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The Jewish Museum is open today from 11 am - 5:45 pm.

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  • Sunday 11 am – 5:45 pm
  • Monday 11 am – 5:45 pm
  • Tuesday 11 am – 5:45 pm
  • Wednesday Closed
  • Friday 11 am – 5:45 pm
  • Saturday 11 am – 5:45 pm

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  • Adults $15
  • Seniors, 65 and over $12
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  • Saturdays Free

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
212.423.3200

info@thejm.org
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Jewish Museum Members and visitors can park at Impark and Champion Parking. Read More

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Upcoming Events

Sun, Mar 26

Sunday, March 26, 2017

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1 PM

Studio Art Sessions
Found Object Constructions

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Mon, Mar 27

Monday, March 27, 2017

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10 AM

Movies That Matter
Salam Neighbor

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Tue, Mar 28

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

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6 PM

Good Girls and Nasty Women: Gender in American Jewish History
Jewish Book Council Presents: Unpacking the Book – Jewish Writers in Conversation

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Wed, Mar 29

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

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2 PM

Verbal Description Tour
The Arcades: Contemporary Art and Walter Benjamin

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Thu, Mar 30

Thursday, March 30, 2017

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6:30 PM

Wish You Were Here
Louis Brandeis

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Sat, Apr 1

Saturday, April 1, 2017

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11 AM

Free Saturdays

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Sun, Apr 2

Sunday, April 2, 2017

|

1 PM

Studio Art Sessions
Painted Character Portrait

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Tue, Apr 4

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

|

2 PM

This Is How We Do It
The Arcades: Contemporary Art and Walter Benjamin

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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.

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

TThe 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

Can You Name #5WomenArtists? Read More

Deborah Kass, Subject Matters, 1989–1990. Purchase: Barbara S. Horowitz and Joan C. Sall Gifts.

Think of an artist. If the first artist to come to mind was a man — read on. For the second year, the Jewish Museum is excited to participate in the social media campaign #5WomenArtists led by the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington DC to celebrate Women’s History Month. With more than 200 arts institutions worldwide, the initiative seeks to draw attention to gender disparity in the art world throughout the month of March by increasing awareness of women artists. Although 51% of visual artists today are women and MFA programs are 65–75% female, work by women artists makes up only 3–5% of major permanent collections in the U.S. and Europe. Last year when I asked a friend to name 5 artists off the top of his head he named ALL men. To combat the general lack of awareness about women artists here are just five of my favorite women artists who made a mark this year at the Jewish Museum and a list of the 638 women who have exhibited since 1947.

Deborah Kass

Last month, the Jewish Museum’s 31st Annual Purim Ball honored Jewish Museum collection artist Deborah Kass for her outstanding artistic achievements. Her painting Subject Matters will be on view in our new collection exhibition Scenes from the Collection, coming this fall. An alternative self-portrait examining identity and representation, the work addresses the artist’s complicated relationship to her Jewishness as a gay woman. By encompassing religion, gender, sexuality, and the Holocaust within the language of the painting she says, “I tried to address subjectivity and objectification, naming and anonymity, seeing and invisibility, issues that continue to be just as urgent in all of my overlapping communities, whether it is who is a Jew in Israel, to the ordination of Gay and Lesbian rabbis, to art in the age of Post-Feminism.”

Florine Stettheimer, Asbury Park South, 1920. Collection of Halley K. Harrisburg and Michael Rosenfeld, New York

Florine Stettheimer

The subject of our upcoming exhibition Florine Stettheimer: Painting Poetry, Stettheimer was a pioneering feminist, modernist, painter, and poet born to a wealthy Jewish family in Rochester. She became an icon of Jazz Age New York co-hosting an elite salon together with her sisters and their mother, attracting many of the leading lights of the artistic vanguard. Her painting Asbury Park South — the centerpiece of our important survey opening May 5 — recently made an appearance at the Armory Show. Through over 50 paintings and drawings, a selection of costume and theater designs, photographs and ephemera, as well as critically acclaimed poems, the Jewish Museum will offer a timely reconsideration of this important American artist, revealing her singular and often satiric vision and significant role in American modern art.

