On View In:

Artist:   Tobi Kahn  
Title:   "Saphyr (Variation V)" omer counter  
Date:   2005  
Medium:   Wood, acrylic pigment  
Dimensions:   3 3/4 x 11 1/4 x 13 13/16 in. (9.53 x 28.58 x 35.08 cm)  
Credit Line:   The Eloise and Elliot Kaplan Endowment for Judaica  
Location:   Gallery Not on view  

Jewish tradition instructs the faithful to count the 49 days between the holidays of Passover, marking the Exodus from Egypt, and Shavuot, celebrating the giving of the Torah to Moses on Mount Sinai. The word omer actually refers to a specific measure of grain offered by each family at the Temple in Jerusalem during this period. The 49-day period became known as "counting the omer." Artist Tobi Kahn, known for his paintings and sculptures of biomorphic forms, began to exhibit his Jewish ritual objects in 1990. For his Saphyr omer counter design, Kahn conceived each sculptural peg as a tiny abstract house. Beginning with the empty framework, a peg is added each day until Shavuot, when the pegs merge together symbolizing a united community. The Institute's omer counter is the fifth of nine in the Saphyr series.

Name:   Kahn, Tobi  
Nationality:   American  
Life Dates:   American, b. 1952  

Object Description  
Inscriptions:   Signature, Title, Date and Inscription see Signed on bottom, in black: ["SAPHYR" / VARIATION V / Tobi Kahn / '05 / 118-04J-E]  
Classification:   Judaica  
Physical Description:   rectangular base with 49 sculptural pegs; grey metallic patina; underside of pegs and peg holes are gold; pegs numbered on bottom; wood case included  
Creation Place:   , United States, , , New York  
Accession #:   2005.115a-xx  
Owner:   The Minneapolis Institute of Arts