The Art of Matrimony: Thirty Splendid Marriage Contracts from The Jewish Theological Seminary Library

One of the world's foremost collections of decorated Jewish marriage contracts. From one of the earliest known decorated pieces (twelfth century) to recent creations, these exquisite ketubbot provide a wealth of information on the artistic creativity, cultural interactions and social history of the communities in which they were created.

Art Exhibition previously on at The Jewish Museum in United States.
From Friday 11 March 2011 to Sunday 26 June 2011

Marriage Contract, New York City, 1863; artist and calligrapher: Zemah Davidsohn; groom: Nathan, son of Jehiel; bride: Deborah, daughter of Eliezer image Marriage Contract, Ancona, Italy, 1816; groom: Moses Hayyim Zemah, son Raphael Samson Morpurgo; bride: Rachel, daughter of Solomon Moses Sonino image Marriage Contract, The Hague, The Netherlands, 1729, groom: Aaron, son of Joseph De Pinto; bride: Sarah, daughter of Jacob De Pinto image Marriage Contract, Herat, Afghanistan, 1867; groom: Joseph, son of Reuben; bride: Zipporah, daughter of Raphael. image Marriage Contract, Brooklyn, New York, 1942, artist: Sol Nodel (1912 - 1976); printer: Art Certificate Co image

Published by anonymous on Thursday 27 January 2011.
Contact the publisher.

Ketubbot, which typically record the bridegroom’s obligations to his bride in case of death or divorce, have been integral to Jewish marriage for millennia.

They were kept in the homes of married Jews, be they wealthy or poor, scholar or layman, living in the West under Christian governance or in the East under Muslim rule.

The largest number of ketubbot in the Library’s extraordinary collection are from Italy, where the art of the decorated ketubbah found its most beautiful expression during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries under the influence of Renaissance and Baroque art.

Magnificent examples of Eastern marriage contracts from Egypt, Persia, Afghanistan and India, each absorbing the visual language of the surrounding culture, will also be on view.

The marriage contracts in this exhibition represent the great diversity and range of Jewish settlement throughout history. They offer a fascinating look at the lives of individual couples, varied marriage customs, and the spread of artistic styles through commerce and trade.