Lee Krasner, Self-Portrait, c. 1930. The Jewish Museum, New York. Purchase: Esther Leah Ritz Bequest; B. Gerald Cantor, Lady Kathleen Epstein, and Louis E. and Rosalyn M. Shecter Gifts, by exchange; Fine Arts Acquisitions Committee Fund; and Miriam Handler Fund. © The Pollock-Krasner Foundation / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Lee Krasner

This self-portrait of the artist Lee Krasner was one of the most popular works of 2016 in the Jewish Museum online collection and will also be on view this fall in Scenes from the Collection. Painted for a life drawing class at the National Academy School of Design, the painting presents a young Lee Krasner embarking on the difficult path toward professional success. In the 1940s, Krasner became a pivotal figure in Abstract Expressionism, synthesizing Cubism, collage, and gesture in dynamic paintings. As Jackson Pollock’s wife, however, Krasner was denied wide recognition for her work until the 1970s, when feminist critics rallied around her as a survivor. “I couldn’t run out and do a one-woman job on the sexist aspects of the art world, continue my painting, and stay in the role I was in as Mrs. Pollock,” Krasner recalled.

Andrea Bowers, Political Ribbons, 2016

Andrea Bowers

Artist Andrea Bowers’ hand screen-printed Political Ribbons for our exhibition Take Me (I’m Yours) earlier this year addressed timely issues of social justice. Bowers ribbons restored the bygone, stereotypically “girly” material of the ribbon to its former glory of carrying political messages to communicate her radical, leftist social and political agenda with phrases like “Deport Hate,” “Women Don’t Owe You Shit,” and “Trans-Inclusive Feminism Always.” The inclusion of her work in our participatory exhibition last fall was particularly meaningful to visitors during the fraught political climate of the 2016 election. Works of art removed from the exhibition have now taken on a new perspective in visitor’s own art collections as personal talismans and mementos. Bowers will also be featured in our exhibition The Arcades: Contemporary Art and Walter Benjamin, opening Friday.

Chantal Joffe, Susan Sontag, 2014. Gift of Wendy Fisher

Chantal Joffe

British artist Chantal Joffe was commissioned to paint a set of portraits in the Jewish Museum collection featuring prominent Jewish women of the 20th century for our lobby series Using Walls, Floors, and Ceilings in 2015. Joffe’s style is direct and gestural. These are not exact or “true” depictions but charged with the artist’s technical, conceptual, and emotional responses. She conducted months of research, gathering both well-known and obscure texts and images to create posthumous images of the iconic women represented. Through this slow process of looking, reading, and watching, she built worlds around herself and the women, whom she has represented at various stages in their lives, during moments both big and small. Bringing together these historical figures creates a universal family album of incredible women, a tribute to their contributions as well as inspiration for all those in the present, still able to leave their mark.

Opening this Friday, March 17 The Arcades: Contemporary Art and Walter Benjamin features the work of contemporary artists seen through the lens of Walter Benjamin’s The Arcades Project, an examination of modernity and urban living. The exhibition will include the work of 11 women artists: Erica Baum, Milena Bonilla, Andrea Bowers, Voluspa Jarpa, Mary Reid Kelley, Collier Schorr, Cindy Sherman, Taryn Simon, Haris Epaminonda, and half of the artist duos Claire Fontaine, and Simon Evans™.

Browse our collection of works online by women artists and share your favorites using #5WomenArtists on Instagram.

