Hanover, NH: University Press of New England, 2002. First edition. 4to. [xviii], 263 pp. Illustrations. Hardcover binding in unclipped dustwrapper, very good condition. (99908). Item #19776
The making of devotional papercuts is a relatively little-known aspect of traditional Jewish folk art and culture. While many ritual objects treasured today as "Judaica" were crafted from expensive materials, often by gentile artisans executing paid commissions, even the poorest Jew could afford paper, pencil, and penknife with which to make a papercut as a deeply felt, personal expression of faith. Many of these works are gems of unaffected artistic creation. More than any other form of Jewish art, the surviving old Jewish papercuts evoke the spirit and lore of the East-European shtetl and the North African mellah. By the mid-twentieth century, however, the venerable Jewish papercutting tradition had become another lost folk art.