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Introduction to Judaica art galleries
Jewish people and their ancestors of biblical times have expressed themselves artistically, in various forms, throughout their history. Their art detailing their lifestyles and reflecting the styles of the times and the environment within which they lived.
Art has served both religious and personal purposes. Artistic pieces have been created to adorn one’s home since antiquity. According to the Jewish Virtual Library, “Jews have constantly produced or made use of objects which appealed in some fashion to their aesthetic sense.” That same article mentions that despite some inhibitions placed on art due to religious dogma and scripture, “Nevertheless, at various periods and in various environments, in antiquity, as well as in modern times, these inhibitions were ignored.”
It is true that Jewish neighbors and different cultures that the Jews had close contact with also shaped Judaic art; sometimes, it reinforced a cultural shunning of representational art as a respite to their image worshipping neighbors.
In later years, Jews in Europe in the 19th and 20th centuries for example, as many Jewish people and Jewish culture as a whole became more assimilated, Jews often share in the artistic aesthetic and outlook of their neighbors, subsequently loosening the prejudice against representational art.
Many notable Jewish artists, including- Marc Chagall, Daniel Moritz Oppenheim, Max Weber, Sonia Delaunay, and Leon Bakst, and that’s just breaking the surface. Jews have made significant contributions in painting, music, film, literature, sculpture, and every other art form under the sun.
Throughout the world, there are Judaica art galleries that display all varieties of “Jewish art” pieces by Jewish artists, which explore the Jewish experience. Below is a list of 19 Judaica art galleries, including information on the galleries, some of their fixed exhibitions, and the art types on display.
Judaica Art Galleries
1. Judaic Fine Art By Chava Roth (Brooklyn, NY)
The Chava Roth Judaica Art Gallery, located in the Brooklyn neighborhood of Midwood, is home to a collection of works from renowned Jewish artist Chava Roth. Permanent fixtures include many still-life paintings that reflect various religious customs, Jewish home life, and Jewish food/feasts.
The gallery also features a collection titled “Israel,” which features paintings and photographs from Israel/of Israeli life. Jerusalem and its people are featured prominently; historical sites like the Wailing Wall and the old, walled city of Jerusalem come to life through Roth’s vivid use of colors and extensive attention to detail.
Perhaps the most impressive section on the Judaic Art Gallery website is the portrait section; Chava is a master portraitist who has painted many Jewish families and prominent individuals; her work is very life-like, almost photogenic in fact.
2. The Leviim Judaica Jewish Art Gallery of Brooklyn (Brooklyn, NY)
Another Brooklyn gallery, the Levvim Judaica Jewish Art Gallery, is located in Crown Heights and features hundreds of Jewish Artists’ paintings. According to their website, Levvim sources new inventory weekly, removing the middle man, AKA art dealers.
The gallery has artwork from a bevy of different artists, including- Ben Avram, Elena Flerova, Itzak Holtz, and many others. The main categories at the Levvim in terms of theme are- Chabad, Israel, Judaica, and Modern.
Two of the gallery’s added features include an in house framing service and in-home gallery showings should you have the desire and means to purchase one of their fine paintings. The gallery also has a blog entitled “Jewish Art Blog,” which you can visit here.
3. Stern Gallery (Tel Aviv, Israel)
The Stern Gallery of Tel Aviv has been selling Israeli and Jewish Art for over 4 decades. The gallery offers extensive classic Israeli art, international Jewish art, Holy Land depictions, representations, and contemporary Israeli art.
Unfortunately, due to some major renovations currently underway at the Stern Gallery building, the physical gallery is closed for an undetermined amount of time. However, the gallery webpage notes that if you are in Tel Aviv and would like to view a particular piece of art that a meeting can be arranged, and of course, the Stern Gallery’s current artworks are listed on their website.
The Stern gallery also offers an acclaimed restoration studio that has been repairing and conserving quality artwork for over 35 years. The art pieces on display include drawings, oil-based paintings, watercolor paintings, and mixed-media pieces.
4. Judaica Art (Ft. Lauderdale, Florida)
Judaica Art of Ft. Lauderdale offers hand-produced oil paintings done in the following styles- Classical art, Jewish art, and modern portraits. Judaica Art employs a team of talented Jewish artists who each have over 10 years of museum-quality painting experience.
