Talks and Performances

There is always something new to discover at the Jewish Museum. We offer a wide range of Public Programs for adult audiences, from insightful discussions with artists and curators, to talks by contemporary authors and thinkers, and diverse performances inspired by exhibitions on view.

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Installation view of Chagall: Love, War and Exile. © 2014 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/ADAGP, Paris. Photo by David Andrako.

Bang on a Can. Photo by Will Ragozzino/

​People at Parties perform at The Wind Up, an after-hours series of art and music. Photo by David Adrako.

​Dialogues and Discourse: Mel Bochner: Strong Language.

A few of the revelers at ​The Wind Up. Photo by Will Ragozzino/

​Exhibition Walkthrough: Other Primary Structures.

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Special Exhibition Programs

Explore lectures, panel discussions and gallery programs inspired by Museum exhibitions on view.

  • A Closer Look Gallery Talks

    A Closer Look Gallery Talks

    A weekly series of in-depth explorations of select works of art in the temporary exhibition galleries, led by Museum educators.

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  • Dialogue and Discourse

    Dialogue and Discourse

    Evening conversations inspired by current exhibitions exploring artistic practice, global perspectives, and cultural issues.

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  • This Is How We Do It

    This Is How We Do It

    Conversations with Jewish Museum curators on the process of developing exhibitions.

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  • Writers and Artists Respond

    Writers and Artists Respond

    Thought-provoking discussions and performances led by artists, musicians, and writers in the Museum’s galleries.

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Conversations and Screenings

A variety of daytime and evening programs featuring celebrated authors, prominent critics and scholars engaging in rigorous discussion.

  • AM at the JM

    AM at the JM

    A monthly breakfast salon for the 21st century, featuring notable arts and cultural figures at various cafés around New York City.

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  • Author Talks

    Author Talks

    Readings and lectures by writers on their recently published books or works in progress.

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  • Screenings


    Selections for film screenings at the Jewish Museum are inspired by the exhibitions on view.

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  • Wish You Were Here

    Wish You Were Here

    Jens Hoffmann, Deputy Director, Exhibitions and Public Programs, interviews the subjects of Andy Warhol’s Ten Portraits of Jews of the Twentieth Century (1980).

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The Wind Up

The Museum’s after-hours series of events featuring art, music, performance, and gallery tours

Past Events:

Revolution of the Eye

Revolution of the Eye

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Celebrate the visual power and cultural impact of American television and modern art explored in the exhibition Revolution of the Eye: Modern Art and the Birth of American Television. Join us for a night of live performance and art-making, with a set by DJ Louie XIV, a headlining performance by pop-rock band Mainland, and screen printing inspired by Op Art.

The Wind Up will feature an open beer and wine bar. 

Beauty Is Power

Beauty Is Power

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Experience the bold redefinition of beauty on display in Helena Rubinstein: Beauty Is Power. Join us for an evening of music and art, featuring a live set by garage-pop band Beverly, fronted by the brilliant female vocalist and guitarist Drew Citron, and an opening DJ set by Le Chev. Rubinstein’s iconic style will be celebrated through numerous art activities including statement jewelry making, nail art, and a photo booth for capturing one-of-a-kind portraits.

The evening will also feature an open beer and wine bar, and exhibition tours of Helena Rubinstein: Beauty Is Power at 8:15 and 9:15 pm.

From the Margins

From the Margins

Thursday, November 20, 2014

The Wind Up returns this fall to celebrate the painterly innovation on view in From the Margins: Lee Krasner and Norman Lewis, 1945 – 1952. Join us for an evening of music and art, featuring a live set by rapper, performance artist, and poet Mykki Blanco; a DJ set by emerging artist and music producer P. Morris; spin art T-shirt making; an abstract painting station; and exhibition tours. The event also includes an open beer and wine bar.

Alphabet Party

Alphabet Party

Thursday, July 24, 2014

The Wind Up returns this summer to celebrate the cerebral and colorful Thesaurus paintings of Mel Bochner. Join us for an evening of music and art, exhibition tours of Mel Bochner: Strong Language, and a live set by artist on the rise High Water. Open bar with beer and wine.



Thursday, March 27, 2014

Snap into spring at The Wind Up with a live performance by the energetic dance band JD Samson & MEN with an opening DJ set by Gavin Russom. The evening also includes tours of the exhibition Other Primary Structures, geometric jewelry-making, and an open bar with beer and wine.

Bright Winter Night

Bright Winter Night

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Join us for an ethereal evening celebrating the closing of Chagall: Love, War, and Exile and threeASFOUR: MER KA BA. Featuring a live performance by the genre-defying lyrical powerhouse Mirah, this cozy winter evening also includes an international beer tasting and open bar, savory snacks, and guided exhibition tours.

