CCJU Presents 'Art as Mirror'

News Story: February 1, 2009

An image taken from Cohen’s book “The Rothschild Mahzor”

Dr. Evelyn M. Cohen will present a forum on Art as Mirror of the Jewish-Christian Encounter at Sacred Heart University on Monday, March 2. The public forum will begin at 3:30 P.M. in University Commons. Free and open to the public, it is sponsored by the University’s Center for Christian-Jewish Understanding and SHU’s Human Journey Colloquia series.

An internationally known art historian, Dr. Cohen will explore the “dialogue” and collaboration between Christians and Jews in the creation of illuminated Hebrew manuscripts during the medieval period and the Renaissance. Her presentation comes at the same time that the Vatican has announced the publication of a historic catalogue of all the Hebrew manuscripts in the Vatican Library, more than 800 in number. This milestone publication represents ongoing cooperation between the cultural institutions of the Holy See and Israel.

Dr. Cohen earned her Ph.D. from Columbia University and has lectured extensively in the United States, Europe and Israel. A widely published author, she received the National Jewish Book Award for her writings. The first curator of Jewish art at the Jewish Theological Seminary, she has taught at Columbia, Brooklyn College and the University of Pennsylvania. She will accompany her talk with numerous examples of illuminated manuscripts.

Although it is often assumed that Jews have little history in visual art, the rich expressions afforded by illuminated manuscripts flourished for centuries. Artwork often adorned biblical, ritual, legal and even secular Hebrew books and texts.

The Center for Christian-Jewish Understanding is an educational and research arm of Sacred Heart University. The sponsor of numerous international conferences and publications, it works to promote dialogue and peace through a respectful understanding of these two great religious traditions.

For further information on the work of the Center and on this conference, contact CCJU at 203-365-7592.