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Mezuzah Pop

The Jewish Museum unveils a line of Judaica including new designs by Richard Meier

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Vienna Mezuzah, York Mezuzah, and Toledo Mezuzah, by Richard Meier(Tablet Magazine)

Last night the Jewish Museum Shop unveiled its signature line of “Modern Ceremonial Art” titled designeditionJM. The big news was the new work from two titans of design, architect Richard Meier (whose stuff Judith Matloff previewed yesterday) and industrial designer Dror Benshetrit, who both dabbled in mezuzot.

While Meier’s clearly referenced the pantheon of architecture (and mimicked his limited-edition menorah), Benshetrit brought the modern and commercial to his Alessi-forged mezuzah, which was modeled after an ancient seal. “Am I designing a Jewish item, or a traditional item?” Benshetrit asked himself when Alessi approached him for a design. This writer thinks he created a subtle and approachable wholesale item, ready for museum shops and high-end department stores everywhere.

Hand Washing Cup by Piet Cohen
Tablet Magazine

The collection also featured some fantastic designs by Talila Abraham, an Israeli designer, using laser-cut steel to make lace-like but sturdy challah baskets and mezuzot; Piet Cohen’s industrial but brightly-colored washing cups; and household-names Karim Rashid and Jonathan Adler’s menorahs.

Dror Benshetrit and Richard Meier
Tablet Magazine

Related: Design Within Reach [Tablet Magazine]

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I had trouble with the Meier Menorah (I was turned off of having non-Jewish motifs on a Jewish ritual object), but at least I could appreciate that it was telling a narrative. But to take a single symbol from the menorah and make it into a mezuzah destroys the narrative, and what you are left with is a mezuzah in the shape of, for one, a gothic cathedral window. What’s next, a crucifix mezuzah?

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Mezuzah Pop

The Jewish Museum unveils a line of Judaica including new designs by Richard Meier

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