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Obj. ID: 52479
Modern Jewish Art
  Holocaust Memorial in Emanu El Synagogue in Houston, TX, USA, 1988

© Samuel Gruber, Photographer: Gruber, Samuel D., 2023

Memorial Name

No official name

Who is Commemorated?

Jewish Holocaust Victims

Description

The memorial consists of a large woven sculpture of silk and linen enclosed in a large case at one end of the synagogue's foyer, in front of the main sanctuary. The fiber sculpture is much wider than it is high and is organized in three horizontal strips. The central band appears as an unrolled silk scroll, with 20 ghostly faces woven into it. The layer of the woven scroll has an uneven lower edge, whose dangling threads merge into tassels recalling tzitzit (ritual fringes of tallitot or garments).

Above and behind the scroll rise 20 linen bands, each of which loops at the top to create an opening, while the two parts of each band are sewn together. Each looped band looks like both a prayer shawl (tallit) and a shroud. Each looped band is raised to a different level creating the appearance of a congregation of praying – or deathly – figures.  The 20 bands continue to fall toward the floor behind the scroll, and they all end in fringes, with longer corner fringes.

The fiber sculpture is hung in a large case with a glass front. The frame of the case is made of dark-speckled artificial stone. The lower part extends out with a beveled top into which is inscribed a quotation from the Gates of Prayer (prayerbook). Small plaques to the side of the case indicate that the fiber sculpture was dedicated in 1988, but the case was given in 2009.

It remains to be determined how the sculpture was originally displayed, and whether the inscription was chosen by the artist or is a later addition.

Inscription

1933-1945
"And even then, this deathless people was renewing itself, its life"
Gates of Prayer

Commissioned by

Congregation Emanu El

Summary and Remarks

17 image(s)

sub-set tree:

Name/Title
Holocaust Memorial in Emanu El Synagogue in Houston, TX | Unknown
Object Detail
Monument Setting
Synagogue (active)
{"10":"Any immovable marker or memorial that specifically references the Holocaust."}
Date
1988
Synagogue active dates
2009
Reconstruction dates
Artist/ Maker
Origin
Historical Origin
Unknown
Community type
Unknown |
Congregation
Unknown
Location
United States of America (USA) | Texas | Houston, TX
| 1500 Sunset Blvd, Houston, TX
Site
Unknown
School/Style
Unknown|
Period
Unknown
Period Detail
Collection
Unknown |
Documentation / Research project
Unknown
Iconographical Subject
Textual Content
Languages of inscription
Material / Technique
Silk
Linen
Material Stucture
Material Decoration
Material Bonding
Material Inscription
Material Additions
Material Cloth
Material Lining
Tesserae Arrangement
Density
Colors
Construction material
Measurements
Case:
Width: 3.35 meters (approximately)
Height: 3.05 meters (approximately)
Height
Length
Width
Depth
Circumference
Thickness
Diameter
Weight
Axis
Panel Measurements
Condition
Extant
Documented by CJA
Surveyed by CJA
Present Usage
Present Usage Details
Condition of Building Fabric
Architectural Significance type
Historical significance: Event/Period
Historical significance: Collective Memory/Folklore
Historical significance: Person
Architectural Significance: Style
Architectural Significance: Artistic Decoration
Urban significance
Significance Rating
0
Ornamentation
Custom
Contents
Codicology
Scribes
Script
Number of Lines
Ruling
Pricking
Quires
Catchwords
Hebrew Numeration
Blank Leaves
Direction/Location
Façade (main)
Endivances
Location of Torah Ark
Location of Apse
Location of Niche
Location of Reader's Desk
Location of Platform
Temp: Architecture Axis
Arrangement of Seats
Location of Women's Section
Direction Prayer
Direction Toward Jerusalem
Coin
Coin Series
Coin Ruler
Coin Year
Denomination
Signature
Colophon
Scribal Notes
Watermark
Hallmark
Group
Group
Group
Group
Group
Trade Mark
Binding
Decoration Program
Suggested Reconsdivuction
History/Provenance

The memorial project won the American Institute of Architects Religious Art Award in 1995. 

Main Surveys & Excavations
Sources

"Temple Emanu El" Laurie Gross Studios, https://lauriegrossstudios.com/temple-emanuel-tx/ (accessed November 8, 2023)
Type
Documenter
Samuel Gruber | 2023
Author of description
Samuel Gruber | 2023
Architectural Drawings
|
Computer Reconstruction
|
Section Head
|
Language Editor
Adam Frisch | 2023
Donor
|
Negative/Photo. No.
The following information on this monument will be completed: