Museums

Prescription For Genocide

The ‘Deadly Medicine’ exhibit shows how politics and broader cultural currents perverted medicine.

10/04/2011
Staff Writer

To the extent that people know about Josef Mengele, the German doctor dubbed the “Angel of Death” for his grisly experiments on inmates at Auschwitz, he is usually taken to be an aberration. Surely, many assume, there was a silent majority of German doctors, who, if not bold enough to speak out against the ghastly turn medicine had taken under the Nazi regime, were against the race-based science the Nazis preached.

Students at the Berlin School for the Blind examine racial head models circa 1935.

Drawing A Bead On Ezra Jack Keats

The children’s book author-illustrator broke ground with an African-American character in ‘The Snowy Day,’ but his Jewish identity isn’t black and white.

09/13/2011
Staff Writer

The publication of “The Snowy Day” in 1962 was a seminal moment in publishing history. Never before had a mainstream publisher put out a children’s book that focused on an African-American character, and never before had anyone thought that such a book could win a Caldecott Medal, one of the industry’s most prestigious prizes.

Keats’ “The Snowy Day,” was the first book published by a major publishing house to feature an African-American protagonist.

Memories Of Home, In 3D

Maya Zack recreates a 1930s Berlin living room, complete with portents of doom.

08/02/2011
Staff Writer

Maya Zack wanted to get every detail right.

She pestered a German Jewish refugee, Manfred Nomburg, about every last detail of the Berlin home where he grew up: the wallpaper, the dining room china, the living room chairs. He had not seen his home in 70 years, when he escaped to Pre-state Israel.

But when Zack, 35, a prize-winning Israeli artist, turned all those details into a life-sized, computer-generated 3D work of art — titled “Living Room,” which goes on view at The Jewish Museum on Sunday — Nomburg did not recognize a thing.

Maya Zack

Memories Of Home, In 3D

Maya Zack recreates a 1930s Berlin living room, complete with portents of doom.

07/27/2011
Staff Writer

Maya Zack wanted to get every detail right.

She pestered a German Jewish refugee, Manfred Nomburg, about every last detail of the Berlin home where he grew up: the wallpaper, the dining room china, the living room chairs. He had not seen his home in 70 years, when he escaped to Israel.

Detail of Maya Zack’s “Living Room” (2009). Courtesy of the artist and the Alon Segev Gallery, Tel Aviv

Zion, By Any Other Name

Before the Jews had a direction home, YIVO show chronicles, there was Suriname, Angola and Uganda.

07/05/2011
Staff Writer

A century ago, the idea of Jews resettling in ancient Israel was an interesting, if quaint, idea. For many European Jews, some of whom became prominent Zionists, real-life Palestine was utterly unrealistic. Thousands of Jews were being massacred in pogroms and the priority of many Jewish leaders was simple: secure a territory for Jews to settle in first — worry about where it was later.

The Jewish Territorialist Organization.

Jerusalem Home For American Artists

American Academy inaugural fellowships go to wide range of creators.

06/14/2011
Staff Writer

American artists from Herman Melville to Mark Twain to Saul Bellow have traveled to Jerusalem looking for inspiration. But until this week, when the first-ever American Academy in Jerusalem was officially announced, there has never been a formal program encouraging artists to do so.

Graphic artist Lynne Avadenka is one of five American Academy in Jerusalem fellows.

Modern Art’s Sister Act

Baltimore’s Cone sisters and the art of collecting.

05/24/2011
Special To The Jewish Week

‘There were two of them, they were sisters, they were large women, they were rich, they were very different one from the other one.”

This was how American expat writer Gertrude Stein described Claribel and Etta Cone in her short-story word portrait, “Two Women,” about two art-collecting sisters who traveled the world as single ladies of means in the early 20th century.

Claribel Cone, left, Gertrude Stein and Etta Cone in Italy, in 1903. Baltimore Museum of Art

Drawing The (Green) Line

MOMA’s Francis Alÿs retrospective omits the conceptual artist’s best works.

05/17/2011
Staff Writer

Four years ago, the Belgian artist Francis Alÿs displayed one of his best works in years, “The Green Line,” at Chelsea’s David Zwirner Gallery. With a characteristically axiomatic subtitle — “Sometimes Doing Something Poetic Can Become Political, and Sometimes Doing Something Political Can Become Poetic” — it gave an artist’s askance view of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and achieved that rare artistic feat: chastising the political status quo without becoming either cynical or simplistic.

An image from Alÿs’ “The Green Line,”  Courtesy of David Zwirner Gallery

Roman Holiday

Visiting Tempio Maggiore choir introduces world to the melting pot of Italian Jewish music.

05/17/2011
Special To The Jewish Week

When it was home to the greatest empire the world had yet known, it was said that all roads led to Rome. To build that empire meant sending the city’s sons across much of the known world, yet at least one group remained there unmoved, despite a history of (not always voluntary) wandering.

Claudio Maestro Di Segni, left, leads the choir at the Tempio Maggiore in its U.S. debut Sunday.

Hannah Senesh And The Case For Moral Courage

‘Fire in My Heart’ show reveals her bravery and her vivid writings.

12/21/2010
Staff Writer

There is no reason to think that a wealthy girl in Europe, enrolled in a fine private school, would give it all up to live in a hot and fetid desert. But this was Hungary in 1939. The Nazis were sitting on its border, and that privileged girl was a Jew. More important, she was Hannah Senesh, a precocious teenager whose breathtaking facility with words was matched only by her profound moral courage.

Hannah Senesh in Budapest, circa 1936.
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