Designed for ordinary people, Judaica Art offers quality art at affordable prices for those who can’t afford the oftentimes outlandish prices of “high-art” and “original-paintings” acclaimed by the culturati.
The gallery’s website lists the following subcategories of Judaica themed art that they produce, which are- biblical themes, candle lighting, Gedolim-Rabbinical, Jerusalem streets, Jewish life, Jewish figures, Jewish weddings, Shabbat & Holidays, still life, and several others.
The company also replications of famous Jewish artists, including- Israel Rubinstein, Lazar Krestin, and Yehuda Pen. Judaica Art sells all their work online as well as in-person in Ft. Lauderdale.
5. Olivetree-Gallery (Safed, Israel)
Located in the heart of Safed’s historic quarter-turned artists’ colony and center for Jewish studies, the Olive Tree Gallery was established in 2005 by Safed artist colony pioneer Avraham Sade’s grandson Avi.
Olive Tree offers and sells various art types, including- sculpture, jewelry, paintings, and other assorted Judaica from leading local (Safed) and other Israeli artists. Olive Tree’s current gallery features various works in the following categories- Jewish jewelry, Talitot’s, sculptures, paintings, outdoor sculptures, metal sculptures, diamond jewelry, and Judaica, which features various small metal sculptures designed with Jewish themed elements and symbols.
The gallery features original artwork from renowned Jewish artists- Tzuki, Vered Fishman, Dorit Klein, and Avi Ben Simhon. The gallery is open to the public Sunday- Thursday from 9:00 AM to 7:00 PM and on Fridays from 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM.
6. Jerusalem House of Quality (Jerusalem, Israel)
Part community cultural center, part artists workshop and classroom, and another part art gallery the Jerusalem House of Quality: An Art and Cultural Center is a beautiful center created to create an exhibition of exquisite and unique works of art from Jerusalem.
According to the center’s about section, 35 artists host creative workshops throughout the center’s building. Various art types are continually created, including- ceramics, copper art, contemporary Judaica, and glass art, including stained glass, glass sculpting, and mosaics.
The center is home to several permanent exhibitions, which are: the Armenian Ceramics room, which is an entire room covered with hand-painted Armenian tiles, completed as an act of goodwill towards Islam. The priestly blessing exhibit is home to an ancient silver scroll found in a burial chamber that includes an inscription in Hebrew.
This exhibit features extensive displays of the history of Hebrew writing. The St. John Hospital exhibit tells the story of the only Christian hospital that Jews agreed to stay in due to the order of St. John’s dedication to not pushing conversion and other missionary goals. A heraldic emblems exhibit is also built into stone as carvings within the center’s historic plaza.
7. ArtTime Gallery (Jerusalem, Israel)
Located in Jerusalem’s core, featuring a vast collection of modern pop-art, visitors are often struck by the ArtTime gallery’s vibrant and carefully curated space, filled with works from young creative artists. Some of the artists currently on display include- Yuval Mahler, Llana Gal, David Gerstein, and Sonia Drabkin. The gallery’s curator is Mr. Zion Ezri, a second-generation art collector with extensive knowledge of Israeli and Modern Pop-Art.
With an international reputation, this gallery is a hot-bed of hype new artists and collectors co-mingling in a gorgeous space. In addition to visiting in person, ArtTime Gallery lists its available works on its website. Prices range from the tens of thousands to just above $300, offering pieces to practically anyone who wants to collect. To find out more, visit the gallery on their website or via their social channels on Instagram or Facebook.
8. Zohara Art Gallery (Lakewood, New Jersey)
The only gallery on the list located in the garden state- New Jersey, Zohara Art Gallery features a collection of artworks from acclaimed Jewish artists. The featured artists at Zohara are Yoram Raanan, the enigmatic Rus, Haim Sherff, Menucha Yankelovich, and Binyamin Basteker.
Raanan settled in Jerusalem in the 1970s, where he opened his first art studio; since 1994, he has been creating art on his farm in the Jerusalem corridor hills. Raanan’s paintings are described as “a modern expression of Jewish collective consciousness” he lists his inspirations as the bible, nature, and the land of Israel. Rus paints with oil on large canvasses.
