Thursday, October 11, 2007

ROMAN-ERA JEWISH FLOOR MOSAICS are on display at the Dayton Art Institute:
Sanctuary in time

Ancient synagogue floor mosaics make Roman World at DAI a must see

By Marshall Weiss, The Dayton Jewish Observer

Prepare to be floored by a synagogue floor. Through January 6, the Dayton Art Institute is home to the The Roman World: Religions and Everyday Life, featuring Jewish mosaics from the Brooklyn Museum.

Twelve mosaics — sections of the sanctuary floor of a sixth-century synagogue in Tunisia — are the stars of the show.

They were unearthed in 1883 when French army captain Ernest de Prudhomme ordered soldiers to prepare his backyard for a garden. What they dug up were the first archeological ruins of a Roman-period synagogue.

In 1905, the Brooklyn Museum purchased the sanctuary panels, which were last exhibited there in 1998.