Ariel Muzicant Collection

The Collection Ariel Muzicant contains primary- and secondary literature on the topic of Austrian Jewry, archival material on the history of the Austrian Jews, ex libris from Jewish personalities and artists, postcards with synagogal motifs from around the world, and European Judaica objects.

Torah crown (keter). gold, precious stones. Vienna, 1883 and later, Eduard Friedmann. Height: 40 cm, diameter (circlet): 16 cm.

Judaica belong to the art historical field of sacred art. They are objects used in Jewish ritual, both at the synagogue as well as at home. While they lack any meaning in a non-Jewish rite, they do make sense in the context of Jewish tradition. In essence, they are in the first place functional objects, in the second place, however, esthetic ones as well. After all, “Hiddur Mitzvah,“ „Exalting the Commandment,“ not only refers to the attitude assumed while carrying out the commandment, but also to the objects used in the practice. It is in this sense that the magnificent decor of synagogues and prayer houses with objects made from precious metals, expensive textiles, and elaborate carvings must be understood. But the claim to “worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness,” as it says in the Psalms, is also asserted with objects from private and modest households. Whether highly artistic or simple, whether from gold or pewter, the Judaica in the Collection Ariel Muzicant translate the abstract beauty of the religious commandment into a physical one. Thus, not only the commandments are elevated by rendering them beautiful and special, but also those who carry them out and those who preserve the physical beauty.

Torah curtain (parokhet): silk, gold thread, sequins, brocade, metal pearls, velvet, lining on reverse side: cotton. Vienna, 1822/23. Height: 177 cm, width: 122 cm.

Other members: