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Press release

The Colmar Treasure: A Medieval Jewish Legacy

Colmar Treasure

Exhibition Dates:  July 22, 2019–January 12, 2020 
Exhibition Location:  The Met Cloisters, Ground Floor, Gallery 10 

For more than 500 years, a small cache of jewelry and coins lay hidden within the walls of a house in Colmar, France. Secreted there in the 14th century and discovered in 1863, the Colmar Treasure—now in the collection of the Musée de Cluny, Paris—comprises rings of sapphire, ruby, garnet, and turquoise; jeweled and fanciful brooches; a delicate enameled belt; gilded buttons; and more than 300 coins. The precious possessions of a single family, the inscription mazel tov on one ring links the hoard to Colmar’s once-thriving Jewish community, who were brutally scapegoated and put to death when the Plague struck the region with devastating ferocity in 1348–49. The Colmar Treasure: A Medieval Jewish Legacy, opening July 22 at The Met Cloisters, will point to both legacy and loss, underscoring the prominence of, and perils faced by, the Jewish minority community in the tumultuous 14th century.

The exhibition is made possible by the Michel David-Weill Fund.

Additional support is provided by the David Berg Foundation.

Consisting of objects that are small in scale and relatively few in number, the Colmar Treasure will be displayed alongside related works from The Cloisters Collection, The Jewish Theological Seminary, the Bibliothèque municipale in Colmar, and distinguished private collections in the United States.  In the evocative setting of The Met Cloisters—a museum whose very name seems to proclaim a uniquely Christian world—this exhibition will offer a poignant tribute to Jewish artistic heritage and its role in art and society in medieval Europe.

Education programs have been organized to complement the exhibition.

The exhibition will be featured on The Met website as well as on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

The exhibition will be accompanied by a catalogue for general readers. Published by Scala Arts Publishing in Association with The Metropolitan Museum of Art, the book will be available in The Met Store ($24.95).

The exhibition was organized by Barbara Drake Boehm, the Paul and Jill Ruddock Senior Curator, Department of Medieval Art and The Cloisters.



July 22, 2019

Image: Jewish ceremonial wedding ring, from the Colmar Treasure, ca. 1300­–before 1348. Gold, opaque and translucent enamel, 1 3/8 x 7/8 in. (3.5 x 2.3 cm). Musée de Cluny – Musée national du Moyen Âge, © RMN-Grand Palais / Art Resource, NY.

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