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The Jewish Museum
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The Jewish Museum
1109 5th Ave at 92nd St
New York, NY 10128
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Who We Are

Welcome to the Jewish Museum, a museum in New York City at the intersection of art and Jewish culture for people of all backgrounds. Whether you visit our home in the elegant Warburg mansion on Museum Mile, or engage with us online, there is something for everyone. Through our exhibitions, programs, and collection of nearly 30,000 works of art, ceremonial objects, and media, visitors can journey through 4,000 years of art and Jewish culture from around the world.


As an art museum representing the diversity of Jewish culture and identity, the Jewish Museum believes in free expression and an open society. We embrace multiple viewpoints regardless of race, gender, national origin, or religion, and we oppose discrimination in all its forms.


Our exhibitions and public programs provide platforms for cross-cultural dialogue, fostering empathy, mutual understanding, and respect. We champion the powerful roles art and artists can play in our communities, both inside and outside the Museum’s walls.

Our Mission

The Jewish Museum is dedicated to the enjoyment, understanding, and preservation of the artistic and cultural heritage of the Jewish people through its unparalleled collections and distinguished exhibitions. Learn More

History

The Jewish Museum was founded in 1904 in the library of the Jewish Theological Seminary of America, where it was housed for more than four decades. Now located in the landmark Warburg mansion, this elegant former residence has been the home of the Museum since 1947Learn More

From the Blog

Seeing Florine Stettheimer’s “Heat” Through Language Read More

Florine Stettheimer, “Heat,” 1919. Brooklyn Museum, Gift of the Estate of Ettie Stettheimer, 1957
https://medium.com/media/0693ae8dca3b101572655697bc09d6ac/href

Verbal Description tours at the Jewish Museum bring our exhibitions to life for visitors who are blind or have low vision, using descriptive language and touch objects to convey the visual world. In conjunction with Florine Stettheimer: Painting Poetry, an exhibition dedicated to Jazz Age painter, poet, designer, and early feminist, the following verbal description closely examines a work by Florine Stettheimer.

Heat is a mid-sized vertical painting featuring Florine Stettheimer with her three sisters Carrie, Ettie, and Stella, and their mother.

This vibrant painting is divided relatively equally into three horizontal registers: a top brushy green section, a middle warm yellow section, and a bottom vibrant reddish-orange section. All three layers of the background are saturated but show evidence of the brushwork. The piece, like most of Stettheimer’s work, is representational though far from realistic.

Florine Stettheimer, “Heat” (detail), 1919. Brooklyn Museum, Gift of the Estate of Ettie Stettheimer, 1957

The green top section looks like a murky forest background, featuring a small white moon and an imposing, leafless tree in the top-right corner.
The five figures in this piece are spread across the bottom and middle section. The placement of these figures does not follow the rules of traditional perspective — that is, the ones in the middle yellow section don’t appear to recede farther than the ones in the bottom orange section.

In the center at the top of the middle-yellow section is Rosetta, the formidable mother figure. She sits on a white and pink patterned armchair, wearing a long sleeved black dress with a v-shaped neckline and a black choker. In her left hand she holds the handle of a large, round purse that rests on the yellow ground.

Florine Stettheimer, “Heat” (detail), 1919. Brooklyn Museum, Gift of the Estate of Ettie Stettheimer, 1957

Moving clockwise, at 3 o’clock Carrie sits in a plush red chair. She’s wearing a yellow dress with delicate blue straps. Her right arm is bent at the elbow and draped over her knitting project. Her other arm is also bent at the elbow and she is looking at her nails.

At 5 o’clock we have Florine, laying back on a white lounge chair, one leg propped on a thin rectangular yellow step stool. She might be asleep — she leans off the side of the chair, arms falling over the edge — in one hand she holds a round purse, with the other she plays with a small brown cat.

At 6 o’clock, right in the bottom-center of the piece and cropped by the bottom edge of the work, is a round table depicted in perspective, so we see the top as an oval. The table is covered in a light pink tablecloth with some concentric circles in different colors. In the center is a birthday cake for Rosetta, which reads “Many Happy Returns”. Also on the table, to the left of the cake, is a vase with cherry blossom branches. To the right of the cake is a pitcher with small glasses on a tray.