Women Artists Exhibited at the Jewish Museum from 1947 to 2017

Berenice Abbott
Ayisha Abraham
Talila Abraham
Danielle Abrams
Carla Accardi
Myril Adler
Sylvia Agron
Kelly Akashi
Chantal Akerman
Martha Alber
Anni Albers
Edith Altman
Olga de Amaral
Cheselyn Amato
Emmy Andriesse
Rifka Angel
Margit Anna
Eleanor Antin
Evelyn Applebaum
Ida Applebroog
Diane Arbus
Mor Arkadir
Gertrud Arndt
Elise Asher
Oreet Ashery
Marta Astfalck-Vietz
Martha Atienza
Aliza Auerbach
Ellen Auerbach
Sarah Auslander
Austė
Alice Austen
Lynne Avadenka
Bruria Avidan
Dana Awartani
Irene Awret
Aya
Alice Aycock
Helene Aylon
Grete Back
Tina Barney
Hannelore Baron
Yael Bartana
Mandolina Bassan
Hester Bateman
Mary Bauermeister
Anna Baumgart
Irene Bayer
Jessie Tarbox Beals
Hana Bechar-Paneth
Martha Beers
Lotte Beese
Cara Benedetto
Francisca Benitez
Meriem Bennani
Marie-Guillelmine Benoi
Ella Bergmann-Michel
Harriete Estel Berman
Leola Bermanzohn
Sarah Bernhardt
Theresa Bernstein
Linda Berris
Bek Berta
Mariette Bevington
Aenne Biermann
Ilse Bing
Dara Birnbaum
Dana Bishop-Root
Naomi Bitter
Bette Blank
Tina Blau
Alina Bliumis
Gay Block
Barbara Bloom
Irena Bluhova
Yuli Blumberg
Dorothy Boles
Maria Bonomi
Lee Bontecou
Dineo Seshee Bopape
Christine Borland
Gloria Bornstein
Katt Both
Margaret Bourke-White
Andrea Bowers
Kitty Brandfield
Stephanie Brandl
Marianne Brandt
Karolina Breguła
Marianne Breslauer
Johanna Bresnick
Beverly Brodsky
Jessica Bronson
Romaine Brooks
Judith Brown
Trude Bruck
Fatma Bucak
Angela Bulloch
Charlotte Buresova
Suse Byk
Sophie Calle
Hannah Senigallia Camerina
Alexis Canter
Sylvia Carew
Rina Castelnuovo
Laura Kronenberg [Cavastani]
Zoya Cherkassky
Judy Chicago
Iris Buchholz Chocolate
Chunghi Choo
Saloua Raouda Choucair
Chryssa
Minna Wright Citron
Lygia Clark
Maxi Cohen
Miriam [Cohen]
Sarah Cohen
Leonora Colorni
Mariana Cook
Lucille Corcos
Violette Cornelius
Sarah Crowner
Karin Daan
Sharon Samish Dagan
Matta Damisch
Dina Dar
Janet Dash
Nurit David
Janet de Coux
Elaine de Kooning
Niki de Saint Phalle
Dorothy Dehner
Sonia Delaunay
Agnes Denes
Brigitte Denninghof-Meier
Wijnanda Deroo
Irma Diaz
Friedl Dicker-Brandeis
Rineke Dijkstra
Michele Oka Doner
Angela Donhauser
Lucy Douglas
Cobie Douma
Rosalyn Drexler
Lu Duble
Minya Duhrkoop
Mary Dujardin
Lucy Durand-Sikes
Anna Edelman
Maria Eichhorn
Nicole Eisenman
Marie-Louise Ekman
Lillian Elliott
Julia Emmerich
Elizabeth Erlanger
Lotte Erre
Noemí Escandell
Marisol [Escobar]
Noa Eshkol
Betty Esman
Emmy Falck Ettlinger
Tamar Ettun
Tirtza Even
Brenda Fajardo
Shirley Faktor
Shari Roth farb
Joan Farrar
Sarah Feifelowitz
Teresita Fernandez
Julia Feyrer
Belle Judith [Finzi]
Laura [Finzi]
Louise Fishman
Audrey Flack
Ruth Florsheim
Honorata [Foa]
Jean Follett
Hanna Fonk
Claire Fontaine
Christina Forrer
Barbro Forslund
Mary Frank
Elsa Franke
Helen Frankenthaler
Dana Frankfort
Andrea Fraser
Jill Freedman
Gisele Freund
Alona Friedberg
Liebe Gross Friedman
Roberta Friedman
Salomea Fuchs [Rakower]
Meta Vaux Warrick Fuller
Elaine Galen
Audrey Hemenway Garfinkel
Hana Geber
Esther Gentle
Helen Gerardia
Rimma Gerlovina
Valeska Gert
Ruth Gikow
Pesi Girsch
Sharon Glazberg
Lyn Godley
Judy Goldhill
Nan Goldin
Gego [Gertrude Goldschmidt]
Lotte Goldstern-Fuchs
Hadassa Goldvicht
