Tag Archives: amulets

Judith Joseph Solo Exhibit in New York

The Jewish Art Salon and the Kraft Center present:  Get Lucky:  Amulets and Ketubah Art by Judith Joseph.


 Art Exhibit curated by organized by the Jewish Art Salon.

Contact: Yona Verwer jewishartsalon@gmail.com  917-447-8567

Location: The Columbia / Barnard Kraft Center, 606 West 115th Street, New York, NY 10025

Date: Thursday April 18, 2013

6 – 7 PM Opening Reception, Free & Open to the Public

7 – 8 PM Panel Discussion Still, Small Voice in a Noisy World: Jewish Heritage and Contemporary Art. Panelists: Judith Joseph, Alison Kruvant and Isaac Peterson, moderated by Buzz Slutzky.

Exhibit Hours: April 18 – May 20, Sunday – Thursday 9-8, Friday 9-1.

The art of Judith Joseph springs from illuminated manuscripts:  decorated, hand-written texts.  She loves miniature medieval illustrations with their quirky, often bizarre imagery that ranges from holy inspiration to bawdy violence.  Her love of letters encompasses both their calligraphic form and the story they tell.

She started making ketubahs (hand-written, decorated Jewish marriage contracts) at the age of 17, beginning a journey with this art form that has lasted decades and produced some 500 commissioned, original works.  She has grown up with the ketubah, and it has grown with her.

Judith’s paintings often contain Hebrew lettering.  Her series of hamsa (amulet) paintings began when she painted one for each of her three adult sons, when they moved far from home. She used unstretched canvas, so the paintings could be easily rolled and transported from place to place. She used thehamsa symbol: a hand blocking the evil eye, an ancient image found in Mediterranean countries.  The hamsa is often worn during childbirth. 

Judith believes in the power of images as a way to focus our intent and will, and the power of words to guide us. Each hamsa image is encircled with a ribbon containing Hebrew inscriptions of the names of archangels (Michael, Raphael, Yuriel, Uzziel, Ezriel, etc.) The letters create a dynamic, dancing border, stand-ins for human beings, as we are expected to create a “fence around the Torah.” (Pirke Avot, 1.1)

More project info:

Jewish Art Salon (with web images): http://www.jewishartsalon.com/2013/03/get-lucky-amulets-and-ketubah-art-by.html

Directions: #1 Train to 116 St, Buses M4, M5, M104 to 116 St. M60 Bus from 125 St Metro-North.

606 West 115th Street, just west off Broadway.

The Jewish Art Salon is a global community of artists and art professionals. It organizes exhibitions, panel discussions and programming with leading international artists and scholars, in order to create an appreciation for innovative Jewish art in the contemporary art world.


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Yona VerwerPresident, Jewish ART Salon

Sunrise Ketubah

Sunrise Ketubah

I just finished this ketubah.  It makes me yearn for little spring buds and new green leaves.

Amulets For Fixing The World

I have been making amulets which address our deepest longings.  Although I do not believe that my art works magic,  I do think there is some magic worked by hope and prayer.   My amulets offer a ray of hope, joy, color.   All of them have a hamsa, which is an ancient Middle Eastern/ North African amulet against the evil eye.

I will be showing them at Moriah Congregation Judaica and Jewelry Fair on March 6-8, 2010, in Deerfield, Illinois.  This is a beautiful show that includes Israeli and international artists, and I am proud to be part of it.  For the first time, I will be offering fine-art prints and posters of my work, in an effort to make it more affordable.  I have finally enbraced digital printing, and I can’t believe how beautiful the prints are!

The show hours are:  Saturday night, March 6, 8-11 p.m.; Sunday, March 7, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Monday, March 8, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Here are my new amulets:  Earth, Fire, Water, Air.

I think our world is in need of some fixing.   Most people I know are engaged in some magical thinking along the lines of:

  1. Please let me get this job!
  2. Please let my check not bounce!
  3. Please help (me/someone I love) heal!
  4. Please help me get through this recession!
  5. Please help me find peace!
  6. Please help me find my way out of this loneliness!
  7. Please let my spirit soar!

My amulet paintings give form to these longings.