The Visual Culture of Chabad

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

The Visual Culture of Chabad by Maya Balakirsky Katz (Cambridge University Press, 262 pages)

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