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Art of Matrimony

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For more than two thousand years, the ketubbah (Hebrew כְּתוּבָּה:  marriage contract) has been an integral part of Jewish marriages. Ever since the second century, rabbinic authorities have attributed extreme importance to this marriage document which typically records the bridegroom’s obligations toward his bride in the event of death or divorce. Found in the homes of married Jews, whether wealthy or poor, scholar or layman, in the West or in the East, ketubbot provide a wealth of information concerning the artistic creativity, cultural interactions and social history of the Jewish communities in which they were created. This exhibition features ketubbot dating from the twelfth through the twenty-first centuries and that reflect the geographical diversity of Jewish settlement. Thirty ketubbot are from the world-renown collection of The Library of The Jewish Theological Seminary in New York City.  We will also display a recent gift to the museum of a nineteenth-century Iranian ketubbah from the collection of the late Robert Shamansky.

The exhibition is supported by the Lenore Schottenstein and Community and Pauline and Raymond Jewish Arts Endowments of the Columbus Jewish  Foundation and the Friends of Jewish Art at the Columbus Museum of Art.

Join the Online Art of Matrimony Gallery
Join our online gallery of ketubbot by uploading a photo of your decorated marriage contract to Instagram and tag it #CMAketubbah.

Related Programming
Art of Matrimony Talk and Preview
March 30, 2014
4:00 PM

Join Sharon Liberman Mintz, Curator of Jewish Art at JTS, as she highlights the ornate decoration and fascinating stories in the exhibition. This program is presented in collaboration with the Melton Center of Jewish Studies at OSU and is sponsored in part by the Columbus Jewish Foundation.This program is free with admission. Walk-in visitors are welcome and to guarantee a seat, please make a reservation.

I Do: Contemporary Jewish Marriage Contracts Hebrew Calligraphy Demonstration
April 6, 2014
2:00 PM – 3: 45 PM

Join Columbus artist Pamela Feldman-Hill for an informal discussion of Jewish marriage contracts that she and other artists have created for contemporary couples. Feldman-Hill will also demonstrate the art of Hebrew calligraphy. Visitors can take home bookmarks with their name written in Hebrew. This program is sponsored in part by the Columbus Jewish Foundation. This program is free, no registration requested.

Customs and Contracts: Jewish, Christian, and Muslim Perspectives
May 15, 2014
7:00 PM
Learn about the do’s and don’ts of saying “I Do” in Jewish, Christian, and Muslim weddings at our panel discussion with Rabbi Harold Berman of Congregation Tifereth Israel, Dr. Azeez Haque of the Noor Islamic Cultural Center, Rabbi Sharon Mars of Congregation Temple Israel, Rector Richard A. Burnett of Trinity Episcopal Church, and Rabbi Howard Zack of Congregation Torat Emet.  Free, but to guarantee a seat, please make a reservation.

Art of Matrimony Tours
Visit our calendar for Art of Matrimony tours.