Gilded Lions and Jeweled Horses. The Synagogue to the Carousel, Jewish Carving Traditions

in Catalog of Catalogs Online

(326 words)

Author & Curator

Murray Zimiles.


New York City, USA, 2007. xviii, 170 pp., illustrations: 82 col., 32 b&w, 28.5 × 22 cm. English.




American Folk Art Museum (2 October 2007–23 March 2008)


The journey of Jewish woodcarvers and other artisans from Eastern and Central Europe to America, and the resulting connection between carved wooden synagogue furnishings in the Old World and carved wooden carousel horses (and other animals) in the New. Introductory essay by Vivian B. Mann describes relevant forms of Jewish folk art (synagogue architecture, wall decorations, and tombstones) that developed in Eastern Europe and were transplanted to America. Central essay by Murray Zimiles focuses on Jewish life in the New World, its synagogues, and its carvers (both synagogue and carousel). Tombstones and papercuts figure prominently as comparative material. Detailed descriptions of illustrated objects. No itemized listing.

main keywords


minor keywords

AmuletsCarmel, CharlesEastern EuropeGoldstein, HarryHistorical photographsIllions, Marcus CharlesKiddush Levana, decoratedMizrachNew York CityOmer calendarsShiviti plaques, paperStein, SolomonSukkah decorationsSukkah decorations, UshpizinSynagogues, Eastern EuropeSynagogues, masonrySynagogues, United StatesSynagogues, wall paintingsSynagogues, woodenTombstones, Eastern EuropeYahrzeit/Memorial plaques/sheetsZodiac signs

Related ephemera

Exhibition postcard, 22.8 × 10.2 cm; Collection of press articles related to the exhibition; Article on the exhibition by Murray Zimiles, Folk Art, Magazine of the American Folk Art Museum, Fall 2007, pp. 42–51; Promotional material for “The Synagogue & the Carousel. Polish Wooden Synagogues, A Heritage Destroyed. American Folk Art, A Tradition Enriched”, a video production by Murray Zimiles offered as a one-hour television documentary, including historical text, detailed description of the production, and b&w images. 71 pp. (incl. 40 pp. of illustrations), 28 × 21.8 cm.

Other venues

Fenimore Art Museum, Cooperstown, N.Y., USA (24 May–1 September 2008)

Catalog of Catalogs Online

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