In 1943 a number of precious silver and bronze objects dating from the 1700s to early 1900s were hidden from the Fascists and the approaching Nazi armies by a couple of elderly Venetian Jewish religious leaders who never returned from the concentration camps. These valuables, which represent traditional Venetian Jewish silversmithing and bronze-casting methods, were forgotten until they were unearthed during the restoration of the Scuola Spagnola (or Ponentina) in the Venetian ghetto a few years ago, and a selection from this collection are on display at AGWA.

AGWA is bringing these treasures to Western Australia with 32 objects being exhibited, prior to their planned display at the Jewish Museum of Art and History in Paris next year.

The decorative art created by Venetian artisans between the 18th and early 20th centuries belongs to a heritage that vividly demonstrates how Venetian culture, with its wide ethnic spectrum and multicultural feel, provided a role model for the rest of Europe.

Most of the silver and bronze objects on display were used during worship in the synagogues and on special occasions and holidays. Such liturgical pieces include the wooden Tikim (Torah cases), and Torah crowns and pairs of Rimmonim that adorn the scrolls or the Tikim. Also included are pieces that relate to ritual dining traditions such as silver plates used during Passover Seders and a silver ewer and basin, used for the washing of hands prior to eating.

GUIDED TOURS

  • 1pm, Every Friday in January & February (Except 2 January)
  • 1pm, Friday 6 & 13 March
Image: ©Fondazione Venetian Heritage onlus

Where

Art Gallery of WA

Perth Cultural Centre (Bounded by Roe Street, Beaufort Street, Francis Street, William Street) Perth WA 6000

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