The Rylands Haggadah: Medieval Jewish Art in Context

This series is made possible by The David Berg Foundation.

Selected Images

Featured Media

From Slavery to Redemption: Crafting Jewish Identity in the Middle Ages

Program information

Presented in conjunction with The Rylands Haggadah: Medieval Jewish Art in Context (on view March 27–September 30, 2012), this lecture by Abby Kornfeld, a doctoral candidate at the Institute of Fine Arts, NYU, explores the beauty, poignancy, and wit of illuminated Hebrew manuscripts, and examines how art shaped the experience of Jewish ritual in the Middle Ages.

The installation is made possible by The David Berg Foundation.

The Rylands Haggadah

Medieval Jewish Art in Context

March 27–September 30, 2012

From the calling of Moses to the crossing of the Red Sea, the drama of the ancient Israelites' exodus from Egypt is presented in The Rylands Haggadah.

This is the third in a series of installations focusing on one masterwork of Hebrew manuscript illumination from a national or international collection. This spring, the featured work comes from the John Rylands University Library in Manchester, England. Each month, the Haggadah will be open to a different page, affording visitors the exceptional opportunity to follow the artist's telling of the Exodus story. Works of art from the Museum's own collection, made for Christian use but depicting the saga of the Hebrew people, will suggest the larger, medieval context of biblical storytelling in which the Haggadah was created.

The previous installations featured the Washington Haggadah (on view April 5–July 4, 2011) and Lisbon's Hebrew Bible (on view November 22, 2011–January 16, 2012).

Image: The Preparation of the Pascal Lamb, the Marking of the Door, and the Celebration of the Seder, from the Rylands Haggadah, mid-14th century. Catalonia. Tempera, gold and ink on parchment. Courtesy of the Director and University Librarian, the John Rylands University Library. Financial support for the conservation of this manuscript was kindly provided by the UK National Manuscripts Conservation Trust and Mrs. Dorothy Tapper Goldman.