Mystic Crystal Ball

Installation view of threeASFOUR: MER KA BA. Exhibition designed by Studio Christian Wassmann.

Mystic Crystal Ball

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Celebrate high fashion, futuristic architecture and a meeting of cultures in this evening of art, dance, and music inspired by avant-garde fashion trio threeASFOUR. Live music by The Crystal Ark with a DJ set by Gavin Russom, viewings of threeASFOUR’s exhibition MER KA BA, screenprinting activities with mystical patterns, and a special screening of collaborative video works by threeASFOUR and Jessica Mitrani. Open wine and beer bar with ID.

Pictures Party

Pictures Party

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Celebrate pop to punk with an 80s-inspired evening featuring a Tanlines DJ Set followed by the band People at Parties. Enjoy refreshing summer treats, interactive art, and exhibitions tours of JACK GOLDSTEIN × 10,000.

Happiness Therapy with Stefan Sagmeister

Happiness Therapy with Stefan Sagmeister

Thursday, May 2, 2013

A night of activities inspired by the exhibition Six Things: Sagmeister & Walsh. Designer Stefan Sagmeister will kick-off the evening with a preview of his documentary feature The Happy Film, now in post-production, followed by Juan Maclean DJ set, open bar, art activities, free neck and back massages, custom temporary tattoos by Tattly and sweets provided by Economy Candy! Come early & enter the raffle for an item signed by the Sagmeister & Walsh team.


Music performances at the Jewish Museum are inspired by exhibitions on view

Upcoming Events:

Bang on a Can: Repetition and Difference

Thursday, July 9 | 7:30 pm

A forerunner in the expansion of the violin beyond its classical and “wood-bound” tradition, Todd Reynolds electrifies in concert, weaving together composed and improvised segments, and making use of computer technology and digital loops to sculpt his sounds in real time, seamlessly integrating minimalist, pop, Jazz, Indian, African, Celtic and indigenous folk music into his own sonic blend.

$18 General | $15 Students and Seniors | $12 Jewish Museum and Bang on a Can List Members

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Bang on a Can: Power of Pictures

Thursday, November 5 | 7:30 pm

Bassist and founding member of the Bang on a Can All-Stars Robert Black anchors a program of chamber music by experimental Soviet composers Galina Ustvolskaya, Arthur Lourie, and Sofia Gubaidulaina. 

Tickets: $18 general public; $15 students and senior citizens; and $12 for Jewish Museum members and Bang on a Can list members. 

Tickets for this event are not on sale yet. Please check back for availability.

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Bang on a Can: Unorthodox

Thursday, February 4 | 7:30 pm

The Mivos Quartet performs the string quartets of Steve Reich. Reich is one of New York’s and the world’s most influential composers and his quartets are arguably the most important cycle of quartets since Béla Bartók. This concert includes his Holocaust-related masterpiece Different Trains, and the intensely contrapuntal Triple Quartet. Plus a rare all-live four-violin performance of Reich’s seminal Violin Phase.

$18 General | $15 Students and Seniors | $12 Jewish Museum and Bang on a Can List Members

Tickets for this event are not on sale yet. Please check back for availability.

Purchase Tickets

Past Events:

Bang on a Can: Revolution of the Eye

Bang on a Can All-Stars

Bang on a Can: Revolution of the Eye

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Featuring Bang on a Can All-Stars

This concert highlights the relationship between music and image. The Bang on a Can All-Stars will perform an acclaimed work by clarinetist-composer Don Byron to accompany a screening of Eugene, an early television show by pioneering American comedian Ernie Kovacs. The program will also include Fade to Slide, a music and video piece from Bang on a Can’s brand new CD Field Recordings by visual artist Christian Marclay where short fragments of films are edited into a rapid succession of events that the musicians use as a structure for their performance. Plus works from the All-Stars’ core repertoire by Bang on a Can co-founders David Lang and Julia Wolfe.

The performance corresponds to the Museum’s exhibition Revolution of the Eye: Modern Art and the Birth of American Television.

Don Byron: Eugene with film of Ernie Kovacs

Don Byron: Basquiat

Christian Marclay: Fade to Slide with film

David Lang: Sunray

Julia Wolfe: Lick

Bang on a Can: Beauty Is Power

Maya Beiser,

Bang on a Can: Beauty Is Power

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Featuring Maya Beiser

Inspired by Helena Rubinstein – the fascinating, self-made beauty-industry powerhouse ­­– the celebrated cellist Maya Beiser asks: Is beauty powerful? For this concert, held in conjunction with the exhibition currently on view at the Jewish Museum, Beiser has chosen to perform beautiful music by powerful women. From Hildegard von Bingen to Janis Joplin to Imogen Heap, this program explores themes of beauty, spirituality, and ritual. The concert features the U.S. premiere of Anna Clyne’s Rest These Hands and the world premiere of Emunah by Bang on a Can co-founder Julia Wolfe.

