BYU Museum of Art opens an exhibition on the Old Testament | News, Sports, Jobs


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‘God’s promises to Abram’ painted by James Tissot.

Courtesy of the Jewish Museum

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“The Ark Passes Over Jordan” painted by James Tissot.

Courtesy of the Jewish Museum

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“Rebecca Meets Isaac by the Way” painted by James Tissot.

Courtesy of the Jewish Museum

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“The Daughters of Jepthah” painted by James Tissot.

Courtesy of the Jewish Museum

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“God Appears to Noah” painted by James Tissot.

Courtesy of the Jewish Museum

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“Daniel in the lion’s den” painted by James Tissot and Michel Simondy.

Courtesy of the Jewish Museum

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Students and community members can stroll through biblical times Friday at the official opening of the Prophets, Priests, and Queens: James Tissot’s Men and Women of the Old Testament exhibit at the Brigham Young University Museum of Art. .

The exhibition will feature 129 watercolor illustrations painted by Tissot, a 19th century French artist. The works depict stories from the Hebrew Bible and were Tissot’s last project before he died in 1902. Parts of the series were completed by other artists after his death.

“Drawing on emerging research about the artist and this ambitious biblical project, Prophets, Priests, and Queens offers new insights into Tissot and the world of 19th-century biblical imagery, as well as a singular perspective on more of a hundred stories from the Old Testament,” said Ashlee Whitaker, the museum’s curator of religious art. “His images are richly detailed, imaginative, colorful, emotive and thoughtful. We hope our audience will take the opportunity to come hang out with these images, not once but many times. This is a rare opportunity, and we couldn’t be more grateful.

The exhibit is on loan from the Jewish Museum in New York, which acquired Tissot’s complete Old Testament series of 368 paintings in 1947. The paintings will be on display at the museum throughout 2022.

“This exhibition is the result of years of effort to bring the latest paintings from James Tissot’s remarkable artistic career to the Museum of Art,” said Whitaker. “In fact, this exhibition marks only the second large-scale exhibition of Tissot’s Old Testament in more than a century.”

This exhibition will not be the museum’s only tribute to Tissot. On August 1, a color catalog of Tissot’s Old Testament Men and Women will be made available, featuring essays by scholars of art history and the Bible. The Museum of Art will hold a symposium on Tissot’s work in October.

“I am thrilled that visitors are experiencing the Old Testament in a whole new way,” Philipp Malzl, head of education at the Museum of Art, said in a press release. “At the same time, I hope visitors will recognize James Tissot for the complex, relentless and deeply fascinating artist that he was – unabashed in his commitment to a personal artistic vision.”

This exhibition will be free to the public. For those unable to attend in person, the Museum has created a digital version of the exhibit which will be available on Friday. For more information on Prophets, Priests, and Queens, you can visit https://moa.byu.edu/prophets-priests-and-queens/.



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