One such keepsake, an ochre-colored, glass “Pilgrimage Jar With Jewish Symbols” dated 578–636 Jerusalem, is on view through August 25 at the Art Institute of Chicago in the exhibit “Late Roman and Early Byzantine Treasures From the British Museum.”And there are more in other museums. Read on.
“They were more or less mass produced, although it’s a bit of an anachronistic term,” said Christina Nielsen, the Art Institute’s assistant curator for late antique, early Christian and Byzantine art, of vessels like the Institute’s jar, which has menorahs depicted on two of its sides.
The jars, which are about three inches tall, can be traced to a “very savvy” workshop just outside Jerusalem that made souvenirs for both Jewish and Christian patrons, as well as jugs with nonaffiliated decorations. “They just decided, well we’ve got this thing that everybody wants, and if we tweak the imagery to different groups, we will have more customers,”
Tuesday, May 07, 2013
Ancient tourist souvenirs
THE FORWARD: Ancient Tchotchkes Deepen Our Understanding of Jewish Pilgrims: Holy Land Artisans Did a Brisk Business in Pilgrimage Jars (Menachem Wecker).