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Courses for Vilnius University Students
2010 Fall Semester
Jewish National Minority: Past and Present (in Lithuanian)
Dr. Egle Bendikaite (Vilnius Yiddish Institute, History Institute of Lithuania)
Description: Coming soon
Introduction to Secular Jewish Art (in Lithuanian)
Dr. Vilma Gradinskaite (Vilnius Yiddish Institute, Vilnius Art Academy)
Description: The purpose of the course is to introduce the secular Jewish art from East and West Europe, USA and Israel, to talk about the development of secular Jewish art from its beginning (middle of 17th century) till today, to analyze its specific features in the context of world art. The students will have opportunity to learn how to analyze visual art: to recognize the style and period of art work, to understand depicted story, to decode the language of symbols.
The course goes in a few lines:
1. Theoretical part. The definitions of ‘Jewish Art’ in the world literature: What is Jewish art and what is Jewish artist? The Second Commandment of God and the influence of Judaic world outlook on Jewish art. The Haskalah and an impulse to the enrichment of the ancient Jewish culture by new values – painting, sculpture and graphic art. The search of Jewish identity in art and ‘discovery’ of Jewish folk art. The idea of modern Jewish art and the secularity in art.
2. Historical part. The first generations of Jewish artists in East and West Europe. The Jewish fine art in the context of modern European art. The artistic societies, organizations and schools in East and West Europe. The Art programmes, anti-Semitic propaganda and the quest for a Jewish style in the art schools in Eastern Europe. The Jewish ethnography expeditions. The inter-relationship between Lithuanian, Polish, Latvian, Byelorussian, Ukrainian, Russian and Jewish artists. The Jewish fine art conception and form in USA and Israel. Review of art tendencies in USA and Israel. Boris Schatz and the Bezalel school in Jerusalem. The immigrant artists from Europe and the influence of European art in Israel.
3. Practical part and analysis. The distinctive featuresof plastic expression of Jewish art. Biblical themes in art. The connection between Diaspora Jews and Holy Land. Religious and ordinary themes in art, the relation between God and person, holidays and festivals, rituals and life circle. Didactic and mystical themes in art, the influence of philosophy, traditional and modern Jewish thought on art. The sights of shtetl and occupation themes in art, social status and relations in community. The Holocaust and existential themes in art, the conception of existence; violence and victim, the everlasting fight between goodness and evil. Political themes in art, emancipation and political movements, Zionism and return to the Holy Land.