All manner of renovations are underway at the North Carolina Museum of Art, and one of them has just come to completion. After being closed for five months, the Museum’s Judaic Art Gallery reopens July 1 with more space, new custom-designed glass cases and a larger selection of Jewish ceremonial objects on display.
The renovated gallery is 50 percent larger than it used to be, allowing for the display of more pieces from the Museum’s collection as well as loans from the Jewish Museum in New York City. Artifacts newly on view include a large Hanukkah lamp from Eastern Europe (pictured) and a pair of silver Torah finials from the Great Synagogue in Amsterdam, both dating to the 18th century.
NCMA has been building its holdings in Judaic art since 1983, when the Judaic Art Gallery first opened. “We are proud to be one of only two art museums in the country with a permanent gallery dedicated to Jewish ceremonial art,” Museum Director Lawrence J. Wheeler said in a press release. “We endeavor not only to preserve and display these beautifully crafted objects, but also to serve as a forum for religious and cultural understanding.”
The renovation was funded by a leadership gift from Raleigh’s Michael and Lisa Sandman, along with donations from private foundations and the volunteer group Friends of the Judaic Art Gallery.