Sunday, February 7, 2010

USA: Jewish Museum Cleans and Conserves Adolph Gottlieb Designed Parochet for Upcoming Exhibition

Cleaning the Adolph Gottlieb designed parochet. Photo from The Jewish Museum on Flikr.
More photos here.

Millburn, New Jersey. Congregation B'nai Israel, original sanctuary configuration showing parochet hanging on ark.

USA: Jewish Museum Cleans and Conserves Adolph Gottlieb Designed Parochet for Upcoming Exhibition

(ISJM) As the Jewish Museum gears for an exhibition of the modern art created for the Percival Goodman-designed B'nai Israel synagogue in Millburn, New Jersey (1951), its been cleaning and conserving art from the congregation (notably the large Robert Motherwell painted panel) and its own collection. It has been several years since the Adolph Gottlieb designed parochet, donated to the museum by the congregation (which has a replica in its place) in 1987, has been on view. In January museum conservators were cleaning and repairing the large fabric collage.

For more on Gottleib's synagogue art see my Tablet Magazine article about his stained glass windows in the Kingsway Jewish Center.

The following is from the Jewish Museum blog (Jan. 7, 2010):

Created for the Congregation B’nai Israel synagogue in Millburn, New Jersey, Adolph Gottlieb’s Torah Ark Curtain is decorated with symbols in a compartmentalized form, a scheme that the artist also used in his Pictograph paintings at the time. Gottlieb was inspired by forms and expressions associated with non-Western art as well as Jungian philosophy of the unconscious. In this curtain, he abstracts elements of Jewish religious belief such as the Tablets of the Law, the twelve tribes of Israel, the Temple, and the Ark of the Covenant. He also includes stylizations of objects developed for synagogue use (Torah mantles and Torah shields) and emblems that have become synonymous with Judaism (the Lion of Judah and the Star of David). The curtain was designed by Gottlieb and sewn by the women of the congregation.

Abstract Expressionist works–including Gottlieb’s curtain, a mural by Robert Motherwell and a monumental relief sculpture by Herbert Ferber–will be included in the upcoming exhibition Modern Art, Sacred Space: Motherwell, Ferber, and Gottlieb, on view March 14 - August 1, 2010.

In preparation for the exhibition, the Museum has begun cleaning the work. In the below photos, textile conservators Shelly Greenspan and Judith Eisenberg are doing surface cleaning and stabilizing appliques.

No comments: