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Look Inside The Visual Culture of Chabad

The Visual Culture of Chabad


  • Date Published: January 2014
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781107684058

£ 37.99

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About the Authors
  • This book presents the first full-length study of a vast and complex visual tradition produced, revered, preserved, banned and destroyed by the Hasidic movement of Chabad. This rich repository of visual artifacts provides the archaeological data for an analysis of how the movement consolidated its influence during a period of political and economic transformation and survived its immigration to America in the wake of the Holocaust. As one of the most self-documented and media-preserved modern Jewish movements, Chabad's rich material culture, including the hand-held portrait, the 'rebbishe' space, the printer's mark and the public menorah, afford scholars a wider range of interpretive strategies for understanding the movement and the role of the visual experience in religion.

    • The images are an integral part of this book and will attract collectors of art, photography and Judaica
    • The material object offers a rare opportunity to gauge the popular success of Hasidism in Eastern Europe through the eyes of its new devotees, to filter Hasidic philosophy from the vantage point of the lay-Hasid, and to chart the transition of Hasidism into an American religious movement
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'Balakirsky Katz does a masterly service and provides a penetrating portrait of visual culture and Chabad.' Yoel Cohen, Communication Research Trends

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    Product details

    • Date Published: January 2014
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781107684058
    • length: 262 pages
    • dimensions: 234 x 156 x 15 mm
    • weight: 0.41kg
    • contains: 60 b/w illus. 1 table
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Part I. The Face of Hasidism: The Life and Afterlife of Rebbe Portraiture:
    1. Hasidic master portraits: new context for conventional portraits
    2. The Rebbe-heir portrait
    3. Yosef Yitzchak and the Rebbishe photograph
    4. The present Rebbe: marketing the Messiah
    Part II. The Object of Hasidism: Ancient History and Modern Media:
    5. The geography of the Chabad world map
    6. The court in America: branding buildings and building brand
    7. Counter-Zionism: the battle of the Jewish arts
    8. Trademarks of faith: Chabad and Chanukah in America
    9. Postscript: inside/outside Chabad visual culture.

  • Author

    Maya Balakirsky Katz, Touro College, New York
    Maya Balakirsky Katz is Associate Professor of Art History at Touro College and on faculty at Touro's Graduate School of Jewish Studies. She specializes in the intersection of religious identity and media, particularly surrounding public protest, such as the Dreyfus Affair and the Soviet Jewry movement.

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