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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

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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

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

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.

Edith Halpert at the Downtown Gallery, surrounded by some of her artists, in a photograph for Life magazine in 1952. Photograph © Estate of Louis Faurer

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.

Rachel Feinstein, Model, 2000. Mirrors, wood, plaster, and enamel. Artwork © Rachel Feinstein; courtesy of the artist

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.

Torah Ark Curtain, Istanbul, c. 1735, silk: embroidered with silk and metallic thread; metallic thread lace border. The Jewish Museum, NY, The H. Ephraim and Mordecai Benguiat Family Collection.

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


Fall Highlights at the Jewish Museum from the Director was originally published in The Jewish Museum on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

Harnessing the Power of Wikipedia to Enhance the Jewish Museum Online Collection Read More

How the Jewish Museum used linked open data from Wikipedia to improve information on artists in our online collection.

Screen grab of Marc Chagall’s artist bio on the Jewish Museum’s website.

Wikipedia, the multilingual online encyclopedia, is the world’s largest and most popular general reference resource for information. Today, approximately 83 million registered users are able to conduct research on a range of topics, including the biographical information of many artists from the Jewish Museum collection of nearly 30,000 objects.

Earlier this year, the Jewish Museum embarked on an initiative to improve the information on artists in our online collection through linked open data sourced from Wikipedia. Although nearly every artist in our collection online may have a unique artist webpage, very few pages contain complete biographical information and additional resources for more information. To build a bridge that would link artist biographies in the online collection with their respective Wikipedia articles, we took a two step approach. First, we found unique identifiers for artists using Open Refine’s Wikidata Reconciliation Service. With these unique identifiers in hand, we were then able to use Wikipedia’s API on our online collection to fetch bios on demand.

Before we could dive in, we needed to prioritize which artist pages would be linked first. Based on Google Analytics data, we selected artist pages that were most viewed to ensure Wikipedia data would be available to the top artists in our collection. Below are our 5 most visited pages, all of which now pull in artist bios from Wikipedia:

Woman wearing a long red dress & white hair cover sitting at table with a kiddush cup and Torah in a warmly lit white room.
Isidor Kaufmann, Friday Evening, c. 1920

1. Isidor Kaufmann

Isidor Kaufmann was a painter known for his portraits and genre paintings of devout Jews in the provinces of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. He studied at the Budapest Drawing School, the Vienna Academy, and received honors from Emperor Franz Josef as well as the German emperor and the Russian czar. He traveled extensively throughout his lifetime across Eastern Europe in search of scenes of Jewish life, as seen in this painting of a woman preparing for the inauguration of the Sabbath in the Jewish Museum collection.

Man with a happy expression walking down a dark street at nighttime carrying dozens of bagels in each hand.
Weegee (born Arthur Fellig), Max Is Rushing in the Bagels to a Restaurant on Second Avenue for the Morning Trade, c. 1940

2. Weegee

Weegee was the pseudonym of Arthur (Usher) Fellig, a photographer and photojournalist known for his stark black and white street photography. He earned the nickname Weegee from the phonetic spelling of Ouija: his uncanny ability to find a story and to arrive at the scene of a crime before any other reporter was likened to the miraculous powers of a Ouija board.

Weegee worked in Manhattan, New York City’s Lower East Side, as a press photographer during the 1930s and 1940s, where he developed his signature style by following the city’s emergency services and documenting their activity. Much of his work depicted unflinchingly realistic scenes of urban life, crime, injury and death. Weegee published photographic books and also worked in cinema, initially making his own short films and later collaborating with film directors such as Jack Donohue and Stanley Kubrick.

Full body portrait of biblical man at night dressed in red and white robes and white head wrap. The scene is lit in blue.
Cindy Sherman, Ancestor, 1985

3. Cindy Sherman

Cynthia Morris Sherman is an American photographer best known for her iconic self-portraits depicting herself as imagined characters from film and other media.

Sherman is a member of the Pictures Generation — artists of the 1970s and 1980s who grew up in a world saturated with images and are concerned with consumerism, mass culture, and the role of imagery in society. Sherman opens the idea of the self-portrait by photographing herself in a multitude of personas, dressed in costumes and staged in invented settings.

19th century man standing in contrapasso proudly displaying an artist’s palette & paint brushes. Behind him is more artwork.
Moritz Daniel Oppenheim, Self-Portrait, 1814–16

4. Moritz Daniel Oppenheim

Moritz Daniel Oppenheim was a German painter who is often regarded as the first Jewish painter of the modern era. Born in the ghetto of Hanau, Openheim studied academic painting, an opportunity previously unavailable to Jews. As a portrait painter in Frankfurt, he received commissions from both Jews and non-Jews and enjoyed the patronage of the Rothschilds. Among his works in the Jewish Museum’s collection is the earliest extant self-portrait by a Jewish artist, in which a young Oppenheim depicts himself proudly holding his palette, a vivid testimony to the emergence of Jewish artists during the 19th century.

Yellow, green, blue & red stylized painting of women dancing holding flowers and tambourines.
Marc Chagall, Dance of Miriam, Sister of Moses, 1966

5. Marc Chagall

Marc Zakharovich Chagall was a Russian-French artist of Belarusian Jewish origin. An early modernist, he was associated with several major artistic styles and created works in virtually every artistic format, including painting, book illustrations, stained glass, stage sets, ceramic, tapestries and fine art prints. Pablo Picasso remarked in the 1950s:

“When Matisse dies, Chagall will be the only painter left who understands what color really is.”

Improving the biographical information on the artists in the Jewish Museum’s collection with Wikipedia helps us illuminate new areas of art history, allowing online visitors to discover unfamiliar artists or learn something new about their favorite works of art.

To date, more than 215 artist pages on TheJewishMuseum.org/Collection now include Wikipedia bios. As ongoing project, we plan to add more Wikipedia and Getty Union List of Artist Names bios in the future. Is your favorite artist on our website missing a bio? Email us at website@thejm.org.

— Anood Al-Thani, Digital Intern


Harnessing the Power of Wikipedia to Enhance 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.

An Immersive Time-Travel Journey Through Leonard Cohen’s Career Read More

Artist George Fok describes his first encounter with the music of Leonard Cohen, and the inspiration for his immersive video…

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