Jewish Heritage Europe

Exhibition — A Sacred Space: Synagogue Architecture and Identity

October 26, 2023 – March 7, 2024 all-day
JTS Library
3080 Broadway
New York, NY 10027
Exhibition -- A Sacred Space: Synagogue Architecture and Identity @ JTS Library | New York | New York | United States

The JTS Library exhibit, “A Sacred Space: Synagogue Architecture and Identity” (October 26, 2023 to March 7, 2024), offers an opportunity to view a large selection of rare prints depicting historic synagogues. The exhibit, co-curated by Samuel D. Gruber and Sharon Liberman Mintz, traces the history of European synagogue styles from the 17th to the 19th century, exploring how the image of the synagogue was used by Christians and Jews to present often conflicting ideas of Jewish identity. The 42 prints on view—selected from books, art prints, magazines, and newspapers—showcase a wide range of synagogue types. Notably, the pace of production of these images accelerated in the 19th century, when we first encounter Jewish architects of synagogues, along with the Jewish artists who depicted them.

The exhibit features images of synagogues from the Netherlands, England, France, Austria, and Germany, ending on American shores. Images of the latter will allow us to consider how this pictorial tradition would evolve in a country of immigrants that boasted of religious freedom and cultural pluralism.