Gabrielle Goliath
Ina Golub
Natalia Goncharova
Arlene Gottfried
Deborah Grant
Rachel Gratz [Etting]
Marlene Graucher-Peters
Nancy Graves
Gertrude Greene
Lauren Greenfield
Marion Greenstone
Hazel Greenwald
Mila Tanya Griebel
Lori Grinker
Laura Grisi
Debbie Grossman
Silvia Gruner
Judith Guetta
Galia Gur-Zeev
Lena Gurr
Alice Gutmann
Sara Haid
Alice Halicka
Lida K. Hall
Carol Hamoy
Phyllis Handler
Minna Harkavy
Margaret Harrison
Grace Hartigan
Kirsten Hassenfeld
Barbara Rose Haum
Elisabeth Heddenhausen
Michal Heiman
Florence Henri
Anna Ruth Henriques
Carry Hess
Nini Hess
Eva Hesse
June Hildebrand
Susan Hiller
Tali Hinkis
Hannah Hoch
Malvina Hoffman
Helene Hourmat
Bernece Hunter
Nadira Husain
Alice Hutchins
Dafna Ichilov
Caroline Innis
Sheila Isham
Sheri su Izumi
Lotte Jacobi
Ruth Jacoby
Edith Jaffe
May Janko
Ruth Jeffrey
Chantal Joffe
Elizabeth Judah
Grethe Jurgens
Karen Kaeja
Anna Kagan
Frida Kahlo
Luise Kaish
Gritt Kallin
Dora Kallmus [Madame d’Ora]
Maira Kalman
Yael Kanarek
Rachel Kanter
Razel Kapustin
Gülsün Karamustafa
Mariska Karasz
Ruth Karkovius
Deborah Kass
Hilda Katz
Lila Katzen
Louise Kayser
Janis Kent
Tali Keren
Liliane Klapisch
Amy Klein Reichert
Vera Klement
Clara Klinghoffer
Alison Knowles
Nora Kochav
D[orothea] W[usten] Koeppen
Rachel Kohn
Broncia Koller-Pinell
Kathe Kollwitz
Vivienne Koorland
Beryl Korot
Tamara Kostianovsky
Joyce Kozloff
Helen Kroll Kramer
Lee Krasner
Annelise Kretschmer
Hadas Kruk
Germaine Krull
Elke Krystufek
Shigeko Kubota
Salomé Lamas
Sigalit Landau
Dorothea Lange
Leora Laor
Sarah Jane Lapp
Else Lasker-Schuler
Betsy B. Lathrop
Gillian Laub
Marie Laurencin
Ann Leaf
Sarah Lebedeva
Nikki S. Lee
Anne Lehman
Lynn Leland
Erna Lendvai-Dircksen
Gerda Leo
Rebecca Lepkoff
Ora Lerman
Heleen Levano
Merilu Levin
Helen Levitt
Alice Lex-Nerlinger
Miriam Lieber
Rhonda Lieberman
Sharone Lifschitz
Lea Lilienblum
Hila Lulu Lin
Beth Lipman
Bathia Lishansky
Ariane Littman-Cohen
Sharon Lockhart
Eleanore Lockspeiser
Jane Logemann
Sharon Louden
Kathe Lowenthal
Lee Lozano
Esther Lurie
Hannah [Luzzatto]
Alice Mackler
Antonietta Raphael Mafai
Jeanne Mammen
Frances Manacher
Elli Marcus
Aviva Margalit
Mary Ellen Mark
Angelika Markul
Agnes Martin
Adriana Martinez
Maria Martinez-Canas
Tina Matkovic
Tal Matzliah
Fanny Mazel
Birgit Megerle
Else Meidner
Marit Meisler
Dina Melicow
Mildred Mermin
Simha [Meshullami]
Angelica Mesiti
Melissa Meyer
Alix Mikesell
Beatriz Milhazes
Sue Miller
Joan Mitchell
Etel Mittag-Fodor
Ann Mittleman
Aiko Miyawaki
Elisabeth Model
Lisette Model
Rahel Modigliani
Lucia Moholy
Paola Levi Montalcini
Diana Montero
Ruth Morley
Aenne Mosbacher
Rachel Moses
Sheila Moss
Mrinalini Mukherjee
Gabriele Munter
Brigitte NaHoN
Beverly Naidus
Lisette Nathan
Gertrud Natzler
Hylton Nel
Rivane Neuenschwander
Louise Nevelson
Nurit Newman
Ruth Nickerson
Lea Nikel
Catherine Noren
Susan Norrie
Lorie Novak
Leticia Obeid
Halina Olomucki
Yoko Ono
Mary Oppen
Kristin Oppenheim
Limor Orenstein
Elsie Orfuss
Ruth Orkin
Chana Orloff
Li Osborne
Ella Ostrowsky
Eliana Otta
Leah [Ottolenghi]
Marion Palfi
Lygia Pape
Mary Parke
Vilma Parlaghy
Regina Parra
Helen Pashgian
Zoë Paul
Julia Pearl
Zeyno Pekünlü
Beverly Pepper
Sondra Perry
Gilda Pervin
Liz Phillips
Amalia Pica
