemblage of some 3,000 books and objects dating from the 15th century to the present. The selection shown at WU focuses on the Passover holiday and includes household objects relating to the Seder, or ritual dinner, and editions of the Haggadah, the text that guides the Seder.
The exhibition continues in the Olin Library Ginkgo Room, where materials from the WU Libraries' Shimeon Brisman Collection in Jewish Studies are displayed. Shimeon Brisman (1920-2004) was the esteemed Jewish Studies Bibliographer at UCLA, and it was through his offices that WU was able in 1972 to purchase a significant collection of materials (duplicates of books already belonging to UCLA) in support of its growing programs in Jewish Studies. The collection includes stock from the Bamberger & Wahrmann bookshop in Jerusalem as well as works from the library of scholar and book collector Moses Gaster (1856-1939). This portion of the exhibition was curated by Jill Storm, a PhD candidate in WU's History Department, and coordinated by Deborah Katz, Subject Bibliographer for Jewish and Near Eastern Studies, and Shelli Kastin, Supervisor of the WU Libraries' Original & Adaptive Cataloging Unit.
Shown above is a 1655 edition of a work that will form the focus of an upcoming related lecture. On Wednesday, April 29, 2009, Dr. Martin Jacobs will speak on "Hebrew Belles Lettres and the Memory of Spain: Ibn Verga's Staff of Judah, an early printed book from Washington University's Brisman Collection." The lecture will take place on Wednesday, April 29, 2009, at 4:00pm in the Olin Library Ginkgo Room. It is free and open to the public.