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  • Author or Editor: Batsheva Goldman-Ida x

Batsheva Goldman-Ida


“Museum Musings” relates to the exhibition Alchemy of Words: Abraham Abulafia, Dada Lettrism (Tel Aviv Museum of Art, 16 June–19 November 2016), discussing the connections made, discoveries, and considerations on what lay behind the unique constellation of the show.

Batsheva Goldman-Ida

This case study combines the disciplines of art history, community history, and ethnographic fieldwork to identify a group of museum objects within their cultural context. It shows how ethnography can be used to supplement the tool box available to the art historian in a positive way. Thus, private collections are used to identify the group of Hanukkah lamps of sheet metal in museums. Images of the lamps in folk and fine art, and mention of them in newspaper advertisements and community satirical publications—all contemporary to the period of their use—were consulted. Over 80 interviewees from southern Germany, Alsace, and the Netherlands were interviewed; the majority former teachers from a Jewish school in Wurzburg, others residing in Jerusalem and on the Moshav Shavei Tzion. As a result, the Hanukkah lamps were identified by country, ethnic group, religious affiliation, and object name in the local idiom. Tracing the development and geographic spread of the form also enabled us to identify the same lamp used in different social contexts, among itinerate members of society and the bourgeoisie.


Batsheva Goldman-Ida

Hasidic Art and the Kabbalah presents eight case studies of manuscripts, ritual objects, and folk art developed by Hasidic masters in the mid-eighteenth to late nineteenth centuries, whose form and decoration relate to sources in the Zohar, German Pietism, and Safed Kabbalah. Examined at the delicate and difficult to define interface between seemingly simple, folk art and complex ideological and conceptual outlooks which contain deep, abstract symbols, the study touches on aspects of object history, intellectual history, the decorative arts, and the history of religion. Based on original texts, the focus of this volume is on the subjective experience of the user at the moment of ritual, applying tenets of process philosophy and literary theory – Wolfgang Iser, Gaston Bachelard, and Walter Benjamin – to the analysis of objects.