Obj. ID: 52479
Modern Jewish Art Holocaust Memorial in Emanu El Synagogue in Houston, TX, USA, 1988
To the main object: Emanu El Synagogue in Houston, TX, USA
No official name
Who is Commemorated?
Jewish Holocaust Victims
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.
"And even then, this deathless people was renewing itself, its life"
Gates of Prayer
Congregation Emanu El
Width: 3.35 meters (approximately)
Height: 3.05 meters (approximately)
The memorial project won the American Institute of Architects Religious Art Award in 1995.
"Temple Emanu El" Laurie Gross Studios, https://lauriegrossstudios.com/temple-emanuel-tx/ (accessed November 8, 2023)