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

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


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 “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

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 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.

Art in the Age of Digital Reproduction: Visitors... Read More

Opening reception of the exhibition “The Arcades: Contemporary Art and Walter Benjamin.” Photo:

The Jewish Museum’s exhibition, The Arcades: Contemporary Art and Walter Benjamin, closed on Sunday, August 6. Featuring contemporary artworks seen through the lens of influential philosopher Walter Benjamin’s literary work, The Arcades Project, the exhibition was designed so visitors could experience the meandering nature of Benjamin’s text.

We compiled some our favorite responses to the exhibition on social media to represent how today’s digital flâneur can engage with Benjamin’s ideas. Bombarded with sensory information, winding corridors, and seemingly-sporadic organization, one visitor said about the exhibition, “It succeeds in capturing the spirit of Benjamin’s exuberance in mass culture and the nonlinear, never finished style of The Arcades Project.”

Mirrors prove even more seductive to the contemporary iPhone toting flâneur than the 19th century shopper Benjamin wrote about, transfixed by all the reflective surfaces, shops, and cafes of the early arcades.

Instagram users @noreenkahmad, @xoxobellaaa, @luben_dimcheff, and @ljauregui take selfies with Mungo Thomson’s mirror installation “June 25, 2001 (How the Universe Will End) March 6, 1995 (When Did the Universe Begin?),” 2012.

Inspired by all the ways people engaged with the Mungo Thompson mirror installation, illustrator Jenny Kroik captured a fellow visitor contemplating the significance of time in paint.

An exhibition inspired by a book, there was a lot to digest for those who like to read. One literary visitor compared his experience to “the best drink in existence” according to The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy:

This exhibition on The Arcades Project and art. Straight fire!! So much going on. Better than a pangalactic gargleblaster. @TheJewishMuseum

 — @tmesyan

Not your grandma's exhibition labels. Design by @projectprojects for Walter B show @thejewishmuseum

 — @ellenLupton

Drawing a parallel between contemporary protest culture and the revolutionary spirit of Paris, visitors related to Andrea Bower’s large-scale mural, Triumph of Labor, and its ability to transcend time.

The exhibition, a combination of art and text, provided visitors with an interpretation of the physical manifestation of Benjamin’s essays. Tweeter Ann Demeester refers to it as “a multi-layered 3D essay”.

@TheJewishMuseum New York last week. On impact of Walter Benjamin on the arts now. An exhibition that reads as a multi-layered 3D essay.

 — @AnnDemeester

The Arcades: Contemporary Art and Walter Benjamin brought Benjamin’s unfinished magnum opus into the contemporary age, continuing the ongoing conversation on politics, culture, and aesthetics that Benjamin began in 1927.

– Orli, Digital Marketing Intern and Victoria Reis, Digital Marketing Associate

Art in the Age of Digital Reproduction: Visitors Respond to The Arcades was originally published in The Jewish Museum on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

Tu B’Av, the Jewish Holiday of Love ❤️ Read More

The Jewish holiday Tu B’Av begins Sunday, August 6 at sundown and lasts through sundown on Monday, August 7. In ancient times, Tu B’Av was a time of joy that served as a matchmaking day for unmarried women in the Second Temple period (late 6th century B.C.E to 70 C.E.). Nearly forgotten for many centuries, the minor holiday was rejuvenated in the 20th century, especially in the modern-day state of Israel. Today, Tu B’Av is considered the Jewish Day of Love, similar to Valentine’s Day.

Tu B’Av is said to be a great day for weddings, commitment ceremonies, renewal of vows, and marriage proposals. The day of romance is often celebrated through giving flowers to loved ones, singing, dancing, and — like all Jewish holidays — studying. In recognition of Tu B’Av, these works from the Jewish Museum’s renowned collection recall the spirit of the holiday through the themes of love, weddings, and romance.

Robert Indiana, Ahava, 1978. The Jewish Museum, New

In 1977 Robert Indiana (American, b. 1928) created a Hebrew version of his 1960s LOVE sculpture for the Israel Museum in Jerusalem. Aleph, hey, vet, and hey, the four letters used to spell ahava (“love” in Hebrew), were placed in the same iconic two-over-two composition used for the original LOVE. This work on paper in the Jewish Museum’s collection was created after the monumental sculpture was completed.

Alex Katz, Red Smile (Study), 1963. The Jewish Museum, New York.

