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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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Jewish Museum Members and visitors can park at Impark and Champion Parking. Read More

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Upcoming Events

Sun, Jan 20

Sunday, January 20, 2019


1 PM

Studio Art Sessions
Leaf Pattern Hats

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Mon, Jan 21

Monday, January 21, 2019


1 PM

Studio Art Sessions
Dream Tree Collages

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Mon, Jan 21

Monday, January 21, 2019


3 PM

Archaeology Mondays

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Wed, Jan 23

Wednesday, January 23, 2019


2 PM

Adult Studio Workshop
Drawing Connections: Form and Symbol

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Fri, Jan 25

Friday, January 25, 2019


2 PM

Gallery Talk
The Power of Language

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Sat, Jan 26

Saturday, January 26, 2019


11 AM

Free Saturdays

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Sun, Jan 27

Sunday, January 27, 2019


10 AM

Picture This!
Gallery Tour, Art Workshop & Concert

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Sun, Jan 27

Sunday, January 27, 2019


11:30 AM

Lucy Kalantari & the Jazz Cats
Family Concert

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Sun, Jan 27

Sunday, January 27, 2019


12:30 PM

Studio Art Sessions
Golden Shakers

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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


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


Looking at the Gay Rights Movement through Art Read More

50 years after the Stonewall uprising, the Jewish Museum joins the Stonewall 50 Consortium to present a series of programs commemorating the movement’s anniversary.

Ross Bleckner, Double Portrait (Gay Flag), 1993. Oil on canvas.

On June 28, 1969, one of the most impactful moments for the modern-day gay rights movement occurred — the Stonewall uprising. It began when nine police officers raided the Stonewall Inn, a popular New York City gay bar located on Christopher Street in Greenwich Village. To the officers’ surprise, the patrons who were regular attendees at the Inn resisted their arrest and fought back. It was in this moment that the infamous uprising began.

Whether due to more law enforcement arriving to arrest those at the scene, or supporters of the LGBTQ+ community, the riots incited the entire country. The six-day event erupted as one of the most important moments in gay civil rights history.

At the time, the Stonewall uprising unveiled the discrimination and violence directed towards the LGBTQ+ community in America during the 1960s, which then gave room to a broader public discourse concerning gay liberation. But it was even more than that. Its legacy also serves as a timeless catalyst for marginalized peoples to find their power to fight against injustice.

Installation view of the exhibition Scenes from the Collection. NY. Photo by: Jason Mandella

50 years after Stonewall, the Jewish Museum joins dozens of non-profit and cultural organizations as part of the Stonewall 50 Consortium, to pay tribute through a year of programming, while highlighting works of art from the Jewish Museum collection that explore themes of gender and identity.

On view now in Scenes from the Collection some of these works include: Gert Wollheim’s portrait of a gender ambiguous couple in Weimar Germany; Ross Bleckner’s abstract painting that explores his gay and Jewish identity; and a series of paintings by Chantal Joffe depicting gay Jewish women of the 20th century, such as Claude Cahun, Gertrude Stein, and Susan Sontag.

Chantal Joffe, Susan Sontag, 2014. Part of the series “Hannah, Gertrude, Alice, Betty, Nadine, Golda, Susan, Claude, Nancy, Grace, Diane…” Oil on board.

Stonewall 50 Programs at the Jewish Museum

  • On Thursday, January 17, Eric Marcus, Stonewall 50 Consortium founder and creator of the award-winning podcast Making Gay History, will lead a workshop for educators exploring the history of the gay rights movement using a curriculum he has developed that includes excerpts from his podcast. His talk will be followed by visits to the Museum’s collection exhibition with museum educators to view art related to LGBTQ+ issues, and consider how art can deepen understanding and encourage communication about identity. Register online.
  • On Thursday, March 7, Stonewall 50 Consortium founder Eric Marcus will be joined in conversation with Jewish Museum collection artists Ross Bleckner and Deborah Kass to discuss their work in the context of LGBTQ+ history and Jewish identity. RSVP online.
  • On Thursday, May 30, community organizer and writer Adam Eli will lead a gallery walk-through of some of this favorite works in Scenes from the Collection, addressing queer themes and Jewish identity. RSVP online.
  • Every Tuesday in March, the Jewish Museum invites high school Gender and Sexuality Alliance Clubs to participate in discussions and art making events exploring representation of gender identity, social conventions, and historical activism. Visits for this program are first-come, first-served for individual students, as well as GSA clubs, who are encouraged to register as a group. For more information, contact teenprograms@thejm.org.

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. As we mark 50 years since Stonewall, the Jewish Museum’s exhibitions and programs will continue 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.

— Ali Sementilli, Education Intern

To learn more about works of works of art exploring LGBTQ+ themes in the Jewish Museum collection, visit TheJewishMuseum.org/Collection.

