Tuesday, May 25, 2010

A manuscript exhibition at the Jewish Museum London

A MANUSCRIPT EXHIBITION at the Jewish Museum London:
Rare manuscripts at Jewish Museum chart centuries of interfaith dialogue

Posted: Monday, May 24, 2010 10:12 pm (Independent Catholic News)

The Jewish Museum London is launching its first major temporary exhibition since its reopening in March with an exhibition of Hebrew treasures from the Vatican and major British collections.

The exhibition will bring together a collection of 27 rare manuscripts, many exquisitely illuminated, including three from the Vatican Library, eight from the British Library, three from Lambeth Palace Library and eleven from the Bodleian Library which reveal a story of cultural exchange, practical cooperation and religious tolerance between Jews and non-Jews in the Muslim and Christian worlds during the Middle Ages and beyond.


The manuscripts and printed books in this exhibition date from the 9th to the 17th century and many are beautifully illuminated and decorated. The Jews who commissioned manuscripts frequently turned to highly skilled Christian artists for the illustration of the text, and the decorative styles of the works exhibited reflect local cultures and design, whether in the Moorish style of medieval Spain, the Italianate style, or the Gothic style of Northern Europe. The works attest to a shared culture and display coexistence and social interaction between Jews and their non-Jewish neighbours, as well as enhancing our understanding of the intellectual exchange and transmission of knowledge between Jews, Muslims and Christians.

From the early end of that spectrum:
- A 9th century midrash (commentary) on the book of Leviticus, thought to be the earliest Hebrew document in codex (book) form (also from the Vatican Library)