J. M. W. Turner and the Romantic Vision of the Holy Land and the Bible

October 8 to December 15, 1996

The Boston College Museum of Art presented a major exhibition entitled J.M.W. Turner and the Romantic Vision of the Holy Land and the Bible from October 8 to December 15, 1996. The most comprehensive exhibition of Turner's works of the Holy Land and the Bible, this show comprises approximately seventy works, including paintings, watercolors, and engravings by the English Romantic artist J.M.W. Turner, preliminary drawings by Sir Charles Barry from which Turner worked, and photographs of the sites in the Holy Land as they are today. The renowned scholar of Romantic painting, Professor Mordechai Omer, Director of the Tel Aviv Museum, will serve as curator of the exhibition. He selected the works and wrote a scholarly catalogue focusing on Turner's sources and Romantic adaptations of the sites and topography and on the Holy Land as an extension of the European Grand Tour in the nineteenth century.

In addition to its scholarly mission, the exhibition aims to foster a spirit of ecumenism and positive dialogue among Christians, Muslims, and Jews. To this end, Prince Ali Bin Nayef and Princess Wijdan Ali of Jordan, Foreign Minister Shimon Peres of Israel, and His Eminence Bernard Cardinal Law, Archbishop of Boston, have agreed to be the exhibition's honorary patrons and to attend and speak at the exhibition's preview gala on October 7, 1996. Accompanying the exhibition will be a series of symposia open to the public focusing on the Holy Land, and especially Jerusalem, as a center of art, religion and commerce for Christians, Muslims and Jews, and films focusing on the relationship among Christians, Muslims and Jews in Jerusalem.

The high quality on which the success of the exhibition depended was assured by loans promised from several institutions, including the Royal Institute of British Architects, the Victoria and Albert Museum, the Israel Museum, the Tel Aviv Museum, the National Gallery of Art, Washington DC, and the Indianapolis Museum.

Professor Mordechai Omer is the Director of the Tel Aviv Museum and professor of modern art at Tel Aviv University and Bezalel Academy of Art and Design in Jerusalem. His books, which include Turner: Die Landschaften der Bibel, Universo y Magia de Joan Pon, Rene d'Harnoncourt: His Art of Installation, R'anan Levy, Yitzhak Danziger: Makom (Place) and Zaritsky, have been published throughout the world in many languages His articles have appeared in the Burlington Magazine, Studio International, Art Magazine, Cambridge Criticisms, Art Press and Cimaise. Professor Omer served as curator for many exhibitions in Israel and abroad. Including the Museum of Modern Art, New York (1968-1971), the Museum of Primitive Art, New York (1971), the Victoria and Albert Museum, London (1976), the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford (1981), Haifa University (1981), the Israel Museum, Jerusalem (1979-1981), the Bavarian State Painting Collections, Munich (1979), the Haim Attar Museum of Art, Ein Harod (1980-1983), the Haifa Museum of Modern Art (1983), the Museum of Israeli Art, Ramat Gan (1988-1989), and the Tel Aviv Museum of Art (1984-1993). He has served as Israel's Commissioner at the 12th International Biennial of Young Artists in Paris (1983) and the 19th and 20th International Biennials at Sao Paulo (1987-1989). In 1974 he founded the Tel Aviv University Art Gallery.