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Threshold to the Sacred: The Ark Door of Cairo's Ben Ezra Synagogue

Date
Saturday, March 2, 2013Sunday, May 26, 2013
Time
10:00 AM–05:00 PM on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday
Threshold to the Sacred: The Ark Door of Cairo's Ben Ezra Synagogue

Threshold to the Sacred: The Ark Door of Cairo's Ben Ezra Synagogue focuses on a work of exceptional historical importance jointly owned by the Walters Art Museum and the Yeshiva University Museum: an intricately decorated and inscribed wood panel from a Torah ark, a special cupboard that holds the sacred Jewish scripture. The panel is believed to come from the famous Ben Ezra synagogue of Old Cairo (Fostat), Egypt, which has captivated public imagination for over a century. Associated with the famous medieval thinker Moses Maimonides (1135–1204), the Ben Ezra synagogue is the site of the great 19th-century discovery of the Cairo Geniza, a treasure trove of documents on medieval Jewish life around the Mediterranean. This exhibition presents Geniza documents, photographs of the Ben Ezra synagogue, and art from Jewish and Muslim artisans, together with conservation science research, to relate the fascinating ‘object biography’ of the Walters-Yeshiva ark door.

A version of this exhibition will travel to the Yeshiva University Museum (New York City) October 27, 2013–February 23, 2014 .

This exhibition is supported by The Irving Kohn Foundation and Nancy Kohn Rabin in memory of Josephine Kohn, The Richard S. and Rosalee C. Davison Foundation, The Joseph and Harvey Meyerhoff Family Charitable Funds, The Himmelrich Family Fund, The ASSOCIATED: Jewish Community Federation of Baltimore, Gloria and Joseph Askin, Sara and Nelson Fishman, Clara and Michael J. Klein, Phyllis and Harvey Meyerhoff, The Morton B. and Tamara S. Plant Family Foundation, Inc., Rona and Arthur Rosenbaum, Laura and Barrett Freedlander, Jane and Michael Glick, Paula and Roy Hoffberger, Elaine and Philip Zieve, and other generous donors.

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Featured Events

Thursday Nights at the Walters

Date: 09/05/13 - 12/18/14

Time: 05:00 PM - 09:00 PM

Discover how the Walters comes alive at night! Every Thursday from 5-9 p.m., you can wander the galleries, see special exhibitions for FREE, eat in our café and find the perfect gift at the museum store.

American Artists Abroad

Date: 04/19/14 - 06/22/14

Time: 10:00 AM - 05:00 PM

Tourists, students, expatriates, cosmopolitans, and explorers, American artists traveled widely during the nineteenth century. This exhibition explores this theme and features work by Mary Cassatt, John Singer Sargent, and James McNeill Whistler, among others. It celebrates the completion of a grant-funded project, sponsored by the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services, to catalogue and photograph more than 600 American paintings, drawings, and miniatures.

Walk-In Tour: Designed for Flowers: Contemporary Japanese Ceramics

Date: 04/27/14

Time: 01:00 PM - 02:00 PM

Take the opportunity to tour our spring exhibition with its curator, for only the price of an exhibition ticket (free for members)! A private collection of contemporary Japanese ceramics serves as the introduction to the traditional way of flower arranging, called “ikebana.” Works of art in different media from the permanent collection will add social and aesthetic context to the ceramics. Meet Dr. Robert Mintz in the Centre Street lobby for this installment of our Sunday walk-in tours.

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