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  • Sunday 11 am – 5:45 pm
  • Monday 11 am – 5:45 pm
  • Tuesday 11 am – 5:45 pm
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  • Thursday 11 am – 8 pm
  • Friday 11 am – 5:45 pm
  • Saturday 11 am – 5:45 pm

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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
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

Wed, Jun 20

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

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10:30 AM

JM Journeys
Visitors with Early-Stage Dementia

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Wed, Jun 20

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

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2 PM

JM Journeys
Visitors with Memory Loss

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Thu, Jun 21

Thursday, June 21, 2018

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5:30 PM

ASL Tour
For Visitors Who Are Deaf

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Thu, Jun 21

Thursday, June 21, 2018

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8 PM

It Belongs In a Museum
Comedy Night

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Fri, Jun 22

Friday, June 22, 2018

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2 PM

Gallery Talk
Chaim Soutine: A Closer Look

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Sat, Jun 23

Saturday, June 23, 2018

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11 AM

Free Saturdays

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Wed, Jun 27

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

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6:30 PM

Russ & Daughters Herring Pairing Party
Celebrate the Start of a New Catch and the Wonders of Herring

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Sat, Jun 30

Saturday, June 30, 2018

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11 AM

Free Saturdays

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Mon, Jul 2

Monday, July 2, 2018

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1 PM

Summer Studio Sessions
Drop-In Art Workshop

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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. Located along New York's Museum Mile, this elegant former residence has been the home of the Museum since 1947. Learn More

Stories

Objects Tell Stories: Finding Hidden Meaning in Arlene... Read More

Jewish Museum intern Martina Ceppi reflects on a sculpture by artist Arlene Shechet in the Jewish Museum collection.

Arlene Shechet, Travel Light, 2017. Gypsum, resin, and wax. 24 7/8 × 23 3/8 × 9 1/2 in. The Jewish Museum, New York. Contemporary Judaica Acquisitions Committee and Judaica Acquisitions Committee Funds

As an Argentinean student in New York City, I had the opportunity to learn a lot about myself, and about adapting to a different culture, during my recent internship at the Jewish Museum. Most importantly, I came to understand that although one may “travel light” to another country with a few necessities, one’s identity and knowledge from past experiences will always follow.

Travel Light (2017), on view now in the Jewish Museum exhibition Scenes from the Collection, is a contemporary sculpture by artist Arlene Shechet that combines her own experiences of the past, present, and future. At a glance, the work features several pairs of Sabbath candlesticks that appear to have been bundled into a small suitcase wrapped with a strap.

Upon closer inspection, there is a deeper story, beginning with the origin of the candlesticks: in 1920, Shechet’s grandmother brought them to the United States when she immigrated from Belarus. The candlesticks were the only material objects the family possessed from their country of origin. Near the bottom of the suitcase, a faint image of a page from her grandmother’s passport can be seen through the sculpture’s semi-transparent resin and wax material. The artist once said this about the work, which was commissioned for the Jewish Museum collection:

I wanted to do something that was very personal, that was also addressing the theme of immigration and movement that is historically at the core of the Jewish population, and that of many people in the world, especially in the 20th and 21st centuries.

What did Shechet mean to convey by titling her sculpture Travel Light? I become drawn to the work because of its open-ended invitation for each viewer to discover and interpret the meaning in their own way. The way I saw it, the story Shechet wanted to tell with this sculpture was one that was not only hers, but the stories of the many people before her.

Jewish Museum Intern Martina Ceppi

Travel Light also inspired me to consider my own family’s story of immigration from Italy to Argentina. Although we always assumed that my mother’s great grandfather immigrated from Genoa, my family recently came across a surprising discovery. A few months ago, my grandmother began gathering documents to obtain an Italian passport, which required proof of where her grandfather was born. She soon discovered that Genoa was the city where my great great grandfather had taken a ship to travel to Argentina, and he was actually born somewhere else in Italy.

While creating this sculpture, Shechet learned about her own relatives and uncovered long-forgotten family documents, as well as new stories about her uncertain origins. My personal family story is still full of myths, but Travel Light has inspired me to begin searching for the truth.

— Martina Ceppi, Digital Marketing Intern

Arlene Shechet’s Travel Light is on view now in Scenes from the Collection. Learn more about internship opportunities at the Jewish Museum at TheJewishMuseum.org/Internships. The deadline to apply for fall is June 22.


Objects Tell Stories: Finding Hidden Meaning in Arlene Shechet’s “Travel Light” was originally published in The Jewish Museum on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

The Moustache and the Monocle: A Lesbian Portrait... Read More

In honor of Pride Month, the Jewish Museum examines Gert Wollheim’s painting of a gender-ambiguous couple living in Weimar Germany.

Gert Wollheim, Untitled (Couple), 1926. Oil on canvas. 39 1/2 × 29 1/2 in. The Jewish Museum, New York. Gift of Charlotte Levite in memory of Julius Nassau. 1990–130

Gathered with other portraits in the Jewish Museum exhibition Scenes from the Collection, a painting hangs of a gender-ambiguous couple by Gert Wollheim, a German-Jewish artist who lived in Berlin at the height of the Weimar Republic.

The portrait depicts the pair standing in a café during a period in Germany of economic instability and reckoning with the ghosts of World War I. Social convention and sexual mores were challenged, upending societal norms of the times. With its blurred gender lines and haunting quality—the subjects look neither at each other nor at the viewer — Untitled (Couple)(1926) focuses on the shifting gaze of LGBTQ culture between the World Wars.

While fashionable, androgynous, and theatrical, the figures are not obviously women. Newly granted the right to vote, women of the era were called Neue Frau (New Women) and enjoyed greater earning power and sexual freedom than ever before. Wollheim painted the couple to reflect those newfound liberties, and also used a visual trope to identify them as lesbians.

