• Enrollment system is currently unavailable. We apologize for the inconvenience. Please try again later.

What is Jewish Art?

Register for this Spring 2024 course on the new NYU SPS Academy of Lifelong Learning website .
“Is there a Jewish art?” Where many books and exhibitions have attempted to formulate definitions of Jewish art, in this course we will take a different approach.  Rather than pinning the concept of Jewish art on a particular subject, style, or group of artists, we will use the imprecision of the term to reflect on the multiple ways in which Jewish identity has surfaced within, and been influenced by, visual art.  We will begin by examining attitudes towards art in the Hebrew Bible and the Talmud, debunking the myth that Judaism is inherently opposed to “graven images,” or bereft of a visual tradition.  Moving through the medieval period and the Renaissance, we will look at Jewish ceremonial art, manuscripts, and synagogues, with a particular eye to how Jews adopted—and adapted—Muslim and Christian practices. Turning to modern Jewish art, we will survey the work of several prominent Jewish artists including Amedeo Modigliani, Marc Chagall, Mark Rothko, R.B. Kitaj, and Judy Chicago. Our aim will be not only to familiarize ourselves with the works of such artists, but to see how they might open up new approaches to gender, sexuality, nationality, and other key elements of contemporary Jewish identity.  Throughout the course, we will take advantage of the wealth of visual resources  available, both in-person (the Metropolitan Museum of Art) and online. Spring 2024 tuition is $649.

More details

You'll Walk Away with

  • A familiarity with Jewish art and artists from medieval times to today
  • Knowledge about about important artworks from manuscripts and ceremonial art to paintings and architecture

Ideal for

  • Art enthusiasts
  • Practicing and aspiring arts professionals
NO open sections available for this course at the moment. Please check back next semester.