Adriana Pincherle
Adrian Piper
Sylvia Plachy
Ariela Plotkin
Rikah Polacco
Rona Pondick
Liliana Porter
Vanessa Portieles
Ilene Potashnick
Esther Puccinelli
Lucy Puls
Belle Quitman
Raquel Rabinovich
Orit Raff
Clare Ramano
Christina Ramberg
Sandra Ramos
Dina Recanati
Rayah Redlich
Elaine Reichek
Elfriede Reichelt
Nono Reinhold
Katie Friedman Reiter
Margret Rey
Betti Richard
Chava Wolpert Richard
Ursula Richter
Hanna Riess
Lydia Riezouw
Bridget Riley
Marriam Cramer Ring
Olly Ritterband
Andrea Robbins
Raisa Robbins
Laurel J. Robinson
Mae Shafter Rockland
Neeltje Roelse
Bunny Rogers
Mary I. Rogers
Tracy Rolling
Rachel Rose
Pauline Rosenberg
Elizabeth Rosenblum
Galya Rosenfeld
Erna Rosenstein
Barbara Rosenthal
Doris Rosenthal
Kate Ring Rosenthal
Martha Rosler
Eva Ross
Lenke Rothman
Irma Rothstein
Elisabeth Rottgers
Gail Rubi
Charlotte Rudolphshan
Barbara Rushkoff
Charlotte Salomon
Gillian Sandlands
Marion Sanford
Helene Sardeau
Concetta Scaravaglione
Gigi Scaria
Agnes Schaefer
Malvina Schalkova
Miriam Schapiro
Joyce Schmidt
Mugg Schmitt-Breuninger
Joanne Schneider
Mira Schor
Collier Schorr
Dana Schutz
Susan Schwalb
Miriam Schwartzberg
Ricarda Schwerin
Martel Schwichtenberg
Amalie Seckbach
Hannah Seewald
Ilene Segalove
Doris Seidler
Rachel I. Seixas
Kay Sekimachi
Joan Semmel
Esther Shalev-Gerz
Dafna Shalom
Miriam Shamir
Ann Zane Shanks
Liza Shapiro
Mary Shapiro
Laura Shechter
Regina Shenck
Sonia Sheridan
Cindy Sherman
Melissa Shiff
Frieda Leah Shifman
Ziona Shimshi
Jessica Shokrian
Shirley Shor
Alyson Shutz
Susan Silas
Amy Sillman
Alice Ellen Silverberg
Celia Sylvia Silverberg
Laurie Simmons
Vera Simons
Diane Simpson
Ludmila Skripkina
Clarissa T. Sligh
Mernl Smith
Anika Smulovitz
Jenny Snider
Jenny Emily Snow
Joan Snyder
Sally Soames
Yehudith Sobel
Charity Solis-Cohen
Rebecca Solomon
Mary Ellen Solt
Alice Sommer
Devorah Sperber
Nancy Spero
Ann Sperry
Stacey Spiegel
Sriwhana Spong
Jeni Spota
Sari Srulovich
Margaret Stark
Anat Stein
Naama Steinbock
Barbara Steinman
Grete Ster
Fannie Stiglitz
Renata Stih
Ida Ring Stolnitz
Beatrice Stone
Cami Stone
Sylvia Stone
Sonia Stoppelman
Racelle Strick
Marjorie Strider
Elisabeth Subrin
Carol Summers
Sherry Suris
Beth Ames Swartz
Julianne Swartz
Sarah Swenson
Hanna Szmalenberg
Tziona Tagger
Ginger Brooks Takahashi
Tania
Maria Taniguchi
Liora Taragan
Mary Temple
Else Dorothea Thalemann
Diana Thater
Anna Dorothea Therbusch
Valerie Thornton
Anna Ticho
Suzanne Treister
Marie Trommer
Anne Truitt
Judith Turner
Muriel Turoff
Mierle Laderman Ukeles
Amalia Ulman
Aviva Uri
Elisabeth Vigée-LeBrun
Lella Vignelli
Simhah Viterbo
Wanda von Debschitz-Kunowski
Carola von Groddeck
Marion von Osten
Marevna [Maria Vorobieff]
Stella Waitzkin
Anna Walinska
Rosa Newman Walinska
Nora Wallower
Jessica Walsh
Hedda Walther
Jane Wasey
June Wayne
Stephanie Weber
Mrs. H. Weed
Carrie Mae Weems
Daniella Weihart
Yocheved Weinfeld
Mindy Weisel
Sara Eidel Weisberg
Anita Weschler
Sophie Wetherbe
Pae White
Eliza Whitney
Gerta Ries Wiener
Hannah Wilke
Susan Lewis Williams
Catherine Yass
Kim Yasuda
Rona Yefman
Carol Yudin
Yva
Jennifer Zack
Maya Zack
Yona Zaloscer
Donna Zarbin-Byrne
Teresa Zarnower
Lidia Zavadsky
Malcah Zeldis
Marguerite Thompson Zorach
Barbara Zucker

