Danish-Jewish co-existence has now officially existed for over 300 years. Having since childhood been fascinated by the Torah scroll’s wealth of velvet and shining silver and the chinking of tiny bells when on the Festival of Rejoicing in the Torah the scrolls are borne round the synagogue by men dressed in black, I could only as an adult wonder that no one had written about these things.
My surprise was no less when during the registration of items commenced in connection with an exhibition celebrating the Jewish Community’s 300th anniversary, it emerged that some of the foreign-looking silver objects had in fact been made by Copenhagen masters.
So there was no need of any prolonged consideration when on behalf of The Society for the Publication of Danish Cultural Monuments (Selskabet til Udgivelse af Danske Mindesmærker) Dr. Erik Fischer proposed to me that I should write a book on Danish Jewish art. However, any attempt to describe this almost unresearched area of Danish art history could only be made by involving art historians who had worked with related subjects in the history of Danish art.
I owe a special debt of gratitude to the individual writers. Not only for their contributions, which have given the book an art-historical breadth, but also for their enthusiasm and determination. (Extract from Mirjam Gelfer-Jørgensen’s foreword).
Contents: Foreword and introduction (by Mirjam Gelfer-Jørgensen) – Jews in Denmark (by Bent Blüdnikow) – Religion and image (by Mirjam Gelfer-Jørgensen) – Jewish symbols (by Mirjam Gelfer-Jørgensen) – The dream of the Messiah (by Karen Sorgenfrey) – Representations of Jews in Danish medieval art (by Ulla Haastrup) – The Danish synagogues - The synagogue as a place of worship (by Mirjam Gelfer-Jørgensen) – The Danish synagogues (by Joachim Meyer) – Jewish Burials (by Mirjam Gelfer-Jørgensen) - Jewish sepulchral art in Denmark (by Karin Kryger) – Silver for synagogue and home (by Mirjam Gelfer-Jørgensen) – Textiles for synagogue and home (by Mirjam Gelfer-Jørgensen) – Rabbinical vestments (by Hanne Frøsig Dalgaard) – Torah binders from Denmark (by Naomi Feuchtwanger-Sarig) – Illuminated Hebrew manuscripts in Denmark (by Ulf Haxen) – 18th-century Hebrew illuminated manuscripts from Denmark (by Iris Fishof) – Danish-Jewish Painters and the image of Danish Jews – Emancipation and bourgeois ideals (by Mirjam Gelfer-Jørgensen) – The stage jew (by Niels Peder Jørgensen) – Danish-Jewish Painting (by Lise Svanholm) – The scenographer Arnold Wallick (by Niels Peder Jørgensen) – Jewish Patrons of the Arts in Denmark (by Vibeke Woldbye) – Jewish art in the 20th century (by Mirjam Gelfer-Jørgensen) – Glossary – Index of names – Index of Places – Subject index etc.
Bound, canvas in two colours, embossed, and with a dust jacket. (1999) Large format, ca. 25 x 34,5 cm. The book contains 590 pages with 427 illustrations. The front cover shows a Torah shield of silver with inlaid stones. Denmark, after 1732. There are two mighty lions flanking the tablets with the ten commandments and the exquisitely made crown. A varied and beautiful pattern of lines and leaves covers the lower part of the shield as a border round the inscription.