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Fashion as a mirror for the art of Jewish textiles in Italy


Curator: Ilana Carmeli Lener | Graphic design: Avigail Rubini


7/7/20 - 5/3/20

The U. Nahon Museum of Italian Jewish Art holds within its walls an extraordinary collection of ancient textile treasures: curtains, coats and sashes for Torah scrolls, along with prayer shawls embroidered with magnificent silk fabrics, and wonderful Brit Mila garments. These items were produced from valuable fabrics which were adorned with magnificent embroideries, silver and gold.


All the religious articles in the museum collection have been used by families and communities all over Italy and have been passed down with love and reverence from generation to generation. Many of the items were salvaged during times of destruction, during and after wars, others were worn out and damaged due to many years of use.


The exhibition weaves items from the museum's textile collection with fashion pieces, from the ancient world to twentieth-century fashion, while shedding light on the cultural character of Italian Jewry and its influence on Italian, and later Israeli, haute couture.


The fashion designers, who have always drawn inspiration for garment design from the history of art and dress, are both dictators of trends and social commentators. In a world where religion and worship are inherent in almost everything, it is not surprising to see that the discourse between the two things influences fashion.

The exhibition visually examines the meeting between ten items selected from the collection, with haute couture clothing. The textile from which the garment was designed is a mirror for the inspiration drawn by the designers from the religious articles of Italian Jewry.

Curator: Ilana Carmeli Lenner



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