The Gary Rosenthal Collection is pleased to be an active part of the community. Through this blog we hope to share our current activities as well as provide a place for feedback from those we have been involved with in the past. Add your email to our mailing list for updates on upcoming projects and special deals:

Friday, April 30, 2010

Mother's Day

Mother's Day is fast approaching and the folds at The Jewish Hostess have put together a nice list of Judaica gift ideas.  Among their suggestions is the newest GRC challah board (the cboard4) that replaces the traditional wooden board with an attractive slab of marble.

Gary Rosenthal:
Gary Rosenthal has been sculpting in welded metals for over 20 years. He is self-taught and his popular style is unique and reflects a rare sensitivity to both his materials and his subject.
Rosenthal sculpture has been commissioned by the International Special Olympics Committee for the 1978 World Games, the Miss Dance America Trophy and the annual membership awards for B’nai Brith International. Mr. Rosenthal’s art has also been used as presentations for individuals as varied as Presidents Carter and Clinton, John Travolta and musician Issac Stern.
This challah tray is a chic modern classic.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

A Giant Custom Mezuzah

Just a quick post here, I wanted to share a photo of a recent commission we did.  This is not your standard door sized mezuzah - this commissioned piece stands 14" tall!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Glass Ribbon Frame

Along with the relaunch of GlassRibbon.com, we're looking at ways to make this project even better.  One way we're doing that is by expanding the product offering.  Now, along with all of the previous items in the collection, you can create this new frame, the BCMPF8.  What do you think?

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Another Braille Mezuzah

I posted a while back about a really cool Braille mezuzah we had been commissioned to make.  In the summer of 2009, a new building for the Association for the Blind was being completed and nearing dedication.  One of the major donors for the project was a Jewish couple.  As a recognition to their efforts and as a way to represent the building’s connection with the Jewish community, a representative from the local JCC Judaica shop contacted the Gary Rosenthal Collection with a proposition.  She wanted to know if it would be possible for us to create a Braille mezuzah.

We did create one for them.  It was a wonderful piece and much appreciated.  After experimenting with the method used - and finding new uses for it as well - the design has been refined and this new piece has been created, available for anyone who may be in need of this type of special piece.

If you are interested in this, or other Braille artwork, feel free to contact us at 301.493.5577.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Copper in the Arts

Gary Rosenthal and his work is featured in the latest issue of Copper in the Arts, found at Copper.org.

Copper in the Arts: HISTORY

Gary Rosenthal Collection: Contemporary Judaica Art Rooted in Tradition

By Michael Cervin

When Gary Rosenthal dropped out of college for a year to work for his father, a stove repairman, he never knew it would ignite his affinity for copper. But one day, when Rosenthal was torching a cast iron stove's heavy grates, something clicked. 

“I pretty much I fell in love with fire at that point,” he says offhandedly. During this time he also tinkered with metal sculpting, then went back to college to obtain his degree in Industrial Labor Relations from Cornell University. He showed his handiwork to a metal artist professor who bluntly told Rosenthal he didn’t possess any sense of aesthetics, color, form, light or shape. As he waited for the final insult, the professor said, “People are going to love your work and it will sell like crazy.” 

Today, that has proven to be an understatement. 

“I’m self taught, but I have a knack for making things people like,” Rosenthal admits. He started making artistic pieces out of copper sheets, cut nails and steel rods; figurines of “people doing things,” as he puts it. Like a fully formed one inch figure “skiing” down white limestone, or a 50 pound rock with two figures on it with a thin copper wire between them so they looked like rock climbers. He was showing his work at a Jewish community center in Baltimore and someone asked him to make a menorah. So he set out to make several, and they all sold out like proverbial hotcakes. Rosenthal soon realized his niche and quickly filled the need for people in search of handmade copper Judaica, like menorahs, candlesticks, goblets, Seder plates and other objects for use in temple ceremonies or in someone’s home. 