Looking at the Gay Rights Movement through Art was originally published in The Jewish Museum on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

A Serious Joke: The Power of Humor in... Read More

Digital Intern Eden Chinn responds to a sculptural installation in Martha Rosler: Irrespective, on view now at the Jewish Museum.

Installation view of “Objects With No Titles” (1973/2018) in the exhibition Martha Rosler: Irrespective, November 2, 2018 — March 3, 2019, The Jewish Museum, NY. Photo by: Jason Mandella

When I first saw Martha Rosler’s Objects With No Titles (1973/2018), I laughed. The sculptural installation, on view now in Martha Rosler: Irrespective, is comprised of polyester batting comically forced into women’s lingerie, suspended from floor to ceiling.

Bodysuits and slips overflow, covered and cinched by bras, thongs, belts, scarves, and robes, to become headless and limbless female torsos. Awkward forms fly through the air, while others sit on a chair, a mannequin stand, a coat rack, or on the floor. A stuffed, baby blue, sheer lace teddy balloons out and tilts forward in midair, almost bursting at the seams. A scarf tied around its lumpy, chubby middle suggests a self-conscious effort to slim the waistline. Little gestures like these throughout the installation animate the figures, or “Objects,” connecting them with the idealizations and shortcomings so many women experience in relation to their own bodies.

Rosler’s “soft sculptures” were originally displayed in 1973. At the time she made the work, Rosler felt that the prescribed standards of beauty for women, as seen in advertisements of the 1960s and 70s, were so rigid that the internalized attitude was “You either conform or you don’t,” as she said in an interview with the Jewish Museum for the exhibition audio guide. Whether you reached this artificial standard or not, Rosler continues:

Martha Rosler, “Makeup/Hands Up,” from the series “House Beautiful: Bringing the War Home,” c. 1967–72. Photomontage. Artwork © Martha Rosler; image courtesy of the artist and Mitchell-Innes & Nash, New York
“The outcome is still a kind of internalized masochism of constantly judging yourself as being inferior, which I think was pretty much — and may still be… — the state of women, particularly young women– that you never, never reach the ideal state that you imagine for yourself, which is confected out of information you get from elsewhere.”

Rosler implies that the cosmetic gaze imposed upon women, through mainstream media and other outside influences, creates a kind of collective delusion: we imagine eventually being satisfied by becoming perfect versions of ourselves, yet we necessarily always fall short. Although standards for women may have shifted since the 1970s to become slightly more inclusive of difference, Objects With No Titles makes its second appearance in 2018, inviting us to reexamine what has changed since the work’s inception. As Rosler jokes about a recent series of political photocollages that reprised a strategy she had used early in her career:

“That’s right, I did that already and so did we. And how is what we’re doing now different from what we were doing then?”
Martha Rosler, Photo-Op, 2004, from the series “House Beautiful: Bringing the War Home, New Series.” Photomontage. Artwork © Martha Rosler; image courtesy of the artist and Mitchell-Innes & Nash, New York

While it can seem bleak that internalized attitudes can be slow to change, Rosler maintains the importance of jokes — over and over again — as a vital component of her artwork and her activism. Rosler shares about her work:

“You know, it is one long joke…a very serious joke… I am a kind of standup comic, so everything I do is funny in one respect…If you don’t laugh…, it’s because you’re suppressed.”

Standing in the gallery with Rosler’s Objects With No Titles, my laughter was a result of the simultaneous relief and pleasure I found in the work’s transformation of a private, shameful inner feeling into a public, communal experience. In order to laugh, I had to recognize my body within the space, juxtaposed against figures who parodically called attention to my identification with them as other ‘flawed women,’ with their own imperfect bodies. This recognition of a painful truth, expressed through laughter, was not simply a private delight, but “a sensuous solidarity” unfolding in public and charged with political potential.

My absurd projection of feminine beauty standards onto bags of batting shoved into lingerie highlights the utter irrationality of those standards and the degree to which I have internalized them. I was laughing both crudely at the expense of these imagined bodies, and at the unrealistic, patriarchal standards they signified. What might have at first felt like cheeky, lighthearted humor, upon further reflection, had become a rather dark and clever joke.

Installation view of the exhibition Martha Rosler: Irrespective, November 2, 2018 — March 3, 2019, The Jewish Museum, NY. Photo by: Jason Mandella

Usually, explaining a joke is a perfect way to ruin it. In this case, however, Rosler’s joke spurs an awareness of the absurdity of prescribed physical and social ‘molds’ for women. Most of the undergarments on display can be sorted into one of two categories: shapewear or lingerie. Shapewear contours the body into forms it cannot take naturally and is designed to conceal flaws, minimizing areas in which a body might fall short of the ideal standard. Lingerie decorates and exposes the female body, emphasizing and showcasing ‘positive’ feminine sexual attributes.

In either case, the garments cater to an imagined male gaze, rather than prioritizing women’s comfort and ease of movement. The undergarments range from frumpy to risqué, but either way the garments shape or reveal for another person’s visual pleasure. In Rosler’s installation, the stuffing represents the female body as lumpy and amorphous, only given form, meaning, and subjectivity by being contoured and cosmeticized.

Martha Rosler, “Isn’t it Nice…, or Baby Dolls,” from the series “Body Beautiful, or Beauty Knows No Pain,” c. 1967–72. Photomontage. Artwork © Martha Rosler; image courtesy of the artist and Mitchell-Innes & Nash, New York

In laughter, we are not hopeless victims of unfair standards and circumstances, but empowered subjects in possession of our own agency, sense of understanding, and judgment. In a 1927 essay, Sigmund Freud suggests that humor may be a political tool for marginalized groups; satirizing social constructs might be one of the more effective ways to overcome the power they possess over us. He writes:

“Humor is not resigned; it is rebellious. It signifies not only the triumph of the ego but also the pleasure principle [an instinctive drive to seek pleasure and avoid pain], which is able here to assert itself against the unkindness of the real circumstance.”

Laughter can allow us to process social constructs in relation to personal experiences, opening up space for transformation. In front of Rosler’s piece, my laughter was an assertion of my subjectivity in the face of oppressive structures, an affirmation of humor as a strategy for hope and continued resistance.

— Eden Rachel Chinn, Digital Intern

Martha Rosler: Irrespective is on view at the Jewish Museum through March 3, 2019. Learn more about internship opportunities at the Jewish Museum at TheJewishMuseum.org/Internships.

Works Cited

Isaak, Joanna. “Introduction” and “The Revolutionary Power of Women’s Laughter,” in Feminism and Contemporary Art: The Revolutionary Power of Women’s Laughter (Routledge, London and New York 1996).

A Serious Joke: The Power of Humor in Martha Rosler’s “Objects With No Titles” was originally published in The Jewish Museum on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

The Most Popular Works of 2018 in the Jewish... Read More

Based on Google Analytics data, these were the 10 most viewed works from the Jewish Museum online collection.

2018 was a momentous year for the Jewish Museum, with the opening of Scenes from the Collection, the Museum’s dynamic new collection exhibition featuring nearly 600 objects from antiquities to contemporary art.

Online, TheJewishMuseum.org/Collection gave access to thousands more works beyond what was on view in our galleries, including more than 1,600 now available for free high-resolution download. Based on Google Analytics, here were the 10 most viewed objects in the Museum’s online collection:

  1. Alfred Stieglitz, The Steerage, 1907
  2. Christian Boltanski, Monument (Odessa), 1989–2003
  3. George Segal, The Holocaust, 1982
  4. Arnold Newman, Marc Chagall, New York City, 1941
  5. Torah Finials, Mantua (Mantova, Italy), early 18th century
  6. *Kehinde Wiley, Alios Itzhak (The World Stage: Israel), 2011
  7. John Vachon, Chicago, Illinois, 1941
  8. Anni Albers, Six Prayers, 1965–66
  9. Marc Chagall, Untitled (Old Man with Beard), c. 1931
  10. *Lee Krasner, Self-Portrait, c. 1930

*Indicates works on view in Scenes from the Collection at the Jewish Museum

Site traffic to Kehinde Wiley’s Alios Itzhak (The World Stage: Israel) following the unveiling of the artist’s Presidential portrait of Barack Obama on February 12, 2018.

Although many of these works also appeared on past year’s lists (see our most popular works of 2015, 2016, and 2017), results from 2018 also reflected events happening in the world at large. On February 12, 2018 for example, following the unveiling of Kehinde Wiley’s Presidential portrait of Barack Obama, traffic to the artist’s portrait Alios Itzhak (The World Stage: Israel) (#6) immediately spiked.

Site traffic to Six Prayers following the opening of a Anni Albers retrospective at the Tate in London, October 11, 2018 — January 27, 2019.

Likewise, the presentation of a major survey on the textile artist Anni Albers at the Tate Modern in London certainly also attributed to an increase in hits, particularly to her deeply moving tapestry Six Prayers (#8), commissioned by the Jewish Museum in 1965 to memorialize the victims of the Holocaust, on loan for the exhibition.

Anni Albers, Six Prayers, 1965–66. Cotton, linen, bast and silver thread. The Jewish Museum, New York

At the Jewish Museum, our own exhibition Chagall, Lissitzky, Malevich: The Russian Avant-Garde in Vitebsk, 1918–1922, may have inspired a renewed interest in Marc Chagall, with works such as Arnold Newman’s 1941 portrait of the Russian-Jewish artist in New York City and Chagall’s c. 1931 watercolor Untitled (Old Man with Beard) rising to #4 and #9, respectively.

As we enter 2019, we look forward to sharing more works from the Jewish Museum collection with you, whether through upcoming rotations within Scenes from the Collection or through our digital channels.

Explore more works in the Jewish Museum collection online at TheJewishMuseum.org/Collection.

The Most Popular Works of 2018 in the Jewish Museum Online Collection 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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