Unusual Paris Museums and Galleries
The Musée d’art et d’histoire du Judaïsme comprises a unique collection of artefacts and documents in a beautiful 17th century building, the Hôtel de Saint-Aignan. The museum is arranged so that after the introductory hall, each room corresponds to an epoch, a geographic and cultural setting and to a theme:
- Introductory room
- The Jews in France in the Middle Ages
- The Jews in Italy from the Renaissance to the 18th Century
- Amsterdam: the meeting of two Diasporas
- Contemporary art space The Duke’s room
- The traditional Ashkenazi world
- The traditional Sephardi world
- The Emancipation: The French model
- Intellectual and political movements in Europe at the turn of the century
- The Jewish presence in 20th century art
- To be a Jew in Paris in 1939
- The Inhabitants of the Hôtel de Saint-Aignan in 1939, by Christian Boltanki
The idea is that by the end of the visit, you will have travelled through different historic periods, discovered the diversity of Jewish communities and understood several essential concepts about Jewish culture.
The Musée d’art et d’histoire du Judaïsme is the successor to the Musée d’art juif de Paris, established in 1948 by a private association to commemorate a culture that had been destroyed by the Holocaust. The first collections of this museum comprised religious objects handed back in 1951 by the American Jewish Restitution Successor Organisation, commissioned to redistribute Jewish cultural goods looted by the Nazis.
Since its opening, the museum has received numerous family heirlooms, including paintings which had remained in the artists’ family and marriage trousseaus handed down from mother to daughter.
The museum also regularly presents works by contemporary artists, some of whom have created works specifically for the museum, "inspired by literature and Hebrew script, traditional ritual or their specific relationship to and observations on the Jewish individual’s figured image and inscription in time and space".
Musée d’Art et d’Histoire du Judaïsme
Hôtel de Saint-Aignan
71 rue du Temple, 75003
(300 metres from the Pompidou centre)
tel: 01 53 01 86 60
fax: 01 42 72 97 47
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