59. January 8 – March 12, 2017
From Aleph to Tav – Unique Works by Mordechai Rosenstein, Painter and Calligrapher
In the early 1970s I stood outside Neighborhood Center Preschool, in northeast Philadelphia, waiting for my daughter to come out of class. Standing near me I noticed another mother holding a scrap of paper. On that paper was the most beautiful, obviously hand lettered, calligraphed Hebrew letter I had ever seen. At that time I was art consultant for the Division of Community Services of Gratz College. One of my jobs was to curate exhibitions of Jewish art. So, of course, I approached the woman who turned out to be Mati Rosenstein, the wife of Mordechai Rosenstein.
In 2017 Mordechai is an internationally renowned artist calligrapher, but then he was an unfulfilled artist making his living as a master framer. I went home with Mati that day and could not believe my eyes! The house was a visual symphony of gorgeous Hebrew calligraphic art that had never been seen outside of their home. I quickly put an end to that.
Over the next few years I took advantage of every opportunity I could to publicly present Mordechai’s work. There were exhibitions at the Fleisher Memorial and the Y (Broad and Pine), (both co-sponsored by the Art Museum) at LaSalle College, Gratz College and many more. Eventually Mordechai left framing and has since dedicated his career to fulfilling his potential as an artist.
I am so proud that I can bring his work to this museum in a one person show we are calling From Aleph to Tav. Our primary focus here is unique works – one of a kind – with a few important graphic prints for historic context.