Object Focus: Ben Ezra Door

December 8, 2022, 6–7 p.m.

Location: Walters’ Facebook and YouTube

A Panel from a Torah Ark Door, owned jointly by the Walters Art Museum and the Yeshiva University Museum, is a rare wood carving from the Ben Ezra Synagogue in Cairo. Also known as the “Ben Ezra Door,” this panel formed one of the small hinged doors of a Torah Shrine, a special cupboard, also known as an ark, which holds the sacred Jewish Scripture. We invite you to learn about this work of exceptional historical importance in a conversation between Omniya Abdel Barr, Barakat Trust Fellow at the Victoria and Albert Museum and Head of Development at the Egyptian Heritage Rescue Foundation, and William Rhodes, Baltimore-native artist who focuses on woodworking and carving in his practice. This conversation will be moderated by Christine Sciacca, Curator of European Art, 300–1400 CE. 

Object Focus is a program series that highlights a variety of perspectives about the visual and historical elements of a single object, representing multiple points of view and expertise. 

This event is virtual and is available exclusively on our Facebook and YouTube pages. You don’t need an account on either platform to enjoy the program.

About the Guest Speakers:

Omniya Abdel Barr is an architect with experience in urban conservation, monument restoration, and cultural heritage documentation and digitization. Her work is focused on Mamluk art and architecture in Egypt. She holds a PhD in history from Aix-Marseille University (2015), an MSc in Conservation from Raymond Lemaire Center in KUL (2004) and a BSc in Architecture from the Fine Arts of Helwan University (2000).She is currently the Barakat Trust Fellow at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, working on the K.A.C Creswell’s photographic collections in collaboration with the American University in Cairo, the Ashmolean Museum and Harvard University.Since 2012, she has been documenting the looting and destruction in Historic Cairo and has actively campaigned to save Cairo’s architectural and cultural heritage.

William Rhodes was born in Baltimore, MD and attended the Baltimore School for the Arts. He later received a BA in Furniture Building and Design from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia and a MFA from the University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth and moved to San Francisco, CA in 2008. Rhodes’ creative works are in the collections of various galleries and museums and most recently, his work was included in the collection of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture. He dedicates part of his time to art education, including art collaborations with schools and Senior Centers in San Francisco, South Africa, Italy, and Egypt. Currently, he is the Intergenerational Art Director at Bayview Senior Services.
Website:  www.williamrhodesart.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/people/William-Rhodes-Art/100057545984118/


December 8, 2022


6–7 p.m.



Supporter Price



Talks & Lectures, Thursday Night

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