Imagine! Menorahs spun from rainbow colored glass. Chanukah candles peering out from copper bulrushes. A Havdalah candle flickering amidst bronze leaves. Or, if you wish, the ascending levels of an unusual Seder Plate supporting tiny sterling silver figures that depict various stages of Passover. These exciting creations, and many more, are being offered on a new website – Penrose Galleries Judaica – the unique brainchild of David Rosen and Andrea Penkower Rosen.
Married 51 years and counting, David and Andrea are intensely busy in their retirement. Rather than leave their New York apartment for warmer climes, they devoted several years to the curation of a first class website that offers handcrafted, contemporary and highly original Judaica made primarily by North American and Israeli artists. The result is “Penrose Galleries Judaica” which launched in mid-October.
“We’ve been collecting crafts for five decades,” says David, who was a professional jazz pianist before reality and corporate law snatched him up. Andrea, the daughter of a prominent New York rabbi, was a behavioral psychologist who devoted her professional life to developmentally challenged children. She and David looked for a project to fit with their passion for modern crafted work, “and to rescue David’s musical soul from the constraining effect of 40+ years of business negotiations.” Says David: “A lawyer in his office is under perpetual phone attack, and sparring with legal adversaries on a daily basis. But these days, working with artists, the interface is cooperative and amiable, with no adversarial behavior for either of us to be concerned with.”
Andrea and David are meeting new crafts artists in their studios, at large trade shows and at local fairs, and consider as friends the creative and passionate souls who create small miracles with their hands. Artists use many materials – including precious stones and metals, glass, steel, copper, bronze, ceramics, and wood. The website’s
tag line – “Live the Exquisite, Give the Extraordinary” – well describes the elegant Judaica that appears there. Andrea emphasizes that “modern Judaica artists respect the traditional religious and Jewish-themed objects we’re used to seeing, while reinterpreting and recasting the forms into striking and contemporary shapes.”
The work offered by Penrose Galleries Judaica is beautiful, breathtaking and innovative. The website – www.penrosejudaica.com
– is a carefully curated, primarily upscale site, although, as Andrea points out, they offer some moderately priced items “for buyers with excellent taste but more limited wallets.” Each page of this customer-friendly site provides a special email address and invites you to ask Andrea questions. Go ahead and write
– she’ll be delighted to hear from you, and happy to answer!