A cultural history of Jewish dress

A new exhibition at the Israel Museum “Dress Codes – Revealing the Jewish Wardrobe” features over 100 costumes from four continents.

March 16, 2014 04:36
1 minute read.

Men's coatwith a ‘hamsa’ in its lining, Calcutta, India, late 19th century.. (photo credit: COURTESY ISRAEL MUSEUM)


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A new exhibition at the Israel Museum titled “Dress Codes – Revealing the Jewish Wardrobe” features over 100 costumes from four continents. The rich display showcases the colors, textures, history and symbolism of clothing, offering a cross-cultural celebration of the history of Jewish apparel.

“Our treasury of Jewish dress – the richest of its kind in the world – was assembled over many years and holds a special place of pride among the Museum’s collections – most especially as a testament to the trappings of Jewish life and their universal context,” said James S.

Snyder, Anne and Jerome Fisher director of the Israel Museum. “We are delighted to be able to present so comprehensive a display reflecting the incredible depth and diversity of our costume holdings as a vivid illustration of the myriad ways in which the history of Jewish dress informs and is informed by the broader history of world fashion.”

Five themes are present in the collection including “through the veil,” “exposing the unseen,” “fusion in dress,” “little women and little men,” and “clothing that remembers.”

Each theme presents traditional articles that represent that particular subject.

Runs through September 13, Israel Museum, Jerusalem.

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