Her artwork features subjects dealing with Jewish prayer and history, the Torah, and Jerusalem. Sherff is an Israeli-Canadian artist who also serves as the director of ArtExpo Montreal. His artwork has been exhibited in galleries across the world.
The website states that Hasidism has greatly influenced him. Yankelovich is an Israeli born artist working in Jerusalem. Her artwork introduces new mediums and styles while maintaining a Judaic aspect. Basteker is an abstract artist who, in his own words, observes and explores and creates works whose source is rooted in creation.
9. Jewish Art Salon (Manhattan, New York)
In terms of Judaica art galleries, JAS is more of a curating team that organizes exhibits and talks at various locations throughout NYC and beyond, a collection of minds, artists, and curators that have come together to promote Jewish visual arts.
10. The Betzalel Art Gallery (Brooklyn, New York)
Located in the predominately Jewish neighborhood of Crown Heights, Brooklyn, Betzalel features paintings and custom framing. Living up to its namesake, the Biblical figure of Betzalel, the gallery strives to feature artistic works that reflect the warmth and richness of Jewish heritage.
Betzalel’s featured artists are- Anton Kandinsky, E. Maskim, Joel Gluck, Michael Getman, Raphael Nouril, Zalman Kleiman, Itzhak Holtz, and A. Rosenberg. Holtz’s vivid scenes of Jewish life in Jerusalem are awe-inspiring.
In each of his paintings, both the setting and the characters are given a life-like quality, and the detail in his works is stunning. The medium offered by Betzalel is Giclee on canvas, and most canvases cost between $500 and $1000 on their website. The gallery host various events and exhibits throughout the year, though they may have been interrupted by Covid; also, the gallery itself is available for event rental.
11. JS Graphics Fine Art Gallery (Jerusalem, Israel)
Jaques Soussana or JS Fine Art Galleries is an art gallery/art published in Jerusalem that has operated for over 40 years, curating works from classic and emerging Israeli artists. Throughout the JS gallery are works by Castel, Kohelet, Roitman, and Vasarely, original oil paintings and lithographs.
Graphic art plays a significant role at Jaques Soussana, as the gallery’s namesake and founder, Soussana was one of the first collectors to put a spotlight onto graphic art (lithographs), as well as to be the first to publish legendary artist Nachum Gutman’s lithographs.
Along with Gutman, there are approx. 20 artists on permanent display at JS Gallery, including- Mila, Valeri M, Yaakov Agam, Arie Azene, Bea Gomel, Edwin Solomon, and Orli Ziv, to name a few. The art types and pieces on display at JS vary in their mediums and visual art categorization, from metal sculpture pieces to watercolor paintings and the aforementioned lithographs, you can find practically anything at Jaques Soussana.
12. AHAVART (Montreal, Canada)
Ahavart Judaic concept store or gallery is located in Montreal, Quebec, and is home to a large selection of fine-art prints from famous Jewish artists. In addition to their fine-art prints, Ahavart has a Tsadikim series, which features the chachamim of the Jewish faith, sages of the Jewish faith, which, according to Ahavart’s website, have set forth a strong heritage of Torah and Irat Shamayim for their people.
The Tsadikim series’s finished product is highly detailed, photo-quality portraits of these important figures available for as little as $100. Ahava’s gallery also features an extensive photography collection that features photos of Jerusalem, Jewish life, Tel-Aviv, and the Dead Sea. Ahavart also displays Jewish pop-art and, as a whole, carries permanent fixtures and works from nine Jewish artists.
13. NER Art Gallery (Monsey, NY & Bet Shemesh Israel)
Located in the Heart of the Hudson River Valley in New York State, NER Art Gallery is one of the best Judaica art galleries in the entire state. Ner features original oil paintings, reproductions, and canvas Giclees as well as custom paintings and portraits.
Prominent Jewish artists Elena Flerova, Dennis Bacchus, Boris Dubrov, Shaul Kusman, and many others are featured prominently throughout the gallery.
Artwork comes in a variety of Jewish themes, including- Biblical scenes, Jerusalem, Jewish life, Rabbis, still life, and shabbath/holidays. In addition to the artworks and artists mentioned above, NER Art Gallery does original custom paintings, custom portraits, and picture restoration. The gallery also offers custom framing services and has a branch located in Bet Shemesh, Israel for its Israeli clientele.
