“Reimagined”: Philadelphia Museum of Jewish Art Opens New Exhibit
The Philadelphia Museum of Jewish Art, housed within the Rodeph Shalom synagogue (615 N. Broad St.), premiered a new exhibit in December featuring the work of Bala Cynwyd resident and Brooklyn native Esty Frankel-Fersel. The exhibit, titled “REIMAGINED: Masterpieces of Art with Jewish Imagery”, features paintings which mimic famous works such as the Mona Lisa, Starry Night and American Gothic, but with a distinctly Jewish-twist.
In Frankel-Fersel’s Minna Leah, the titular subject dons a Star of David pendant and more modest clothing. Another piece in the exhibit sends up Monet’s Water Lilies, adding in the rescue of the baby Moses from the Nile River.
According to the Rodeph Shalom website, Frankel-Fersel was born in Crown Heights, Brooklyn to an Orthodox Jewish household. She attended Bais Yacov through high school and spent a year of seminary in Israel. As a young adolescent, Esty joined a local art school where, for the next 15 years, she took instructional classes, learning the skills of copying and reproducing works of art with oil on canvas. Today she works as a social worker, having received a degree in psychology.
“Everything can be seen through a Jew-ish prism,” she said in an interview with Northeast Times. “I was raised Or-tho-dox. I grew up in a re-li-gious home and con-tin-ued to go to lec-tures and work on my spir-itu-al be-ing. And (dur-ing that pro-cess) you’re really trained that everything can be seen through a Jew-ish prism.”
REIMAGINED is free and open to the public from now until March at Congregation Rodeph Shalom at 615 N. Broad St. •