The Jewish Museum

Jewish Museums Leave Nostalgia In The Dust

A lively, sometimes contentious symposium at the Center for Jewish History on Sunday emphatically showed that Jewish museums in Central and Eastern Europe have reached a state of fruition worthy of celebration and vigilance. The symposium celebrated a new double issue of East European Jewish Affairs. Its participants threw themselves into exploring the move of Jewish museums “away from nostalgia and toward … a new self-definition,” as Judith Siegel, director of academic and public programming at the CJH put it.

David Shneer, Olga Gershenson, Barbara Kirschenblatt-Gimblett, Anna Manchin and Ruth Ellen Gruber

For The Time Being

So what do we mean when we talk about Jewish time? Always late by ten minutes? Days divided by requisite prayer services, weeks punctuated with the slowing down of Shabbat, years marked by yahrtzeits? Or is Jewish time always set in different time zones, as the Jewish people are dispersed throughout the world?  Or, as my grandmother would ask, Are you keeping time with anyone? To her, time meant sharing hours and it meant being together, in sync.

Installation view of "Using Walls, Floors and Ceilings: Valeska Soares." The Jewish Museum, NY. David Heald.

‘Interrogating Tradition’

‘Unorthodox’ show addresses orthodoxies such as politics, history, and identity, with artists from outside the canon.

11/09/2015 - 19:00
Special To The Jewish Week

A new exhibit at The Jewish Museum brings together art that in the words of an exhibition handout, “does not fit the framework of the established art world,” and is “relentless in its experimentation, risk taking, annoyance, irritation, and even failure.”

Gülsün Karamustafa’s “First of May (Woman Constantly Sewing Red Flags with Her Sewing Machine),” from 1977. artist and Rampa Gal

Art And Power

Stalinist purges provide a dark backdrop to the avant-garde photography in new Soviet-era show.

10/12/2015 - 20:00
Culture Editor

In a corner of one of the galleries at the beginning of The Jewish Museum’s compelling new show “The Power of Pictures: Early Soviet Photography, Early Soviet Films,” an unusual 1934 photo-book with foldouts and overlays stands in a glass case, resting in its intricate red fabric-covered slipcase.

Georgy Zelma’s “Voice of Moscow” Sepherot Foundation | Collection of Alex Lachman

Memory, History And Albert Speer

Dani Gal’s video installation, ‘As from Afar.’

09/23/2014 - 20:00
Special To The Jewish Week

It would be hard to conceive of a more controversial figure in the Nazi inner circle than Albert Speer. One of Hitler’s closest confidantes, Speer was a master architect who had the ear of the failed-artist-turned-Führer. He was an integral part of the totality that was Nazi Germany, the chief creator of the Nazi public aesthetic, as well as the minister of armaments and munitions from 1942 on. Yet Speer was one of the very few high-ranking Nazis to declare his own guilt and shame publicly and to reveal the inner workings of the German government under Hitler in his memoirs.

In Dani Gal's "As From Afar," at The Jewish Museum, actors portray a post-World War II meeting.

Words Matter, A Lot

Mel Bochner’s ‘Strong Language’ show challenges our notions about reading and seeing.

05/19/2014 - 20:00
Culture Editor

Mel Bochner’s new show at The Jewish Museum involves a lot of reading. The more than 70 drawings and paintings are lists of synonyms, portraits conveyed with words, texts with philosophical leanings and emoticons, too.

Bochner’s “Language is Not Transparent.” Will Ragozzinno/The Jewish Museum

Celebrating 1960s Global Minimalism In Style

To celebrate its new exhibit on global minimalist sculpture, “Other Primary Structures,”  The Jewish Museum opened its galleries and hosted a dance party for revelers last week.

Installation view of "Other Primary Structures" at The Jewish Museum, New York. David Heald/The Jewish Museum

Returning Anew To Minimalist Sculpture

“Other Primary Structures” at The Jewish Museum can be seen as a nod to the institution’s past. The museum staged a major exhibit of minimalist sculpture called “Primary Structures: Younger American and British Sculptors” in 1966.

Installation view of "Other Primary Structures" at The Jewish Museum, New York. Courtesy of David Heald/The Jewish Museum

Spiegelman, In Words, Images And Music

Glimpses into the graphic novelist’s unique world where pictures and text ‘Co-Mix.’

01/27/2014 - 19:00
Culture Editor

As a young boy, Art Spiegelman would copy cartoon strips about Little Lulu and Donald Duck. By 14, he was illustrating his own stories with homemade comics, and at 15 he created and distributed his own satire magazine, Blasé. The magazine had edge; a young woman on the cover of a 1964 edition is asked, “What’s a nice girl like you doing on a cover like this?”

“Self-Portrait with Maus Mask,” 1989, above. Copyright © 1989 by Art Spiegelman. the artist and The Wylie Agency LLC.

The Year Ahead: Jewish Museum Going Edgy

12/30/2013 - 19:00

Who would have expected The Jewish Museum to host an avant-garde fashion show during the Performa festival or invite Lena Dunham to host a Purim party at the Park Avenue Armory? The 109-year-old institution — led by its new director, Claudia Gould — has been shaking things up and increasing its relevance. The shift in exhibitions and programming has been alienating to more than a few longtime members who feel they do not connect with the roster. For its part, the museum is showing that it is trying to reach a greater balance by continuing to offer familiar names such as Chagall, albeit in a new light. It continues to offer mainstay family programs and daytime lectures.

Jewish Museum director Claudia Gould. Arthur Elgort
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