Mark Podwal's archival pigment print depicts the four leading characters of Mozart's beloved comedy, with the men, disguised as moustache-wearing "Albanians," wooing each other's sweetheart. The troop ship's flag and sails feature Mozart's signature and musical excerpts from the score.
Limited Edition Archival Print
Verdi's Nabucco, based on the life of Nebuchadnezzar, the King of Babylon, was the inspiration for this original image. The artwork incorporates a winged Babylonian lion and broken Jewish ceremonial objects from various eras symbolizing the plight of the Jewish people throughout history.
Mark Podwal's richly designed textiles for Prague's Altneuschul, the oldest and continually active synagogue in Europe, include a Torah ark cover, three Torah mantles and covers for the Torah reading and cantor’s desks. Built in 1270, the Altneuschul, or "Old-New Synagogue," is celebrated for its architectural beauty and legendary provenance–myth has it its stones were brought by angels. In collaboration with renowned New York textile embroiderers Penn & Fletcher, Podwal used modern technology to create vignettes of the centuries-old Prague Jewish Community.
Temple Emanu-El - New York, New York
The Emanu-El main sanctuary, seating 2,500, makes it one of the world’s largest Jewish houses of worship. In 1996, Mark Podwal designed an Aubusson tapestry for the main sanctuary's Torah ark. Each design for the five Torah mantles symbolizes one of the five books of Moses.
Congregation Agudas Achim - Austin, Texas
Torah Ark Exterior Door Decoration
Mark Podwal's Hebrew Zodiac is etched in copper on the exterior of the ark doors. The art is based on the following Talmudic verse: "He who sees the sun in its seasons, the moon in its fullness, the stars in their orbit, the planets in their fixed order, will say 'Blessed be the Creator of the Universe.'" Zodiac signs appeared frequently in early Jewish art particularly in synagogue floor mosaics. The balancing scale of Libra coincides with the month of Tishrei, the time of divine judgment. Taurus was linked to the calf slaughtered by Abraham for his three angelic guests while Gemini is said to represent Jacob and Esau. The twelve Zodiac signs were also said to correspond to the twelve tribes of Israel.
Torah Ark Interior Door Decoration
"All that which I created, I created in pairs: Heaven and Earth a pair, the sun and moon a pair, Adam and Eve a pair" (Song of Songs Rabbah). Inspired by this verse, depicted are the sun and moon, a pair of rimmonim, a pair of tefillin, a pair of hands configuring the priestly blessing, a pair of challot, and the two tablets of the Ten Commandments protected by a pair of lions.
The Paroketh, the curtain in front of the Torah ark, is adorned with a painting of a Tree of Life with the Torah scrolls as the trunk. The Kabbalistic tree diagram portraying the ten sefirot or attributes of G-d appears among the leaves.
The images on the seven Torah mantles each represent a Jewish festival or Day of Remembrance. The mantle design for a Torah saved from the Holocaust is an upside down menorah formed by railroad tracks alongside a yellow Star of David.
Medal for Echo Foundation
The Echo Foundation commissioned Mark Podwal to design the “Sandra and Leon Levine Medal for Life.” Inspiration for the medal’s design came from the Levines’ philanthropic activities and their Jewish heritage. The front of the medal evokes an ancient Israeli coin, featuring a lyre and the biblical verse Psalm 89:3 in Paleo-Hebrew. The name of the medal, “Sandra and Leon Levine Medal for Life,” arcs halfway around the coin. The reverse side is inscribed with the same verse, which reads, “The world is built upon loving kindness,” in both Paleo-Hebrew and English.