The history of art is ripe with tales of artists and muses. Alex Katz (American, b. 1927) found his inspiration in his wife and model Ada Del Moro (American, b. 1928). Their romance began in October 1957 when they met at the opening of Katz’s show at Tanager Gallery on East 10th Street. An instant and deep connection was formed, and they married the following February. In an interview with The New York Times Style Magazine on the occasion of the Jewish Museum’s 2006 exhibition Alex Katz Paints Ada, Katz revealed that perhaps it was actually the muse that chose her artist, as Ada did not have much intention of getting married. He continued, “I believe there were probably three guys in New York she could relate to. So I just got lucky. I fit what she wanted.”

Since then, Ada has been the subject of over 250 portraits by Katz. Many, like Red Smile (Study), are large-scale paintings with dramatically cropped faces. Unprecedented in their focus on a single figure over so many decades, his paintings of Ada have attained an iconic status, revealing the continual examination of the relationship between a great artist and his lifelong muse.

Leo Schutzman, The Wedding, c. 1960. The Jewish Museum, New York.

Tu B’Av is a popular day for weddings in Israel and Jewish communities around the world. This painting features many elements of a traditional Ashkenazi wedding celebration, including the garb worn by the male attendees, the celebratory circle dancing, and the wedding canopy, depicted at the top of the painting. The artist, Leo Schutzman (American, b. Russia, 1878–1962), was self-taught and did not begin painting until he was in his seventies.

Ben Shahn, Marriage Contract, 1961. The Jewish Museum, New York.

Most traditional decorated ketubbahs — Jewish marriage contracts — use ornamental motifs as framing devices for their written Aramaic text. This example, by the prolific artist Ben Shahn (American, b. Lithuania, 1898–1969), is a marked departure from this model with floral and foliate decorations integrated within his lyrical Hebrew calligraphy, the predominant design element.

Shahn’s update results from his changing stylistic and subjective concerns. He was fascinated with letters, both Hebrew and English, which became essential elements in his work. The expressive style of Shahn’s Hebrew characters changes with the meaning of each theme he depicts. For this ketubbah, which is presented at the joyous celebration of marriage, he develops a commanding but elegant Hebrew appropriate to the legal nature of the document and the solemnity of the moment.

Gay Block and Malka Drucker, A Recontextualized Ketubbah, 1994. The Jewish Museum, New York.

Gay Block (American, b. 1942) and Malka Drucker (American, b. 1945) collaborated on A Recontextualized Ketubbah, which appropriates an image of an 18th-century Italian ketubbah (marriage contract) from the Museum’s collection. In their reworking, the couple superimposed a portrait from their 1989 wedding to provide a new context for the traditional Jewish ritual object. The background of the photograph is a detail of the fabric from which the couple’s matching wedding garments were made.

Moshe Zabari, Marriage Ring, 1977. The Jewish Museum, New York

Originating in the 14th century, the “house ring” features the depiction of a house possibly symbolizing the establishment of a new Jewish household. This modern example was designed by Moshe Zabari (Israeli, b. 1935). Renowned for his exquisite silver Judaica, he was an artist-in-residence at the Jewish Museum for nearly three decades.

Nan Goldin, My Parents on their Fiftieth Wedding Anniversary, 1989. The Jewish Museum, New York.

Nan Goldin (American, b. 1953) made her reputation in the 1980s with her candid examination of disarmingly intimate moments shared between her friends. In contrast to her usual preoccupation with drug culture and sexual relations, this tender portrait of her parents dates to an introspective period in Goldin’s life. She comments, “For many years, it was hard between me and my parents. But I got clean, and matured, and now I really appreciate them.”

Lowell Nesbitt, Jerusalem Artichoke, 1979. The Jewish Museum, New York

Lowell Nesbitt (American, 1933–1993) was a realist painter known for his large-scale images of flowers that seem a little ominous. Though not as traditional as a dozen red roses, Jerusalem artichokes would make a beautiful and dramatic bouquet to gift loved ones on Tu B’Av. Despite its name, the Jerusalem artichoke is actually a species of sunflower native to eastern North America.

Happy Tu B’Av from all of us at the Jewish Museum!

Explore more works in the Jewish Museum collection related to love online.

— Grace Astrove, Senior Development Officer for Exhibitions

Tu B’Av, the Jewish Holiday of Love ❤️ 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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