Traditional Jewish Papercuts: An Inner World of Art and Symbol

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UPNE, 2002 - Art - 263 pages
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The making of devotional papercuts is a relatively little-known aspect of traditional Jewish folk art and culture. While many ritual objects treasured today as "Judaica" were crafted from expensive materials, often by gentile artisans executing paid commissions, even the poorest Jew could afford paper, pencil, and penknife with which to make a papercut as a deeply-felt, personal expression of faith. Many of these works are gems of unaffected artistic creation. More than any other form of Jewish art, the surviving old Jewish papercuts evoke the spirit and lore of the East-European shtetl and the North African mellah. By the mid-20th century, however, the venerable Jewish papercutting tradition had become another lost folk art.

This lavishly illustrated, full-color volume features many Jewish papercuts from Eastern and Central Europe reproduced here for the first time. These, and such works from Middle Eastern, North African, and North American Jewish communities incorporate an unparalleled wealth of Jewish symbols. Joseph and Yehudit Shadur's discussions of these configurations constitute a basic presentation of Jewish iconography of the last three centuries. The culmination of over twenty-five years of their searches and research on four continents, Traditional Jewish Papercuts is the definitive work on the subject.

The Shadurs' initial, profusely-illustrated, Jewish Papercuts: A History and Guide, published in 1994, won the annual National Jewish Book Council Award for the outstanding book in the visual arts. Their present work, Traditional Jewish Papercuts: An Inner World of Art and Symbol, offers readers much new material, insights, and interpretations, with detailed chapters on sources, typologies, and techniques. A special chapter deals with modern imitations and fraudulent works aimed at the collectors' market. An expanded, selective bibliography and an index are appended.
  

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Traditional Jewish Papercuts: An Inner World of Art and Symbol

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The Shadurs, an Israeli husband-and-wife research team, have updated their 1994 Jewish Papercuts: A History and Guide with studies of additional examples that have since come to light in Eastern ... Read full review

Contents

Jewish Papercuts at First Glance i
1
Egypt
7
England
13
Uses Symbols and Inscriptions
57
A Closer Look at Some Jewish Folk Papercuts Throughout the Diaspora
113
Studies and Conjectures in Sources Symbolisms and Techniques
149
Jews in Silhouette
183
Documenting a Tradition
191
Folk Art and the Collectors Market
209
So Youve Found an Old Jewish Papercut
223
Copyright

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About the author (2002)

JOSEPH SHADUR (d. 2006) studied at the University of Minnesota, Queens College, and New York University. He taught and published on aspects of modern European and Middle East history and folklore. YEHUDIT SHADUR studied fine arts and art history in Milwaukee, the New York Art Students' League, the London Polytechnic, and Queens College, New York. From the 1970s, she initiated and pioneered the contemporary revival of the Jewish papercut. Her work is represented in museums and important institutional and private collections, among them the Israel Museum, the Smithsonian Institution, the Library of Congress, the Schweizerisches Museum der Kulturen in Basel, and many others. Yehudit Shadur lives in Jerusalem.

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