“We were ahead of the curve and we dominated the market,” he says. “After WWII America became such a nice open place to live that people began to feel comfortable and at that point Judaica was a market niche that needed to be filled. I know the houses were empty of Judacia because mine was.” At his zenith he employed 50 people working overtime to keep up with demand. “When I first got started I went to the junk yard and got copper scrap, but now we buy a couple of tons of sheet copper each year,” he says. That sheet is often 16 or 20 ounce from roofing supply companies, even up to 1/8 inch plate. But copper markets have changed and copper is now sourced from all over. “I prefer to get materials from this country as it’s been my experience that the quality is higher,” he admits, speaking of some frustrating experience with foreign brass. For his sheets he will cut it down, punch it out to create details on his pieces, even using 3/8 diameter copper wire. And his collection of Judaicia is very contemporary, exuding a playfulness with his use of form and colored copper, something his old art professor would be proud of.
All the U.S. presidents since Jimmy Carter, and other heads of state, have received his work as gifts from other heads of state. Recently a group of Jewish diplomats on the way to Abu Dhabi, Dubai, and Morocco commissioned Gary to make a set of dreidels each with personalized plates the tops can spin on, which were then given to prime ministers. “Of all the metals we work with, stainless steel, bronze and brass, copper’s my favorite, the way it looks, the way we can color it both hot and cold,” he says. “You go all the way back to the original ark of the covenant and copper was used on it.” Copper therefore has a sacred background. “For me, it's God’s metal,” he says.
In addition to finding his work at stores nationwide, his work is also available in such noted museum gift shops like the Smithsonian's Renwick Gallery, Corning Museum of Glass in New York, the American Craft Museum, Skirball Museum of Culture in Los Angeles, and the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.
Original article

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

A Gary Rosenthal Artwork Sighting

 We often personalize many items, as well as create custom awards, to be presented to all sorts of people.  It's always nice to hear about these pieces making it successfully to their destination!
Jewish Family and Children's Service honored former Long Beach Mayor Tom Clark (introduced by James Hankla, the former Long Beach city manager); former state Sen. Betty Karnette (introduced by Assemblyman Hector De La Torre); and former Long Beach councilwoman Renee Simon, who is also a JFCS past president (introduced by past president Jean Blakey).

There were 250 guests welcomed by Chair Myrna Simon at the group's Service Award Brunch held Jan. 31 at the Hyatt Regency Hotel. The three honorees are on the JFCS Advisory Board and were honored for their dedication and sustained work on behalf of JFCS of Greater Long Beach/West Orange County.

Steve Gordon, president of the JFCS Board of Directors introduced the dignitaries in attendance, along with the JFCS Board of Directors and staff. Also included in the introductions were members of the Advisory Board: Jean Bixby Smith, Joe Prevratil and Gene Lentzner.

The honorees were presented with a beautiful piece of art, a tzedakah (a Hebrew word for "charity") box, from the Gary Rosenthal collection.

Original article

Thursday, April 8, 2010

The Kristallnacht Project

I've mentioned the Kristallnacht Project on occasion, and now I have some exciting news to share! The new website, kristallnachtproject.org, is up and running!  There's a ton of info about the history of Kristallnacht and Gary's memorial wall plans.  You can also keep up with us on facebook and our blog.  We're not quite ready to begin holding events yet, but you can sign up for the Kristalllnacht Project newsletter to keep up to date.

A brief overview:

In November, 1938, thousands of synagogues, businesses, homes and lives were destroyed in a single night. Kristallnacht - the night of broken glass - was a turning point that marked the beginning of the Holocaust. It began with that night and ended with the murder of six million Jews, including one and a half million children.

On November 9, 2013, the 75th anniversary of Kristallnacht, internationally renowned Judaica artist Gary Rosenthal will unveil the Kristallnacht Wall. This 600 square-foot glass sculpture will be made of countless shards of glass, fused together by thousands of people across the world.

From the broken glass, representing thousands of shattered windows destroyed out of hatred and prejudice, will emerge a beautiful work of art. This unique artwork will serve as a powerful reminder that societies must embrace diversity and celebrate differences among all peoples of the world; it will be a symbol of hope that mankind must live together harmoniously.

(Artist Rendering)

Monday, April 5, 2010

End of Passover Note

Passover 2010 is coming to a close and I hope it was the best you've had but that better are yet to come. Now that the Passover ordering rush is over, we've slowed down around here a bit. Just because we're slower, though, doesn't mean we're not busy. Whenever we go into a time of year like this we're able to focus on creating new work to be ready for the next busy time. With wedding season around the corner I have a feeling that there will be some creative new wedding items ready soon. As always, keep in touch here for photos and news of new work as it develops!

With Passover ending, you probably have some leftover matzah in your kitchen and you don't know what to do with it. This amusing video offers some creative ideas: