One of the most prominent details of the Eldridge Street Synagogue down in the southeasternmost reaches of Chinatown was left out of its recent 20-year restoration: the giant tablet-shaped stained-glass window on the facade. The restoration team couldn’t find any plans for the original 1887 building’s window, so the museum has commissioned feminist and conceptual artist Kiki Smith and architect Deborah Gans to create an original design.
According to ArtsBeat Smih and Gans are working on a design that will include the Star of David against a field of blue stars, but given Smith’s tendency to put herself (either literally or symbolically) into her drawing, paintings, sculptures and installations, I wonder if that’s all she has planned for the Museum at Eldridge Street‘s facade.
In fact, one of her less explicitly feminist works, “Unnatural Science” (2000), is probably about the right size, and could go right on there with only minor modifications. Just sayin’, if you’re gonna pay for a Kiki Smith piece you might as well have something that looks like Kiki Smith.
Update: The PR firm for the Museum at Eldridge Street assures us that the Kiki Smith and Deborah Gans design for the stained glass window will feature no bodies (whether nude or dressed), and only “an abstract pattern in blue and gold centered on a Star of David.” If you were scandalized by our suggestions to the contrary please accept our most heartfelt apologies.