The Arty Semite

'Baroque Synagogues' at Prague Jewish Museum

By Samuel D. Gruber

  • Print
  • Share Share

Exhibition curator Arno Pařík in the restored synagogue in Boskovice, Moravia. Photo by Samuel Gruber.

Crossposted from Samuel Gruber’s Jewish Art & Monuments

The Jewish Museum in Prague has opened the exhibition “Barokní synagogy v českých zemích” (“Baroque synagogues in Czech Lands”) curated by Arno Pařík. The exhibtion is at the Robert Guttmann Gallery, and will be on view until August 28.

According to Dr. Pařík, “the exhibition seeks to chart in more detail than ever before a group of lesser-known monuments that uniquely reflect the history and culture of the traditional Jewish communities in this country.”

The exhibition presents a selection of the Czech Republic’s oldest synagogues, dating from the 17th and 18th centuries, with particular focus on their plans, designs and decoration. The exhibition also includes many ritual and decorative objects form the Museum collection, including a Star of David, a weather-vane, a stone alms box, a brass lavabo, and a wooden Decalogue (from Roudnice) and other items.

Many synagogues of this period have been destroyed. In an interview published in the Museum Newsletter (2011/1) Pařík says that there were 261 synagogues from the period 1620 to 1780, but that only 63 survive. A large number were destroyed in the Holocaust. In recent years a few of the surviving buildings, such as the synagogues at Boskovice (Moravia) and Jicin (Bohemia) have been restored.

The exhibition includes photograph little known buildings, and significant structures that have been virtually forgotten. Pictures of some of these buildings can be seen online. The splendid restored interiors of other Renaissance and Baroque Czech synagogues such as Kasejovice, Kolin, Holesov and Mikulov can be seen in panoramic views on the website www.synagogues360.org.

According to the museum “The exhibition is intended mainly for specialists (Hebraists, Judaists, historians of art and architecture, preservationists and architects) and for members of the public (including school pupils and university students) who are interested in Jewish culture. Most of the people who see it, however, will be foreign visitors to the Jewish Museum. The show will give them an idea of the cultural wealth of the Jewish communities in the Czech Lands and of the effective care with which this heritage is now being maintained.”

The museum will be publishing a leaflet with information about the exhibition in Czech and English, as well as a catalogue that focuses on selected synagogue buildings as part of the development of synagogue architecture in the Czech Lands.


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: Samuel D. Gruber, Prague, Exhibits, Czech Republic, Architecture, Arno Pařík, Syagogues, The Jewish Museum in Prague

The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.




Find us on Facebook!
  • The Workmen's Circle is hosting New York’s first Jewish street fair on Sunday. Bring on the nouveau deli!
  • Novelist Sayed Kashua finds it hard to write about the heartbreak of Gaza from the plush confines of Debra Winger's Manhattan pad. Tough to argue with that, whichever side of the conflict you are on.
  • "I’ve never bought illegal drugs, but I imagine a small-time drug deal to feel a bit like buying hummus underground in Brooklyn."
  • We try to show things that get less exposed to the public here. We don’t look to document things that are nice or that people would like. We don’t try to show this place as a beautiful place.”
  • A new Gallup poll shows that only 25% of Americans under 35 support the war in #Gaza. Does this statistic worry you?
  • “You will stomp us into the dirt,” is how her mother responded to Anya Ulinich’s new tragicomic graphic novel. Paul Berger has a more open view of ‘Lena Finkle’s Magic Barrel." What do you think?
  • PHOTOS: Hundreds of protesters marched through lower Manhattan yesterday demanding an end to American support for Israel’s operation in #Gaza.
  • Does #Hamas have to lose for there to be peace? Read the latest analysis by J.J. Goldberg.
  • This is what the rockets over Israel and Gaza look like from space:
  • "Israel should not let captives languish or corpses rot. It should do everything in its power to recover people and bodies. Jewish law places a premium on pidyon shvuyim, “the redemption of captives,” and proper burial. But not when the price will lead to more death and more kidnappings." Do you agree?
  • Slate.com's Allison Benedikt wrote that Taglit-Birthright Israel is partly to blame for the death of American IDF volunteer Max Steinberg. This is why she's wrong:
  • Israeli soldiers want you to buy them socks. And snacks. And backpacks. And underwear. And pizza. So claim dozens of fundraising campaigns launched by American Jewish and Israeli charities since the start of the current wave of crisis and conflict in Israel and Gaza.
  • The sign reads: “Dogs are allowed in this establishment but Zionists are not under any circumstances.”
  • Is Twitter Israel's new worst enemy?
  • More than 50 former Israeli soldiers have refused to serve in the current ground operation in #Gaza.
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.