The tuxedo, cropped hair, fedora, and penciled mustache — while seeming to depict traditional masculinity — were recognizable, coded symbols for gay women in metropolitan cities during the Weimar era. Slicked-back hair, white face makeup, thin eyebrows, binoculars, and monocles were also popular style choices within lesbian circles during the period.

The painting was created in the style of Die Neue Sachlichkeit (The New Objectivity), a term coined in 1923 for work that expressed the desire to depict everyday reality. Wollheim was part of the movement and particularly close to a circle of artists living in Dusseldorf known as Das Junge Rheinland (The Young Rhineland). Reflecting on the message of his art, Wollheim once said about his work:

“We don’t need style, we need human testimony.”

Born in 1894, Wollheim was the son of German Jewish manufacturers and attended art school from 1911–1913. A soldier in World War I, he was discharged in 1917 with severe injuries that inspired the creation of his most famous work, The Wounded (1919).

A leftist activist, inspired by his traumatic experience during wartime, Wollheim edited a journal of radical art and moved to Berlin in 1925. After featuring his work in their “Degenerate Art” exhibition, the Nazi regime forced the artist to flee Berlin for Paris in 1933, where he eventually went into hiding. It is estimated that 450 of his painting were destroyed or vanished during World War II. In 1947, Wollheim moved to New York where he lived until his death in 1974.

Gert Wollheim’s Untitled (Couple), 1926 is on view now in Scenes from the Collection. Explore other LGBTQ works in the Jewish Museum collection.

Writer: Ruth Andrew Ellenson


The Moustache and the Monocle: A Lesbian Portrait in Weimar Berlin was originally published in The Jewish Museum on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

Objects Tell Stories: The Japanese Printmaker Who Converted... Read More

For Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month, we examine a series of prints in the Jewish Museum collection by Tetsuya Noda

Tetsuya Noda, Nov. 1st ’72 (a). 1972. The Jewish Museum, New York. Woodblock and screenprint on Japanese paper. Purchase: Art Acquisitions Committee Fund. 2015–39

A lone figure in a tallit mantle stands with his back to us on a thin ground of woodblock-printed color. We catch a glimpse of his white hair, as his head is bent down, deep in study or prayer. The tones that make up the image are a near monochromatic range of blues and grays. They lend themselves to a Jewish subject stripped of context, but in a moment of calm focus. Knowing that Nov. 1st ’72 (a) (1972) was created by Japanese artist Tetsuya Noda, a convert to Judaism, this print takes on an even richer layer of complexity.

In the United States, May is Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month, which honors the contributions of Asians and Pacific Islanders to American life and culture. At the Jewish Museum, we look to works in the collection that celebrate the intersection of Jewish and Asian culture, including a series of autobiographical prints by Tetsuya Noda. Taken together, Noda’s series contain multitudes: encounters with Judaism, ties to his Japanese artistic heritage, cross-cultural exchange, daily life, and a love story.

Tetsuya Noda, Perhaps May 27th ’70, in New York, 1970. The Jewish Museum, New York. Woodblock and screenprint on Japanese paper. Purchase: Art Acquisitions Committee Fund. 2015–41

Born in 1940 in Kumamoto, Japan, Noda studied at the Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music. He searched for inspiration for his primary ventures at the time: painting and printmaking, but then began using photography to capture his experience more readily. That daily life took a more unusual turn when he met and married Dorit Bartur, the daughter of the Israeli ambassador to Japan.

In 1971, Noda converted to Judaism, and thus joined his new spouse’s faith. As part of his ongoing “Diary” series, he chronicled the process with prints titled by their specific times and places of occurrence. For instance, June 11th ’71 (b) (1971) depicted the Beit Din, or rabbinic court that Noda stood before in order to demonstrate his willingness and sincerity. Each of these “Diary” prints were a mix of cultural sources that reflected Noda’s own background.

Tetsuya Noda, March 27th and 28th ’02, 2002. The Jewish Museum, New York. Woodblock and screenprint on Japanese paper. Gift of the artist. 2016–31

Noda’s artistic process in printmaking also followed a ritual and studied practice. His technique began with a photograph he took himself, then printed, and altered with pencil shading. In the late 1960s, photography was emerging as an important medium in contemporary Japanese art, especially when combined with other media. Noda also created fields of color and white spaces onto Japanese paper using woodblocks, which recalled traditional ukiyo-e prints. He finished by printing the photographic images over the top by silkscreen. The subject matter revealed the daily activities of Noda and his family over the years, which naturally included aspects of Jewish life.

Tetsuya Noda, May 15th ’71, 1971. The Jewish Museum, New York. Woodblock and screenprint on Japanese paper. Purchase: Art Acquisitions Committee Fund. 2015–32

A rabbinical interview, a sunny vacation to Jerusalem, a Seder dinner in New Jersey: these prints demonstrated Noda’s curiosity as an outsider, followed by his full initiation into Jewish rites and rituals. Noda’s perspective as a Japanese artist who converted to Judaism is just one story in the Jewish Museum’s diverse collection that spans places and times.

Tetsuya Noda, June 11th ’71 (b), 1971. The Jewish Museum, New York. Lithograph and screenprint on Japanese paper. Purchase: Art Acquisitions Committee Fund. 2015–34

Noda affirmed that his work was grounded in the present, and limited to what he and his family encountered. Eventually, he turned inward to his own worldview:

“I looked at my everyday life. Expression comes from everyday life. I still try to look for something usual, something that we don’t realize.”

— Elisabeth Rivard, Interim Digital Marketing Associate


Objects Tell Stories: The Japanese Printmaker Who Converted to Judaism 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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