Museums

Drawing The Tradition

In his ‘Visualizing the Bible’ show, David Wander makes the Torah his own.

07/08/2015
Culture Editor

David Wander makes books that might be 50 feet long, illustrating biblical and other stories with great artistic skill, creativity and appreciation of the text and its layers of meaning. One page leads to the next, and the handmade books fold up like accordians.

Wander in his studio: “Writing, burning, writing it again.” Courtesy of David Wander

Designs On The Modern Home

How Jewish designers helped create the ‘Mad Men’ style of modernism.

04/14/2015
Special To The Jewish Week

Thanks in part to the popular television show “Mad Men,” a new generation has fallen in love with mid-century modernist design. An exhibit now on view at The Museum of Jewish Heritage called “Designing Home: Jews and Midcentury Modernism” is the first show of its kind to recognize Jews’ accomplishments and contributions to the design style that swept the nation during this “Mad Men” era. It explores the impact Jewish designers had in shaping the streamlined, less-is-more aesthetic in the United States. Not only a “who’s who” of important immigrant and first-generation Jewish designers, the exhibit also acknowledges the importance of the institutions that fostered their creativity.

Henry Dreyfuss, Princess Phone (1959).   Courtesy of The Contemporary Jewish Museum. Photograph: Johnna Arnold

Fabio Mauri’s Outsider Art

The late Italian’s first N.Y. show reveals a border-crossing artist informed by the Holocaust.

04/01/2015
Culture Editor

In between an experiential installation about walking on the moon and a World War II film screened on a wall of old prison lockers, some very challenging art on the Holocaust is on view this month at Hauser & Wirth, an Upper East Side gallery.

Fabio Mauri’s “On The Liberty,” which illuminates the idea of freedom. Hauser & Wirth

‘With Malice Toward None’

Exhibit at New-York Historical Society reveals rich relationship between Abraham Lincoln and the Jews.

03/17/2015
Culture Editor

On June 2, 1864, President Abraham Lincoln issued a parole pass to Charles Jonas, a Confederate prisoner of war, to return to Illinois to see his father on his deathbed. The soldier arrived in Quincy just in time to see his father, Abraham Jonas, still alive.

Lincoln’s letter to Secretary of War Stanton on behalf C.M. Levy, who applied for the position of quartermaster.

‘It’s Magic, Turning These Pieces Into Gold’

Barbara Wolff brings medieval artistry to contemporary Hebrew manuscript design.

02/10/2015
Culture Editor

In the lush greens of a great Tabor oak tree, 24 species of birds perch in their finery, with a black stork, a great white egret and a black-crowned night heron poised in the reeds below, and a yellow-breasted bird in mid-air. The tree is indigenous to the Middle East, and each of these birds is native to the Land of Israel or part of the large migration of birds that flies over in the spring and fall.

“Among the branches they sing”: Wolff’s works illuminate Psalm 104. Courtesy of Morgan Library & Muse

The Make-up Of A Style Maker

Helena Rubinstein’s eclectic take on beauty on view at The Jewish Museum.

11/04/2014
Culture Editor

The Jewish Museum’s new exhibition, “Helena Rubinstein: Beauty is Power,” is about biography and art, telling an uncommon life story and showcasing the spectacular art collected over a lifetime and reassembled here. What links the personal history and 200 objects is Rubinstein’s own pioneering, eclectic and highly inclusive take on beauty.  

‘This Is About How Rich The Culture Was'

Filmmaker Péter Forgács re-orchestrates the poignant home movies taken by Polish-American Jews returning to the Old Country.

10/28/2014
Special To The Jewish Week

The faces look out at you, some shy, some defiant, some amused, some even downright playful. They are men and women, children and the elderly. It’s the late-1920s, the 1930s, these are Jews living in the Poland of the late-1920s and ’30, and although neither they nor the American citizens filming them know it, they are doomed. The images bespeak a flourishing culture, but by the end of the Second World War, 90 percent of Polish Jews will have been murdered by the Nazis and their accomplices.

The movies in “Letters to Afar” were filmed in such Polish shtetls as Kaluszyn and Kolbuszowa. Courtesy of YIVO Archive

Model Congregations

YU Museum gathers together its scale models of synagogues the world over.

09/16/2014
Special To The Jewish Week

Beginning this weekend, the Yeshiva University Museum is offering the opportunity to engage in Jewish tourism from its West 16th Street galleries.

A model of the Beit Alpha Synagogue from Israel’s Jezreel Valley. Courtesy of YU Museum

Two Outsiders Come In ‘From The Margins’

Abstract Expressionists Lee Krasner and Norman Lewis get a second look in Jewish Museum show.

09/16/2014
Special To The Jewish Week

The pairing of two paintings in The Jewish Museum’s 2008 blockbuster exhibition, “Action Abstraction,” made a lasting impression on many, including the exhibit’s curator, Norman Kleeblatt.

Norman Lewis’ “Twilight Sounds” (1947) are part of new Jewish Museum show. ©2014 The Pollack-Krasner Foundation/ARS

Words Matter, A Lot

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

05/20/2014
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
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