Object: A Menorah by JAR

A new exhibition has just opened in Rome and it features an unusual piece from legendary jeweler Joel Arthur Rosenthal, better known as JAR.

Titled ‘The Menorah: Worship, History, Legend’, the joint exhibition between the Vatican museum and the Jewish museum - a first for the two institutions - tells the story of the highly symbolic item through history.

130 objects, both menorahs and items depicting the seven-branch candelabra, cover a span of thousands of years. Only one piece was commissioned for the exhibition, and Rosenthal, who is Jewish, was asked to create something. Taking inspiration from his grandmother’s beloved almond cookies, he formed a sculpture of blooming almond tree limbs rendered in bronze, aluminum, gold, enamel and precious gems.

Image courtesy of 'La Menorà. Culto, storia e mito

Image courtesy of 'La Menorà. Culto, storia e mito

The normally press-shy Rosenthal was interviewed by Vanessa Friedman of the New York Times and you can read more about his inspirations and involvement here.

The exhibition is on for a relatively short time, May 16 - July 23, 2017, so if your summer travels take you to Rome, find more information here.