By Sharon Wisch-Ray
I’m pinch-hitting this week for Linda. It seems as though art, culture and history are in the air as a number or our museums and organizations have outstanding offerings as the New Year dawns.
From Jewish art at the the Museum of Biblical Art near Northpark Mall, to the historical exhibition of the Leo Frank case at the Dallas Holocaust Museum/Center for Education and Tolerance, there appears to be something of interest for everyone.
And, of course, the JCC’s Jewish Film Festival is happening this month as well. Wishing all of you a meaningful fast, and may each of you be sealed in the Book of Life.
‘Lumina’ artist, Kahn, at the MBA on Sept. 29
Since June, the Museum of Biblical Art in Dallas has been housing a special exhibition of biblical art, “Lumina.” The paintings feature New York artist Tobi Kahn, a painter and sculptor whose work has been shown in over 40 solo exhibitions and over 60 museum and group shows.
He was selected as one of nine artists to be included in the 1985 Guggenheim Museum exhibition, “New Horizons in American Art.” In cooperation with The Jewish Theological Seminary in New York, Tobi Kahn created paintings based on illuminated manuscripts from the rare books room collection chosen by Sharon Liberman Mintz, curator of Jewish Art at the Library of The Jewish Theological Seminary.
Kahn will give a talk at 3 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 29, at the MBA, 7500 Park Lane. The original Jewish manuscripts were catalysts for the creation of these extraordinary paintings. The exhibit opened June 18 and runs through the middle of October, the museum’s most popular time for tourists.
Kahn states: “I am thrilled to have my work exhibited in this museum. These paintings are for people from all faiths to talk about the spiritual dimension of their lives.”An audio tour has been created where the artist explains his art work and process.
“Tobi Kahn has created a series of abstract paintings in response to some of the greatest ancient Jewish illuminated manuscripts. ‘Illumination’ means source of light. These paintings express spiritual and intellectual enlightenment,” states Museum Curator Scott Peck. “Kahn’s work is like God’s light of revelation.” Each painting is a dialogue and conversation with treasured illuminated texts and sacred Jewish writings.
The exhibit will continue through Oct. 15.
Frank exhibit examines anti-Semitism in America
“Seeking Justice: The Leo Frank Case Revisited,” is now open at the Dallas Holocaust Museum/Center for Education and Tolerance, 211 N. Record St.
This exhibit examines anti-Semitism in America. Through a large number of artifacts, it revisits the murder case and trial that ultimately captured the attention of the nation and led to the lynching of a Jewish man in Marietta, Ga. in 1915.
In 1913, a jury convicted Frank, a superintendent in a pencil factory in Atlanta, of the murder of a child laborer who worked in the factory. Thirteen-year-old Mary Phagan’s body was found in the pencil factory cellar.
Frank’s conviction came after a long trial. To the outrage of many, Governor John Slaton, who believed Frank was innocent, commuted the former superintendent’s sentence to life in prison on his last day in office in June 1915.
Two months later, a lynch mob of 25 armed men, including pillars of Georgia’s legal community, kidnapped Frank from prison. The mob drove Frank 150 miles to Frey’s Gin, near Phagan’s home in Marietta, and hanged him. A large crowd gathered and took photographs.
In 1986, the Georgia State Board of Pardons and Paroles pardoned Frank, citing the state’s failure to protect the superintendent and bring his killers to justice as reasons for the pardoning.
The pardon was inspired in part by the 1982 testimony of Alonzo Mann, who as an office boy saw Jim Conley carrying Mary Phagan’s body to the basement on the day of her death. Conley had threatened to kill Mann if he said anything, and the boy’s mother advised him to keep silent.
The testimony gave confirmation to those who thought Frank was innocent. However, those who found Frank guilty still believed the testimony provided insufficient evidence to change their views.
The trial had a long and far-reaching impact. It struck fear in Jewish southerners, causing them to monitor their behavior in the region closely for the next 50 years — until the civil rights movement led to more significant changes.
The Leo Frank trial caused ripples well beyond Atlanta. The case ignited the rebirth of the Ku Klux Klan and solidified the founding of the Anti-Defamation League.
The exhibit was developed by The William Breman Jewish Heritage Museum. Its intent is to revisit the case of Leo Frank and pose critical questions relating to individual and moral responsibility, respect for individual difference, the fragility of the democratic process, responsible citizenship and the importance of community.
The exhibit presents the complicated and nuanced story of Mary Phagan’s murder, Leo Frank’s fate and the historical, cultural and political backdrop against which these events took place.
“Seeking Justice: The Leo Frank Case Revisited” will run through Dec. 31.
Temple Shalom to host community art auction fundraiser next month
Enjoy a special evening of art, wine and jazz as Temple Shalom Sisterhood hosts a community art auction at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 26 at the synagogue, 6930 Alpha Road in Dallas. The live auction will follow at 8 p.m.
A diverse collection of fine art at all price levels will be auctioned by Perry Berns, former director of the Wisby-Smith Fine Art Gallery. Berns has conducted live auctions for charities for 37 years, making Temple Shalom ecstatic to welcome him back for a third time.
Art lovers will be greeted with approximately 200 pieces from his unique collection. Originals in watercolors and oils, signed and numbered graphics and etchings of numerous well known international artists will be featured.
Also on the scene will be Jewish artist Mitch Goldminz, whose bold, contemporary and innovative work will be available for purchase. Well-known for his unique graffiti on subway cars and brick building artwork in Brooklyn, Goldminz relocated to Dallas in 1971, and was a member of the Dallas Police Department for 33 years.
Admission is $18 per person, and tickets are available online at www.templeshalomdallas.org or at the door. Patron packages are $150 per couple (includes four admissions tickets, private meet/greet/art tour, complimentary wine reception and other amenities). Hors d’oeuvres and desserts will be available for guests while they are entertained by “The Eddie Tann Band.” Wine will be available for purchase.
This Temple Shalom Sisterhood fundraiser supports youth programs, camp scholarships, community service activities and other social projects.
For more information, contact Anita Warner at firstname.lastname@example.org or Ali Rhodes, email@example.com.