‮ח׳מסה ח׳מסה ח׳מסה: גלגולו של מוטיב באמנות ישראלית עכשווית.‬‎ ‮خمسة، خمسة، خمسة: تطور الخمسة في الفن الإسرائيلي المعاصر‬‎ Khamsa Khamsa Khamsa: The Evolution of a Motif in Contemporary Israeli Art.

in Catalog of Catalogs Online

(318 words)


Shirat-Miriam (Mimi) Shamir, Ido Noy.


Gross Family Collection.


Jerusalem, Israel, 2018. 200 pp., illustrations: 129 col., 2 b&w, 26.1 × 22.1 cm. Hebrew, Arabic and English.




L.A. Mayer Museum for Islamic Art (24 May–24 November 2018)


The history and evolution of the hamsa, one of the most widespread motifs and artifacts in popular culture, and an integral part of modern Israeli identity. The exhibition was displayed in three parts. The first part was dedicated to new, contemporary renditions of the hamsa (in various artistic media), produced specifically for this exhibition by some 50 artists and designers. The second part presented a visual deconstruction of hamsas—their forms, symbols, and ornamentation—based on a survey of several hundred hamsas from the Gross Family Collection; the final section addressed the commercialization of the hamsa (for both the local and tourist markets), and its evolution from a traditional artifact with a magical purpose to an iconic object that represents popular art and culture among various communities and sectors of Israel’s population. Catalog with 11 essays, with topics including: the evolution of the hamsa in contemporary Israeli art (Shirat-Miriam Shamir, Ido Noy), Jewish magic (Yuval Harari), Jewish magic and Muslim magic, mutual influences (Gideon Bohak), the hamsa motif in Islamic art (Rachel Milstein), the hamsa in Judaism and Jewish folk culture (Shalom Sabar), amuletic protection of Jewish women in Iraq (Idit Sharoni), Me and My Khamsa (William Gross), and hamsas from the shuk (Shirat-Miriam Shamir, Ido Noy). No itemized listing. 555 items.

main keywords


minor keywords

Blessing for the HomeIslamic art’s influence on Jewish artJudeo-Arabic manuscriptsKetubbotKey chainsRimmonimSynagogues, BukharaSynagogues, UzbekistanSynagogues, wall paintings

Related ephemera

Listing of exhibition-related events, booklet, 12 pp., 14.1 × 13.8 cm. Hebrew.

Catalog of Catalogs Online

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