Maya Beiser was raised in the Galilee Mountains in Israel, surrounded with the music and rituals of Jews, Muslims, and Christians. Beiser studied classical cello repertoire and has dedicated her work to reinventing solo cello performance in the mainstream classical area. She was a founding member of the Bang on a Can All-Stars, has collaborated with Steve Reich, Brian Eno, and Shirin Neshat, and has performed in stage shows at BAM and other top venues around the world.

Daniel Gortler

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Acclaimed Israeli pianist Daniel Gortler – who has performed as a soloist, in chamber music ensembles, as lieder accompaniment, and with orchestras around the world – joins us for an evening of classical music, featuring pieces by Johannes Brahms, Robert Schumann, and Clara Schumann. The program selections by Clara Schumann include seldom-performed compositions highlighting her relationships with the two other composers. Gortler’s latest recording of Robert Schumann piano solo works was released as a two-disc album on Romeo Records and has received enthusiastic critical reviews.

The recital program will include:

Clara Schumann, Romance Op. 11, Nr. 3 Moderato (1838 – 1839)
Dedicated to Robert Schumann

Robert Schumann, Davidsbüdlertänze, Op. 6 (1837)
(Dances of the League of David)
Dedicated to Clara Wieck Schumann
18 pieces for piano

Clara Schumann, Romance Op. 21, Nr.1  Andante (1853 – 1855)
Dedicated to Johannes Brahms

Johannes Brahams - Variations and Fugue on a Theme by G.F. Handel, Op. 24 (1861)
Dedicated to Clara Schumann and presented to her on her birthday

Robert Schumann’s Davidsbüdlertänze, Op. 6 is the music used in Dani Gal’s short film As from Afar – part of a video installation by the Israeli artist on view at the Jewish Museum through February 1, 2015. Gal’s new video work examines the relationship between Simon Wiesenthal, an architect and Holocaust survivor who devoted his life to hunting Nazi criminals, and Albert Speer, Hitler’s chief architect and close confidant. Based on letters the two men exchanged in the late 1970s, As from Afar illustrates Gal’s use of documentary materials to create historical narratives through cinematic imagery, and reflects his interest in the relationship between memory and history as well as perceptions and interpretations of the past. Concert ticket holders will be able to view Dani Gal: As from Afar prior to the performance.

Daniel Gortler has performed as soloist with orchestras around the world, including the Berlin Radio Symphony, the Bavarian Radio Symphony, NDR Symphony, North-West German Philharmonic, Bochum Symphony, Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, as well as the Houston, San Francisco, New World, Atlanta, and San Jose Symphony Orchestras. Gortler has also appeared with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, among all other orchestras in his home country.

Recent highlights include his debut with the London Philharmonic Orchestra, a debut recital at Wigmore Hall in London, and tours in South Korea, Japan, and Turkey. In the United States, Gortler has performed recitals at the Cleveland Museum of Art and at various New York City venues including Symphony Space, Lincoln Center, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the 92nd Street Y, the Morgan Library, and New York University.

Bang on a Can: From the Margins

© Patrícia Magalhães

Bang on a Can: From the Margins

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Featuring Steve Coleman, Jonathan Finlayson, and Anthony Tidd

The collision between Abstract Expressionism and jazz began in the galleries and clubs of New York in the 1940s, as avant-garde artists from each world learned more about each other. This connection pushed jazz in a more formal, intellectual direction exemplified by a number of thoughtful composer/performers. An heir to this great tradition is the Chicago composer, saxophone player and bandleader Steve Coleman, who has performed with the big bands of Thad Jones and Mel Lewis, Cecil Taylor, and Sam Rivers, released more than 25 records, and is a 2014 recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship. Coleman is joined by musicians and frequent collaborators Jonathan Finlayson (trumpet) and Anthony Tidd (bass).

Bang on a Can: Other Primary Structures

​Installation view of Other Primary Structures: Others 2 at the Jewish Museum, New York.

Bang on a Can: Other Primary Structures

Thursday, July 10, 2014

The Jewish Museum is pleased to announce a new partnership with Bang on a Can, an international organization dedicated to making music new. Since 1987, Bang on a Can has supported music innovation globally through adventurous programs, education, audience development, and commissions from ambitious composers and performers.

This performance is the first in a series of concerts that will take place throughout the year.

This summer concert is made possible by a generous endowment from the William Petschek Family.


