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Jewish Museum, The

1109 Fifth Avenue At 92nd Street
New York, New York

Phone: 212 423 3200 --
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Statement of Purpose:

Culture and Continuity: The Jewish Journey.

Jewsih archaeology, numismatics, fine arts, ethnography, various exhibits on Jewish culture. Dedicated to presenting the remarkable scope and diversity of Jewish culture, the Museum serves today as a unique source of insight and inspiration for all people.

Visitors to the Museum enjoy an art experience which captures 4,000 years of Jewish life and culture.

In 1904, Judge Mayer Sulzberger presented his library and 26 ceremonial objects to The Jewish Theological Seminary of America to serve as the initial establishment of a Jewish museum. From this modest beginning, and through the generosity of many patrons and collectors, the collections grew. By 1944, when Mrs. Felix M. Warburg, a member of the Seminary's Board of Directors, offered her home for use as a Jewish museum, the collections were more than worthy of the proposed new setting. On May 8, 1947, the Museum opened in the French Gothic-style Warburg Mansion, on Fifth Avenue at 92nd Street. A gift from Mr. and Mrs. Albert A. List provided funds for much needed additional space, and the new List building, adjoining the Warburg home, opened in 1963. In 1993, the Museum expanded and totally renovated its buildings to increase space for gallery, office and education use.

Highlights & Collections:

The Museum's permanent collection has grown to more than 27,000 objects -- paintings, sculpture, works on paper, photographs, ethnographic material, archaeological artifacts, ceremonial objects, and broadcast media materials -- and is the largest and most comprehensive of its kind in the world.

The centerpiece of the expanded Jewish Museum is a two-floor permanent exhibition, Culture and Continuity: The Jewish Journey, which conveys the essence of Jewish identity - the basic ideas, values and culture developed from antiquity to the present. This vibrant exhibition includes art, archaeology, ceremonial objects, audio and video displays, and an interactive computer program. An audio tour narrated by Dustin Hoffman serves as both an excellent introduction for first-time visitors to the Museum, and as a source of additional insight for those who have seen the permanent exhibition before.

The Jewish Museum is also known for its temporary exhibitions, which often combine art and artifacts and interpret them through the lens of social history. These range from an exploration of pivotal historical events to the personal interpretation of Jewish culture by renowned contemporary artists.

Exhibits:

UPCOMING EXHIBITIONS

The Italian American painter Rico Lebrun (1900-1964), like many Americans, was horrified yet fascinated by published images of concentration camp victims. He transformed his reaction into a series of monumental paintings. Ten paintings and two preliminary drawings, which have recently been restored, will provide a powerful statement of this artist's response to historic events. The exhibition will also mark the first time in many years that these paintings, donated to The Jewish Museum by the artist's widow in 1986, will appear together in a museum exhibition.

Morris Louis: The Charred Journal Series, 1951 presents an early series of paintings and related drawings by Morris Louis (1912-1962), the major American Abstract Expressionist and a pioneer in the school of Color Field painting. In the Charred Journal series (1951), Morris Louis restricts his palette almost entirely to black and white. Through largely abstract painting he memorializes the devastating loss of the Nazi book burnings during the Holocaust, while demonstrating resistance towards all forms of cultural oppression. This exhibition brings together, for the first time since Louis's first one-person show in 1953, the group of paintings that constitute the Charred Journal series. All seven of the paintings that comprise the series, as well as an additional related painting and several drawings, will be on view. These works represent an important juncture in the career of Morris Louis as they are the only body of work to provide an insight into his religious and political concerns.

The Jewish Museum will present the New York premiere showing of Bordering on Fiction: Chantal Akerman's "D'Est", the first museum exhibition of the work of renowned Belgianborn film director, Chantal Akerman. Designed in collaboration with the artist, Bordering on Fiction is a large scale film and video installation featuring Akerman's poetic and visually compelling feature film, D'Est ("From the East"). The film documents the artist's journey to eastern Germany, Poland and Russia in the early 1990s, following the collapse of the former Soviet Union and the reunification of Germany. Using images of everyday life scenes of the city, the countryside and the people she encountered on her travels - Akerman artfully creates a provocative portrait of Central and Eastern Europe as a society poised on the brink of change yet burdened by the weight of history. The exhibition is comprised of twenty-five video monitors, a film projection, and audiotapes of the artist reading aloud. Bordering on Fiction: Chantal Akerman's "D'Est" was produced by the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis.

The Jewish Museum presents a new exhibition for children and families, Holidays! Jewish Seasons and Celebrations. Designed as an engaging interactive environment, the exhibition introduces visitors to five of the most observed and celebrated holidays on the Jewish calendar: Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, Hanukkah, Purim and Passover, and also highlights the universal aspects of the holidays. Children and their adult companions are able to learn the history of these holidays and participate in activities designed to expand knowledge of holiday stories and practices. Objects from the Museum's renowned collection and photographs are also on view.

Hours:

Admission & Directions:


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Key Personnel:

Joan Rosenbaum, Director
Geri Thomas, Administrator of Exhibitions.

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