by Zvi Orgad (Bar-Ilan University, Department of Jewish Art)
In the 19th century, the custom of painting synagogue interiors spread from Eastern Europe to the Land of Israel. Some painted motifs symbolizing redemption evolved or were alternated during the transfer, especially from the beginning of the 20th century. This process reflected Zionist thought and their culmination in the Land of Israel. Synagogue paintings prevailed in the State of Israel well into the 1970s, long after their demolition in Europe. The lecture presents the development and primary motifs of synagogue interior paintings in the Land and the State of Israel as reflecting an ongoing process of national redemption.
Dr. Zvi Orgad teaches in the Department of Jewish Art at Bar-Ilan University. His PhD thesis focused on the work methods of early modern Eastern and Central European synagogue painters. His research interests are the semiotics of synagogue art, the work methods of the synagogue and Hebrew illuminated manuscript decorators, and Jewish museums. His book, Eliezer-Zusman of Brody: The Early Modern Synagogue Painter and His World, was published by Brill in 2022.