Archive for September, 2011

Paper cuts

Wondering what it is?

Yesterday, when sightseeing in Nowy Sącz, a city on the way from Gorlice to Kraków,  we found a marvelous exhibition of Judaic paper cuts in the Old Synagogue Gallery. Here’s what I learnt. Paper cuts are traditional Jewish decoration, very often connected with religious rituals. Some, like the one above, called mizrach, were hung on the eastern wall of the house to mark the direction of Jerusalem. Some included blessings or good wishes and were made for gifts. Traditionally, they depicted plants and certain animals (most often eagle, deer, lion and leopard) as showing images of people was forbidden. The paper cuts were normally cut out with a special knife and painted with water colours afterwards. Surprisingly, they were traditionally made by men only, though the ones on the exhibition were the work of a woman-artist Marta Gołąb.

I really enjoyed the exhibition and admired the patience and creativityof the artist. Here are some other pictures from the exhibition.


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