Online Lecture: Fordham and Les Enluminures presents: “Go forth and learn”: The Artist Joel ben Simeon and a Newly Discovered Hebrew Manuscript, 22 October 2020, 1:00pm (EST)

Online conversation via Zoom (link to be sent out 1 day prior)

The discovery of a new manuscript with more than 300 drawings by the hand of Joel ben Simeon, a fifteenth-century Jewish scribe and illuminator, prompts a reassessment of his career at a time of great religious uncertainty, economic opportunity, and cultural exchange. Born in Germany, where he trained as an artist and scribe and from where he was probably expelled, Joel ben Simeon spent most of his itinerant career in the book arts in northern Italy. We perhaps know more about him – from his colophons and his signed works – than any other illuminator-scribe, Jewish or Christian, in the fifteenth century. He depicts himself as a traveler in one manuscript next to the words “Go forth and learn,” which we hope to accomplish in this Webinar.


Keynote: Professor Katrin Kogman-Appel, University of Muenster, Institut fur Judische Studien, previously taught at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (1996-2015). Professor Kogman-Appel has published extensively on medieval Jewish art and book culture and is particularly interested in Hebrew manuscript illumination and its cultural and social contexts.

Professor Lucia Raspe, Goethe Universitaet, Frankfurt am Main. Professor Raspe has published widely on late medieval and early modern Jewish communities, including the migration of German Jews to Italy, on manuscript and print culture.

This event is a joint program between Fordham Jewish Studies and Les Enluminures, organized by Sandra Hindman, Professor Emerita of Art History, Northwestern University, and President and Founder, Les Enluminures and Sharon Liberman Mintz, Curator of Jewish Art, The Library of the Jewish Theological Seminary, and Senior Consultant, Judaica, Sotheby’s.

Find out more and register here.


Published by Roisin Astell

Roisin Astell received a First Class Honours in History of Art at the University of York (2014), under the supervision of Dr Emanuele Lugli. After spending a year learning French in Paris, Roisin then completed an MSt. in Medieval Studies at the University of Oxford (2016), where she was supervised by Professor Gervase Rosser and Professor Martin Kauffmann. In 2017, Roisin was awarded a CHASE AHRC studentship as a doctoral candidate at the University of Kent’s Centre for Medieval and Early Modern Studies, under the supervision of Dr Emily Guerry.

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