Purim Art Gallery

The dramatic Purim story from the Megillah, also known as the Scroll or Book of Esther, lends itself to vivid depictions. We have created this online gallery to showcase some illustrated versions of the tale, as well as other objects, such as groggers (noisemakers), that feature in the holiday. We thank Prof. Shalom Sabar for sharing items from his personal collection and for providing the explanations for each item. Click here to read “Purim Unmasked,” a new interview with Prof. Sabar on Purim traditions around the world.

Early 20th-century Purim tablet (colored lithograph) from Jerusalem by the Iranian folk artist Mosheh Shah Mizrahi. Haman and his sons are shown as contemporary soldiers. From the Gross Family collection, Tel Aviv.

 

In this reproduction of an 18th-century Dutch megillah, Haman is depicted as shooting an arrow at the zodiac–that is, forecasting the future. From the collection of Prof. Shalom Sabar.

This metal and wooden noisemaker was produced by Barton’s Candy. American, early 1950s. From the collection of Prof. Shalom Sabar.

This 19th-century megillah from Baghdad contains Mordechai’s genealogy along the upper margin as well as Haman’s genealogy, written upside down along the lower margin.

 

 

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Hannah Pressman

Author:Hannah Pressman

Hannah Pressman is Content Manager for stroumjewishstudies.org. She earned her Ph.D. in modern Hebrew literature from New York University and focuses her research on autobiography, translation, and secular-religious dynamics in Israeli culture. A native of the Southeast, she loves living in the Northwest.

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