Hebrew Illumination for Our Time

The Art of Barbara Wolff

“This is only the Morgan Library's second show of Hebraica in its more than 100-year history...” explains Roger Wieck, the Morgan's Head curator of Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts.

“Barbara Wolff has an ability to work with gold, silver and foil in a manner I've never seen anybody in the modern age command,” he says. ‘It's like being an alchemist,' Wolff says in an interview. 'It's magic turning these pieces into gold. You live a 13th-century timeline in the 21st century.'

“Wolff's drawings are beautifully detailed and executed with precision—it's no surprise to learn that she worked as a botanical and natural science illustrator before turning to this work. In the fullest sense, she illuminates the text, interpreting the words through her art and teasing out new meaning, and, through the shining gold and deep colors, bringing light to the room. She's inventive, often playful—again echoing the medieval artists, who sometimes added small elements of surprise. If you keep looking, you'll find something new.”

—Sandee Brawarsky, Culture Editor, The Jewish Week

Now in the permament collection of the Morgan Library & Museum

Entrance to the exhibition

Wolff (right) speaking at the formal opening dinner in the Library of John Pierpont Morgan.

Photograph by John Calabrese, 2015

Exhibition street banner

Main entrance