— Victoria Reis, Digital Marketing Associate, The Jewish Museum

Statement from the Jewish Museum on Proposed Defunding... Read More

Statement from the Jewish Museum on Proposed Defunding of the National Endowment for the Arts and Humanities

The Jewish Museum joins the many organizations and artists across the United States in urging Congress to not eliminate the vital funding of the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities, as outlined in the proposed federal budget. The loss of essential support from the NEA and NEH will not only affect major arts institutions, but more devastatingly smaller arts organizations and cultural projects across the country. The proportionately small but impactful funding that the NEA and the NEH provide makes a strong statement to the world about what the United States values as a nation.


Statement from the Jewish Museum on Proposed Defunding of the National Endowment for the Arts and… was originally published in The Jewish Museum on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

Revisiting the Story of Purim at the Jewish... Read More

Michael Bloomberg. Photo: Aria Isadora/BFA.com

As we approach Purim, the Jewish holiday that begins at sundown this Saturday, March 11, the Jewish Museum revisits four important speeches at our 31st Annual Purim Ball honoring Chairman Wang Jian, HNA Group, philanthropist Fanya Gottesfeld Heller, and Jewish Museum collection artist Deborah Kass. Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg kicked off the night with these timely words:

I want to congratulate all of this year’s honorees. I also want to thank all of you for supporting the Jewish Museum. The Museum is one of the first boards I became involved with when I came to New York. The Museum has always been close to my heart and I’m glad that I named a gallery in the Museum after my Mother. The Museum has only gotten better and better over the years and more importantly, Jewish history has so many critical lessons to teach people of all backgrounds and the story of Purim is really a great example.
It is the story of an immigrant Queen, Esther, and a ruler who became convinced that Jews were responsible for all of the problems in his kingdom and had to be eliminated. Esther intervened, so the story goes, and convinced the King he was wrong and she saved the lives of the Jews. It’s an ancient story but the lesson, really, I think is timeless. Whenever a group of people is used as a scapegoat, whether it’s because of their race, their religion, their immigration status or anything else—we have a responsibility to speak up just like Esther did. I think that Jews have a special responsibility to fight intolerance because we’ve seen how incredibly dangerous it can be.
Sadly, as we all know, that danger never goes away and it’s very real and present in our world today. Over the last year, the number of hate crimes has risen in New York and around the country, including attacks on Jews and Muslims.
So, we owe thanks to the Jewish Museum for making sure that vigilance and fighting intolerance and other important lessons are never forgotten and I want to thank Claudia and everyone who works hard at the Museum day in and day out and I want to thank all of you for your support. It is one of the jewels in the crown of New York City, of our cultural institutions, and I can’t urge you enough to go and go often. The exhibitions constantly change and I, for one, am so proud to be affiliated with it. I was so honored to be asked to come tonight so, although it’s a little early, happy Purim!

