Tree of Paradise: Jewish Mosaics from the Roman Empire opens September 21 at the Dayton Art Institute in Dayton, Ohio. I curated this exhibition for the Brooklyn Museum in 2005–2006 and I’m excited about the beginning of its three city tour. On September 30 at 2 PM, I’ll be at the Dayton Art Institute to talk about the exhibition. If you can’t make it to Dayton, I recorded a podcast which is available on their website.
Twenty-one mosaic panels from an ancient Roman-period synagogue floor are traveling to Dayton from Brooklyn, leaving New York for the first time since 1905. The French army captain Ernest de Prudhomme discovered these mosaics in 1883, making it the first ancient synagogue uncovered in modern times. Approximately twenty works of art from the Brooklyn Museum Roman art collection, including gold jewelry, luxurious textiles, and fine marble statues will also travel with the mosaics.
If you can’t make it to Dayton, look for the exhibition in Boston at the McMullen Museum at Boston College from February 15 to June 8, 2008 or in Miami at the Lowe Art Museum from October 31, 2009 to January 24, 2010.
Edward Bleiberg is Curator of Egyptian, Classical, and Ancient Middle Eastern Art at the Brooklyn Museum. He joined the museum in 1998 after 13 years teaching Egyptian hieroglyphs and directing the Institute of Egyptian Art and Archaeology at the University of Memphis. A native of Pittsburgh, he graduated from Mt. Lebanon High School and Haverford College. After graduate work at Yale University and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, he earned an MA and Ph.D. in Egyptology at the University of Toronto. He is the author of books and articles on the ancient Egyptian economy, Egyptian coffins, and the Jewish minority in ancient Egypt and ancient Rome. Dr. Bleiberg has curated Jewish Life in Ancient Egypt, Tree of Paradise: Jewish Mosaics from the Roman Empire, and Pharaohs, Queens and Goddesses in Brooklyn. He is currently preparing To Live Forever: Egyptian Treasures from the Brooklyn Museum a traveling exhibition on Egyptian burial customs opening in June, 2008. He lives in Brooklyn with his wife and son.