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Wedding Sofa

Wedding Sofa

Danzig Sofa

North Germany, possibly Danzig (Gdansk, Poland), 1838
  • Birch veneer over pine; linden wood: painted, gilt, and upholstered
  • 38 3/16 x 63 x 27 15/16 in. (97 x 160 x 71 cm)
  • The Jewish Museum, New York
  • Gift of the Danzig Jewish Community, D 280
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Wedding Sofa

Danzig Sofa

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Danzig Sofa

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CLOSE LOOKING / VISUAL ANALYSIS:

  • What do you notice about this piece?

  • What do you think it might have been used for? What clues are there about its use?

  • What designs or decoration do you see on this piece? How would you interpret these details?

  • What do you think its original setting looked like?




FOR FURTHER DISCUSSION:

After giving students ample opportunity to examine the wedding sofa, lead them in a discussion of related topics and themes:

  • Share the story of this sofa with your students. Why do you think it was so important for the Danzig Jewish community to save some of their treasured things?

  • What, if anything, does this object tell you about the Jewish community of Danzig?

  • If it were up to you to determine where the sofa would go today, what would you decide? Would you keep it in the museum? Give it to a synagogue in the United States? Send it back to Poland?

  • What objects do you want to have preserved when you are no longer around? Why? What do these objects say about you, your family, or your community?




RESEARCH TOPICS / CONTENT CONNECTIONS:

  • Jewish Life in Europe before World War II
  • Nazi Rise to Power
  • Community
  • Jewish Tradition and Practice