14. The Jewish Museum (Manhattan, New York)
The Jewish Museum located in the heart of Manhattan on 5th avenue is an expansive cultural/art museum promoting Jewish culture since 1904, making it one of the oldest Jewish focused museums in the world. The museum is housed in the historic Felix M. Warbug mansion along New York City’s museum mile.
It serves as the home to nearly 30,000 works of art, ceremonial objects, and other assorted media reflecting over 4,000 years of the global Jewish experience. Apart from the permanent collection of Jewish artifacts mentioned above the museum has a rotating list of temporary exhibits, currently on display are- artist Jonathan Horowitz’s “We fight to build a free world” and Lawrence Weiner’s “ALL THE STARS IN THE SKY HAVE THE SAME FACE”.
The Jewish Museum hosts the Jewish Film Festival as well as regular lectures and performances, classes and special tours for school children, and a variety of other programs that open up the museum and Jewish history to the local community.
15. Lucien Krief Gallery (Jerusalem, Israel)
The Lucien Kreif Gallery is located in between old and new Jerusalem, adjacent to the famous King David Hotel and the Jaffa gate. Founded by Lucien Kreif in the late 1980’s the gallery since that time has acquired some of the finest classical Jewish art and Israeli fine art as well as antique Judaica.
The gallery features contemporary pieces intersperesed among classical pieces from renowned Jewish artists like- Marc Chagall, Ruevin Rubin, and Moredechai Ardin. This is a very high end gallery that sells only original one of a kind pieces, as such the prices here can be quite expensive, with some pieces reaching upwards of $100,000.
16. Safed Artists' Quarter (Safed, Israel)
Not one gallery, but an entire city district devoted to art and serving as an artists colony the Safed, Israel Artists’ Quarter is one of a kind, an intriguing experiment and look into Jewish artisian life.
The narrow, curving stoned-streets of the quarter and stone buildings are over 500 years old, dating back to the 16th century. In modern times the streets are filled with private art galleries and shops, as well as workshops and craftsmen stalls that sell oil and watercolor paintings, jewelry, glasswork, weaving, and other artistic Judaica.
Along Bet Yosef Street visitors can watch painters working diligently over their canvases, or they can watch sculptors creating something out of nothing, or they can view the talented caligrophers as they ornately write sacred texts with a high amount of skill and accuracy.
17. Menucha Page Fine Art (Jerusalem, Israel)
One of the most unique of all Judaica art galleries, Menucha Page is a Jerusalem-based Jewish female artist who focuses on combining the ancient themes and values of the Torah with contemporary artist technique.
Many of Menucha’s pieces are based on the Hebrew alphabet, the ancient Torah, and other abstract Jewish works. Menucha’s art includes- paintings, drawings, photography, woodwork, glasswork, and metalwork.
According to the gallery’s webpage, Menucha works primarily out of her studio in Jerusalem, spending many long hours planning and executing her unique blend of mixed-media, Jewish inspired and rooted artwork. Meucha Page divides her gallery and pieces into the following categories- abstract, Jerusalem, Judaism, Torah, and Hebrew artwork.
18. Alexander Gallery (Brooklyn, New York)
Unfortunately the Alexander Gallery which had opened its gallery doors , first in Israel in the 1970s then beginning in 2000t in Brooklyn, New York recently closed its doors for good. The gallery will however continue to operate and sell works online through its website which is linked above.
The gallery features many notable Jewish painters and their artwork, notably A. Levin, H. Weiss, E. Flerova, and I. Holtz. Just touring through the website and the image gallery online one gets a sense of the Jewish culture and people reflected in these artworks, the Alexander Gallery was at one time certainly one of the premier Judaica art galleries in the world.
19. North Carolina Museum of Art (Raleigh, North Carolina)
The North Carolin Museum of Art which is located in the state’s capital of Raleigh, Has Featured a prominent and permanent Judaic collection since 1983 and is only one of two general art museums in the United States to have a permanent gallery devoted to ceremonial Jewish art.
The museum celebrates the spiritual life and ceremonies of the Jewish people through their artistically impressive objects of ritual importance. Items on display include silver crowns, standing hanukkah’s, torah sets, spice containers, and an antique esther scroll among many other antiquated items.