Scholar to discuss ancient synagogue art
Yeshiva University cultural historian Steven Fine will give a University of Louisville talk April 1 about the use of color in ancient Jewish places of worship.
Fine’s free, public lecture on “The Colorful Art of the Ancient Synagogue” will begin at 7:30 p.m. at the Jewish Community Center, 3600 Dutchmans Lane. This is the first year UofL’s Naamani Memorial Lecture Series will be presented off-campus and during a weekend.
His illustrated lecture will explore the importance of color for the understanding of Jewish art, archaeology and liturgy of the Roman period. Fine contends that most people are used to the image of Roman sculpture as pristine, white marble, but recent studies challenge that view by showing that classical art and architecture were vibrantly colored.
Fine is a professor of Jewish history and director of Yeshiva University’s Center for Israel Studies. His studies focus on relationships between the literature of ancient Judaism and its art and archaeology. Fine wrote the book “Art and Judaism in the Greco-Roman World: Toward a New Jewish Archaeology” and is an editor of Images: A Journal for the Study of Jewish Art and Visual Culture. The professor has used his blend of academic interests in a wide range of publications from museum catalogs to a children’s book about synagogues.
The Naamani series is named for former UofL political science professor Israel Naamani and brings to town prominent scholars involved in Jewish, Middle East and Islamic studies.