Channel One

Exhibitions & Artist Interviews

Designer Stefan Sagmeister talks about his recent exhibition, Six Things.
Art Spiegelman discusses his process and his past exhibition at the Jewish Museum.
Claudia Gould, Helen Goldsmith Menschel Director, and Jens Hoffmann, Deputy Director, Exhibitions and Public Programs, discuss the exhibition Other Primary Structures that was on view at the Jewish Museum.

Channel Two

Talks & Performances

Participate in an unusual evening of discussion between Jens Hoffmann, Deputy Director, Exhibitions and Public Programs, and “Gertrude Stein,” portrayed by Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev, as part of our Wish You Were Here series of interviews with the subjects of Warhol’s Ten Portraits of Jews of the Twentieth Century (1980). Christov-Bakargiev is a former Artistic Director of dOCUMENTA (13) and current Visiting Professor in the Department of Art Theory & Practice at Northwestern University, as well as curator of the 14th Istanbul Biennial (2015).
Performa Founding Director and Curator RoseLee Goldberg speak with Simon Dove about the languages of dance at the Jewish Museum in as part of the Dialogue and Discourse series.
Bella Meyer, granddaughter of artist Marc Chagall, shares her memories on the occasion of the revelatory exhibition Chagall: Love, War and Exile.
Two Pulitzer Prize winners – comics artist and author Art Spiegelman and playwright Tony Kushner – discuss issues of authorship and identity through the lens of the exhibition Art Spiegelman's Co-Mix: A Retrospective.
A founding figure of the conceptual art movement of the 1960s and early 1970s, Mel Bochner has, for over the last decade, been creating paintings that riff on words drawn from the recent edition of Roget’s Thesaurus. This conversation with Chief Curator Norman Kleeblatt examines the history of Bochner’s work through the lens of the exhibition Mel Bochner: Strong Language. This program is offered as part of Dialogue and Discourse, a series of evening conversations inspired by current exhibitions, exploring artistic practice, global perspectives, and cultural issues.
As Jack Goldstein’s instructor at CalArts in the early 1970s, John Baldessari greatly informed the late artist’s work. R. H. Quaytman continues the tradition of appropriation and mechanical reproduction. Baldessari and Quaytman share their reflections and impressions of Goldstein in this intergenerational dialogue moderated by Jens Hoffmann, The Jewish Museum’s Deputy Director for Exhibitions and Public Programs.
A roundtable discussion with artists a generation or two removed from those featured in Other Primary Structures, whose work – primarily in sculpture – comes out of a Minimalist tradition. Featuring Charles Harlan, Carissa Rodriguez, Erin Shirreff, Daniel Steegmann Mangrané, and Allyson Vieira. Moderated by Ruba Katrib, Curator, SculptureCenter.
Influential feminist artist, author, and educator Judy Chicago reflects back on the creation of her work Rainbow Pickett, which was included in the original Primary Structures exhibition in 1966. Chicago will discuss how the artwork exemplifies the obstacles women artists faced in the art world of the 1960s and ‘70s.
Developed alongside the exhibition Chagall: Love, War, and Exile, this is the final event in a three-part series exploring issues in contemporary painting since the death of Marc Chagall in 1985. Part Three: Round table discussion with artists N. Dash, Carroll Dunham, Jacqueline Humphries, Sanya Kantarovsky, David Salle, and Charline von Heyl, moderated by Jordan Kantor.
Douglas Crimp, Critic and Fanny Knapp Allen Professor of Art History at the University of Rochester, and Jens Hoffmann, The Jewish Museum’s Deputy Director for Exhibitions and Public Programs discuss Goldstein as a pioneer of conceptual art practices.
Developed alongside the exhibition Chagall: Love, War, and Exile, these events conclude a three-part series discussing issues in contemporary painting. Part II: Art historian and critic David Joselit, Distinguished Professor, The Graduate Center, CUNY, in conversation with artist Thomas Eggerer.
A discussion exploring exhibition history through curatorial practice, featuring Jens Hoffmann, Deputy Director, Exhibitions and Public Programs and curator Germano Celant, moderated by Bruce Altshuler, Director, Program in Museum Studies, Graduate School of Arts and Science, New York University.
Why, at a time when there is greater interest in abstraction, is so much art seemingly unconcerned with evolving the visual landscape? And why is so much of it embraced by collectors, and not by critics and curators? This panel considers, What's at stake for abstract painting today. Moderated by critic and curator Bob Nickas, and featuring artists Joanne Greenbaum, Philip Taaffe, and Stanley Whitney.
Artists Amy Sillman and Peter Doig in a conversation moderated by Jordan Kantor, Associate Professor of Painting, California College of the Arts.