Bio

  • Ori

Ori Z Soltes has spent a lifetime wrestling with questions that resonate through the history of the human experience. His dynamic teaching, lecturing, curating and writing reflect a broad series of interests and a unique ability to combine them in unusual ways that are thought-provoking and both challenging and intellectually exciting.


He currently teaches theology, philosophy and art history at Georgetown University. He has also taught across diverse disciplines for many years at The Johns Hopkins University, Cleveland State University, Case Western Reserve University, Siegel College in Cleveland, and other colleges and universities.


Dr. Soltes has lectured at dozens of museums across the country, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the National Gallery of Art, the Smithsonian Institution, the Art Institute of Chicago and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. He has been interviewed for a score of programs on archaeological, religious, art, literary and historical topics on CNN, the History Channel and Discovery Channel, and he hosted a popular series on Ancient Civilizations for middle school students.


For seven years, Dr. Soltes was Director and Chief Curator of the B’nai B’rith Klutznick National Jewish Museum, where he created over 80 exhibitions focusing on aspects of history, ethnography and contemporary art. He has also curated diverse contemporary and historical art exhibits at other sites, nationally and internationally. As Director of the National Jewish Museum he co-founded the Holocaust Art Restitution Project and has spent nearly 20 years researching and consulting on the issue of Nazi-plundered art.


Nearly 250 publications—books, articles, and catalogue essays—have included, among others: Tradition and Transformation: Three Millennia of Jewish Art & Architecture; Eight Thousand Years of Georgian Art; Fixing the World: Jewish American Painters in the Twentieth Century; Our Sacred Signs: How Jewish, Christian, and Muslim Art Draw from the Same Source; Searching for Oneness: Mysticism in the Jewish, Christian and Muslim Traditions; The Ashen Rainbow: the Arts and the Holocaust; Untangling the Tangled Web: Why the Middle East is Such a Mess; and Famous Jewish Trials: From Jesus to Jonathan Pollard.


Dr. Soltes leads annual study tours to museums and art and archaeological sites throughout Europe, the Middle East and parts of Africa. When not wandering around the world, he resides in the Washington, DC area with his wife and two rambunctious boys who keep him tidily in tow.



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