Global corporate honoree Chairman Wang Jian of HNA Group, was recognized for his remarkable business acumen and philanthropic efforts:

Chairman Wang Jian. Photo: Aria Isadora/BFA.com
As two of the oldest living cultures on the planet, both the Chinese and Jewish people have faced struggle and adversity over long histories — and yet preserved and maintained our holidays, our values, and pride in our history — all while remaining fully engaged in the world of today and looking toward the future.
One of many common themes between us is the recognition that success is accompanied by a responsibility to improve the lives of those who may be less fortunate.
While the value of family is a universal one, it is especially so in the Chinese and Jewish cultures — so it makes me happy to see many members of the Jewish Museum’s family here tonight. And from different generations as well.
Inter-generational bonds are also key to the success of our cultures. Elders provide the next generation with opportunity and wisdom while holding young people to the highest standards, which the younger generation honors by showing respect and making their very best effort to take advantage of the gift of opportunity they have been offered.
Generations stay connected in our cultures no matter the distance and no matter the differences. China just completed its New Year’s celebration, during which a record 800 million Chinese people, over 2.5 times the population of the United States, traveled to be with their families.
Like the Chinese New Year, just recently completed, the celebration of Purim, just beginning, is both serious and at the same time lighthearted.
This way of being in the world — to be serious about life and facing its hardships and responsibilities, but doing so with joy, color and celebration as well is something that both cultures share.
And both cultures highly value education. We know that education determines the ability of the younger generation to succeed and to contribute.
That’s why I’m so pleased to see so many younger people here tonight — and I know we will be joined by many more later, when the after-party begins.
Both cultures encourage their young people to learn, to engage, to seek new ideas, and to give back to their communities.

Fanya Gottesfeld Heller, recipient of the prestigious Mayer Sulzberger Award, was honored for her lifetime commitment to public service with her great-grandson by her side:

Fanya Gottesfeld Heller. Photo: Aria Isadora/BFA.com
No one can tell me there was no Holocaust. I was there. I put a face to the suffering. I go around and I teach young people that hate breeds hate. That love conquers all. And my children and my grandchildren will know to love others. They teach this to all of us. I’m very honored to be with, now, my great grandson; he is not a stranger! He came to the Museum when we was two months old! At that time, the museum honored three women — I was one among them. His parents and grandparents brought him in a tuxedo! And the rest is history. He is here with me today, and I thank you for honoring me. Thank you, Claudia for honoring me.

Last but not least, artist Deborah Kass, our cultural honoree, gave a heartfelt acceptance speech as we honored her outstanding artistic achievements and more than twenty-year history with the Jewish Museum:

Deborah Kass. Photo: Julie Skarratt
Some of you may know I don’t have a problem speaking in public. I am a ham. Last time I got an award I gave the fake Oscar speech I always wanted to give…
But right now the reality and cruelty of the new political regime, has left me speechless and heartbroken.
So how do I thank the Jewish Museum’s wonderful acknowledgement of my life’s work in light of current events?
It is an honor to be here along with Fanya Heller, a woman whose life of remarkable courage and generosity, reflects the story of both the worst of 20th century and the very very best of America.
It is the best of America that is in such grave danger in ways that are terrifying. As doors slam to immigrants and refugees like Fanya who, like my family and yours, fled violence and annihilation and arrived…to the land of opportunity.
Now these words chill us to the bone: desecrated cemeteries, bomb threats, deportation, swastikas, round ups…ROUND UPS. They should. We have heard them before. It never turns out well.
And BUILD THE WALL. What if there had been a wall to keep out our great grandparents and grandparents? Would anyone be sitting in this room?
The Jewish people’s gratitude lives in our irreplaceable contributions to science, medicine, culture, art, literature, music, politics — the very fabric of the country we helped weave.
In popular culture it is Jews who imagined an idealized version of America to other Americans by inventing Hollywood, Broadway, and TV. Who wrote God Bless America and White Christmas? A Jewish immigrant named Irving Berlin.
Countless Jewish names adorn hospitals, research centers, universities, theaters, concert halls, and museums, giving back a million fold to the place that welcomed us. I am grateful to the country that made my family part of the American dream.
My great grandparents and grandparents: the Zinks, Kornfelds, Kasses and Koufaxes, who fled Hungary, the Ukraine, Russia and Belarus, who arrived in New York City with absolutely nothing, produced 3 generations of Americans: teachers, a dentist, 2 therapists, a lot of masters degrees, a PhD, a sports star, a few business owners, 2 writers, 2 wall streeters and one artist.
I am so proud to be part of this continuum and very grateful to have the freedom to keep a critical eye open and continue to make work that speaks truth to power.
I thank the Jewish Museum for this honor.

Revisiting the Story of Purim at the Jewish Museum Purim Ball 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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