Current

from 20 January 2015
New presentation collection Judaism

As part of its redesigning of the Buddhism, Christianity and (as of April 2015) Islam Collec-tions, the Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe Hamburg (MKG) is focusing its efforts once again on one of the great world religions, this time Judaism. A collection of Judaica had already been compiled in the 19th century at the time the MKG was first founded. After the Shoah (the expulsion and genocide of the Jews from 1933–45) very few objects remained in Germany. Against this background, the collection of 20 cultic objects from the 17th and 18th centuries is especially precious. This inventory, for a long time on semi-permanent loan to the Hamburg Museum, is now being presented in the MKG again for the first time since its founding.  It permits a glimpse into the rites and customs of the Jewish religion and helps to establish a dialogue between the religions. Among the objects on show are filigree silverwork such as Torah shields and Torah pointers, a kiddush cup for the blessing, a  besamim (spice) box for shabbat, a shofar, which is blown on Jom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, a silver candelabrum for Hanukkah, the Feast of Lights, an Esther Scroll for Purim and a pewter plate used at Pesach, the Feast of the Passover. A Bauhaus candlestick in the form of a menorah and bracelets designed in 2012 in the USA for the mourning ritual Kaddish round off the spectrum. The exhibition has been made possible through the kind support of the Justus Brinckmann Gesellschaft and Christine Claussen.

Ill.: Esther Scroll for the Feast of Purim, detail, North Germany, c. 1800; parchment, silver, partially gilt 
photo: Stanislaw Rowinski, © Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe Hamburg