Florine Stettheimer, “Heat” (detail), 1919. Brooklyn Museum, Gift of the Estate of Ettie Stettheimer, 1957

At 8 o’clock is Ettie in a slinky light pink dress with a few flower details. The flowy dress has thin straps and ends in a point around her outstretched ankles, revealing bare feet. She reclines on a yellow lounger with a curled up cat near her feet. She stretches her arms — one above her head and the other out to the side.

Florine Stettheimer, “Heat” (detail), 1919. Brooklyn Museum, Gift of the Estate of Ettie Stettheimer, 1957

At 10 o’clock we have Stella sitting in a dark green chair, seen in profile. It looks as if she might be leaning back and conversing, although no-one appears to be listening. She is wearing a short-sleeved black dress and her crossed bare legs and heels are in the air. And on the yellow ground next to her is a forgotten bag of knitting with a yarn ball rolling out of it.

This is a painting in which everything is drooping in the heat — the women, the cherry blossom branches — you can feel the weight of a steamy New York summer taking its toll.

To learn more about programs for visitors with disabilities at the Jewish Museum, visit TheJewishMuseum.org/Access. All programs are free.

Florine Stettheimer: Painting Poetry is on view at the Jewish Museum through September 24.


Seeing Florine Stettheimer’s “Heat” Through Language was originally published in The Jewish Museum on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

Seeing Florine Stettheimer’s “Family Portrait II” Through... Read More

Florine Stettheimer, “Family Portrait II,” 1933. Museum of Modern Art, New York. Gift of Miss Ettie Stettheimer, 1956. Image provided by The Museum of Modern Art / SCALA / Art Resource, New York
https://medium.com/media/c8e468b1cc38d61df70f5657ec23b8d2/href

Verbal Description tours at the Jewish Museum bring our exhibitions to life for visitors who are blind or have low vision, using descriptive language and touch objects to convey the visual world. In conjunction with Florine Stettheimer: Painting Poetry, an exhibition dedicated to Jazz Age painter, poet, designer, and early feminist, the following verbal description closely examines a work by Florine Stettheimer.

This large horizontal painting is a group portrait of the artist Florine Stettheimer, her mother and her two sisters Carrie and Ettie. We can describe the painting in three layers: background, middle-ground and foreground.

Florine Stettheimer, “Family Portrait II” (detail), 1933. Museum of Modern Art, New York. Gift of Miss Ettie Stettheimer, 1956. Image provided by The Museum of Modern Art / SCALA / Art Resource, New York

The middle ground of this painting, occupying roughly the bottom half, is the interior in which the three sisters and their mother are depicted. Standing in profile, almost all the way to the left of the painting, we have Florine in a black suit with a red collar and red heels, holding a palette. A few inches to the right is her sister Ettie, sitting in a blue and white patterned armchair with an open book in her lap and red fan in her hand. She is wearing a short sleeved dress that is tied at the neckline.

Mirroring those figures on the viewer’s right is the mother, seated in a yellow chair, more or less facing us, with a patterned shawl over a light pink dress, with billowy skirt. And lastly we have Carrie, standing next to her mother in a light blue sleeveless dress, lacey shawl dangling over her shoulder, cigarette in hand. All of the characters are placed on top of a floral yellow and brown rug, with a half circle in the center. On that half circle are gauzy triangles with each of the women’s names written on them, which helps identify who is who.

Florine Stettheimer, “Family Portrait II” (detail), 1933. Museum of Modern Art, New York. Gift of Miss Ettie Stettheimer, 1956. Image provided by The Museum of Modern Art / SCALA / Art Resource, New York

In the center and foreground are three large flowers. They are each around 8 inches in diameter, and truly dominate the scene. They are proportionally much larger than any of the human figures. All three flowers, a saturated-red poppy, a white lily, and a pink rose, are in full bloom and feature textured tendrils of green streaming out from them.

The background of the piece occupies roughly the top half of the canvas and appears to be the view out of a picture window. This background is painted a medium-blue, with various amounts of white added into it. It looks like a view of the water and sky, and in fact there is a very faint horizon line separating the two.

Florine Stettheimer, “Family Portrait II” (detail), 1933. Museum of Modern Art, New York. Gift of Miss Ettie Stettheimer, 1956. Image provided by The Museum of Modern Art / SCALA / Art Resource, New York

Across this blue background are various New York landmarks. At the right edge, about 2 inches down from the top, Stettheimer painted an architectural detail from her apartment building. This detail, a fire-breathing salamander, is opulent in terms of draftsmanship but has no color. It’s inscribed with their address, “182 W 58, New York”. The right vertical edge of the piece features a long, skinny red curtain with gold trim that partially obscures the architectural detail. About 5 inches left of this detail is a small white depiction of the statue of liberty, floating on a star-shaped island.

