The Guiding Hand: The BARR Foundation Collection of Torah Pointers
Lunch & Learn

Join Skirball curatorial consultant Abby Schwartz and collections manager and preparator Sheri Besso for an informal light lunch and conversation about the challenges of mounting this exhibition and the craftsmanship of these objects of material culture that are at once tools of devotion and exquisite works of art. The program includes a visit to the exhibition.

Reservations required.

Date: Thursday, June 6, 2024
Time: 12:00 pm - 2:00 pm EST
Location: Mayerson Hall, Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, 3101 Clifton Avenue, Cincinnati, OH
Speakers: Abby Schwartz and Sheri Besso

Be dazzled by over 100 antique and contemporary Torah pointers, known by the Hebrew word yad for hand. The yad is used to keep one’s place in the Torah scroll, the central text of the Jewish faith, which is densely hand-written in Hebrew. Created by artists from different ages and cultures and made of diverse materials including wood, precious metals, jewels, ceramics, paper, and more, these yads chronicle the timeless, universal aesthetic guide in reading the Torah. The collection was formed by Virginia resident Clay H. Barr, who began collecting Torah pointers nearly three decades ago in memory of her late husband, Jay D.A. Barr. In addition to acquiring pointers that represent the historic forms of the object, she continues to commission creative new yads from contemporary artists such as Tobi Kahn, Wendell Castle, and Albert Paley. Transcending religious iconography, this exhibition appeals to all who appreciate the beauty and craftsmanship of fine art.