Fall Highlights at the Jewish Museum from the Director Read More
With a robust fall season fast approaching, Claudia Gould, the Jewish Museum’s Helen Goldsmith Menschel Director, shares highlights from our upcoming exhibitions.
As we prepare to say farewell to Leonard Cohen: A Crack in Everything, the moving contemporary art exhibition inspired by Cohen’s life and music that closes on September 8, we are looking forward to a powerful fall season at the Jewish Museum. The Museum will be opening exhibitions celebrating the artistic legacies of two very different — but equally remarkable — women: Edith Halpert and Rachel Feinstein.
On October 18, we will open Edith Halpert and the Rise of American Art, the first exhibition to illuminate the career of the trailblazing art dealer who became the country’s foremost authority on American art. A Russian-Jewish immigrant with a keen eye, Halpert moved on from a successful early career on Wall Street — quite unusual for a woman at the time — to open a profoundly influential gallery on 13th Street in Manhattan. She was an early champion of the work of Stuart Davis and Charles Sheeler, African-American artists including Jacob Lawrence, Horace Pippin; the Japanese-American painter Yasuo Kuniyoshi; women such as Georgia O’Keeffe and Marguerite Zorach; politically engaged Jewish artists like Ben Shahn and Jack Levine; and American folk artists.
We are also eagerly anticipating the November 1 opening of Rachel Feinstein: Maiden, Mother, Crone, which presents three decades of the New York-based artist’s work. While sculpture is Feinstein’s primary medium, the exhibition also features installations, painting, drawing, and videos, as well as a newly commissioned wall-relief, a panoramic wallpaper, and sculptural maquettes. Drawing on diverse inspirations including religion, fairy tales, feminism, and her experience of motherhood, Feinstein explores the concept of femininity in the popular imagination, probing the dualistic nature of cultural expression and everyday life.
Regular visitors to the Museum know that we frequently refresh our collection galleries to ensure there is always something new to see. In July, we began showing an extraordinary sculpture by George Segal, called Abraham and Isaac, which was created as an allegory for the 1970 tragedy at Kent State University in Ohio. As Segal explained, the story of Abraham and Isaac serves as a symbol exercising “love, compassion, and restraint,” especially among people in power whose decisions can mean life or death for young people.
Also in the collection galleries, Masterpieces and Curiosities: The Benguiat Collection, which opens on September 6, will feature over 30 extraordinary works of decorative and ceremonial art. Purchased nearly a century ago from Hadji Ephraim Benguiat, a Jewish antiques dealer, the Benguiat collection was one of the first major acquisitions that helped build the Jewish Museum’s early holdings into the remarkable repository of Jewish culture that it has become.
Between these two shows, the dynamic Scenes from the Collection galleries, and a rich slate of educational and public programming, the art on view this season makes a powerful argument about giving a voice to marginalized populations, valuing multiple perspectives, and treating one another with kindness. These are fundamental Jewish — and human — values, and they are at the core of the Jewish Museum’s mission.
— Claudia Gould, Helen Goldsmith Menschel Director, The Jewish Museum
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