Florine Stettheimer, “Family Portrait II” (detail), 1933. Museum of Modern Art, New York. Gift of Miss Ettie Stettheimer, 1956. Image provided by The Museum of Modern Art / SCALA / Art Resource, New York

The left edge features a white cascading curtain that descends in steps, with vibrant yellow trim. That curtain partially obscures an image of the RCA building at Rockefeller Center. The building is white and has yellow capital letters reading RCA (for Radio Corporation of America) on top, and in light blue “MUSIC HALL” running vertically down the building. Next to that is Cleopatra’s needle, the Egyptian obelisk installed outside the Met Museum, with a blue and white banner running vertically along its front reading “4 Saints Seen by Florine”. Next to the needle is the Chrysler Building, and a few inches in from that is a chandelier which seems to echo the building’s form.

To learn more about programs for visitors with disabilities at the Jewish Museum, visit TheJewishMuseum.org/Access. All programs are free.

Florine Stettheimer: Painting Poetry is on view at the Jewish Museum through September 24.


Seeing Florine Stettheimer’s “Family Portrait II” Through Language was originally published in The Jewish Museum on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

Seeing Florine Stettheimer’s “A Model (Nude Self-Portrait)”... Read More

Florine Stettheimer, “A Model (Nude Self-Portrait)”, 1915. Oil on canvas. 48¼ x 68¼ in. Art Properties, Avery Architectural and Fine Arts Library, Columbia University in the City of New York. Gift of the Estate of Ettie Stettheimer, 1967
https://medium.com/media/2ff6e9b93da552f12c483697a1f7a580/href

Verbal Description tours at the Jewish Museum bring our exhibitions to life for visitors who are blind or have low vision, using descriptive language and touch objects to convey the visual world. In conjunction with Florine Stettheimer: Painting Poetry, an exhibition dedicated to Jazz Age painter, poet, designer, and early feminist, the following verbal description closely examines a work by Florine Stettheimer, possibly the earliest known nude self-portrait by a female artist.

A Model by Florine Stettheimer is a large, horizontal, nude, considered to be a self-portrait of Florine Stettheimer. The painting is four feet high and more than five feet across.

She painted this piece at the age of 45. In it, Stettheimer is reclining but propped up on her right side by large pillows. She lies on a mostly white comforter or textile with red vine accents. On the left side of the painting her arm is bent at the elbow and she rests her head delicately on her finger tips. She has a modern looking short-ish red hairstyle. On the bed below this arm is a golden necklace made of circular beads.

Her other arm is also bent at the elbow but drawn in to her body with her forearm extended straight up. In the air she holds a bouquet of flowers, providing some of the only saturated color in the piece. Stettheimer’s legs are crossed at the ankles, leaving her pale body on display for the viewer.

The expression on her face is a mixture of aloof, bemused, and knowing. She looks right at the viewer, and her red lips are together and slightly curved upward into a very subtle smile.

Detail. Florine Stettheimer, “A Model (Nude Self-Portrait)”, 1915.

The background of this piece is less intricate than her later work. Behind the figure is a curtain depicted through vertical brushwork of white and light lilac. The brushwork is thick and visible, giving the background a great amount of dimension. It is flanked, across the top edge and side edges of the painting, by a light pink curtain, with black fringe. These curtains however don’t extend all the way down the left and right sides of the work; they are interrupted by the model’s sumptuous pillow.

This painting is inspired in part by Edouard Manet’s 1863 painting entitled “Olympia.” In Manet’s painting, the model is meeting the viewer’s gaze, wearing a gold bracelet with a maid behind her carrying flowers from an admirer. Olympia was more than likely modeled on a sex worker and for that reason caused a scandal at the Paris Salon of 1865. In contrast, Stettheimer is featured by herself, holding her own bouquet in the air.

Edouard Manet, “Olympia,” 1863. Google Art Project.

To learn more about programs for visitors with disabilities at the Jewish Museum, visit TheJewishMuseum.org/Access. All programs are free.

Florine Stettheimer: Painting Poetry is on view at the Jewish Museum through September 24.


Seeing Florine Stettheimer’s “A Model (Nude Self-Portrait)” Through Language was originally published in The Jewish Museum on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

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