Judaism, Christianity and Islam meet in a unique exhibition at the New York Public Library

Article published on Nov. 30, 2010
Article published on Nov. 30, 2010
The three Abrahamic religions, Judaism, Christianity and Islam meet in a unique exhibition at the New York Public Library,cosponsored by the Stavros Niarchos Foundation and The Coexist Foundation The Wachenheim Gallery was converted into a scriptorium where visitors may explore various physical aspects of the art of the book in its many incarnations.

All the three religions, have each created a rich body of founding texts and interpretive underpinnings for their respective faiths, each of which derives from the teachings of Abraham. In this exhibition the visitor can see the complementarities and differences among Christianity, Islam and Judaism, explaining their historical development, and how the faithful experienced their religion both in public and privately.

Great works, including  miniatures and calligraphic texts, are accompanied by some of the most significant printed works of the past 550 years. The scrolls and codices are surrounded selectively by important bindings, early photographs, prints, maps, and liturgical or ritual objects.

Materials on display in Gottesman Hall range from the fifth century of the Common Era to the present, and include the magnificent Hebrew Bible written by Joseph of Xanten (on the Rhine north of Cologne) in 1294; the Harkness Gospels, written in Landévennec, Brittany, around the year 900; the Qur'an completed by Husayn ibn Hasan in Turkey or Persia in 1333; as well as fifth-century amulets discovered in Jewish tombs, 18th-century depictions of Mecca and Medina, a first edition (1611) of the King James Bible, 17th-century Armenian Gospels, and a 13th-century Samaritan Pentateuch.

Three Faiths: Judaism, Christianity, Islam is cosponsored by Stavros Niarchos Foundation and The Coexist Foundation. Generous additional support was provided by the Carnegie Corporation of New York, the Achelis and Bodman Foundations, and the Charles J. Mauro Fund. Support for The New York Public Library’s Exhibitions Program has been provided by Celeste Bartos, Sue and Edgar Wachenheim III, Mahnaz Ispahani and Adam Bartos Exhibitions Fund, Jonathan Altman, and Pannonia Foundation. Three Faiths was inspired by the British Library’s 2007 exhibition Sacred: Discover what we share.

Click here to see the exhibition online!