Seeing Jews in Art: Networks, Fantasies and Dreams
A lecture series organised by the Leo Baeck Institute London in cooperation with the German Historical Institute London.
This season’s topic will explore the agency of Jews within the networks shaping visual culture. Spanning from the middle ages to the present, and across a range of different media, it will focus on the point of intersection of Art by Jews with Art about Jews and the complex interplay of Jewish reactions to their depiction in Western art and Gentile attitudes towards Jewish visual culture. How do Jews respond and attempt to re-shape their images, stereotyped by the majority societies surrounding them? How does Jewish material culture them? How does Jewish material culture influence Western visual culture, and how were Jews entangled with the art world?
Dr Daniel Wildmann (Director, Leo Baeck Institute London) has pleasure in inviting you to the first lecture in the series:
Professor Katrin Kogman-Appel (University of Münster, Germany) – A Jewish Look on World Politics: The Catalan Mappamundi (1375)
The richly illustrated Catalan Mappamundi is among the most celebrated medieval maps surviving to this day. Commissioned by Peter IV of Aragon as a gift to Charles V of France it was put to parchment by Elisha Cresques, a Jewish scribe, illuminator, and cartographer in the City of Majorca. The talk explores how Elisha, from his delicate position as a Sefardi intellectual in the service of the Court coped with his patron’s agendas while, at the same time, voiced his own views of the politics of his time.
Katrin Kogman-Appel holds an Alexander von Humboldt Professorship (2015–2020), which she assumed in Jewish Studies at the Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität in Münster. She has published work on medieval Jewish art and is particularly interested in Hebrew manuscript illumination and its cultural and social contexts. Publications include A Mahzor from Worms (2012). She recently completed a study on Elisha Cresques ben Abraham, a fourteenth-century Jewish scribe, illuminator, and map maker in Majorca.
Welcome and introduction by Professor Christina von Hodenberg (Director, GHIL) and Dr Daniel Wildmann (Director, LBI):