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  • Sunday 11 am – 5:45 pm
  • Monday 11 am – 5:45 pm
  • Tuesday 11 am – 5:45 pm
  • Wednesday Closed
  • 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

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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, May 23

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

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10:30 AM

JM Journeys
For Visitors with Early-Stage Dementia

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Wed, May 23

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

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2 PM

JM Journeys
Visitors with Memory Loss

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Thu, May 24

Thursday, May 24, 2018

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7:30 PM

Concert
Theme and Variations

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Sat, May 26

Saturday, May 26, 2018

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11 AM

Free Saturdays

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Wed, May 30

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

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6 PM

Lecture
Chaim Soutine: The Outsider as Insider

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Fri, Jun 1

Friday, June 1, 2018

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2 PM

Gallery Talk
Chaim Soutine: A Closer Look

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Sat, Jun 2

Saturday, June 2, 2018

|

11 AM

Free Saturdays

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Thu, Jun 7

Thursday, June 7, 2018

|

6:30 PM

Dialogue and Discourse
Meat, Fish, and Flowers

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Fri, Jun 8

Friday, June 8, 2018

|

2 PM

Gallery Talk
Chaim Soutine: A Closer Look

Learn More

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: Counting the Omer with Tobi... Read More

Tobi Kahn, Saphyr, 2002. Acrylic on wood. The Jewish Museum, New York.

Shavuot, or the Feast of Weeks, begins at sundown on Saturday, May 20. Each year, the Jewish holiday is viewed as a renewal of the Torah’s spiritual gifts. The interval between Passover (the commemoration of the Exodus from Egypt) and Shavuot (the giving of the law at Mount Sinai), is marked by the ceremonial counting of the omer. The omer refers to a measure of barley that was originally offered at the Temple of Jerusalem on the second day of Passover. From that point, seven weeks — 49 days — would pass until Shavuot, the day the wheat harvest began. The omer is counted each evening and accompanied by the recitation of a blessing and prayers.

Over the centuries, various forms of ingenious calendars have evolved to aid in the counting of omer. One unique calendar in the Jewish Museum collection was designed by artist Tobi Kahn, entitled Saphyr (2002). A sculpture made of wooden pegs, the interactive work facilitates the countdown from Passover to Shavuot with 49 pegs, of which one can be removed on each day. Alternatively, one could start with an empty grid and replace the pegs.

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Like much of Kahn’s work, Saphyr is inspired by the artist’s personal reactions to Jewish culture and is intended to encourage viewers to engage with Jewish traditions and invest them with personal meaning. In a series of video interviews from the Museum archives, the artist describes the creation of the omer calendar and his childhood counting memories. The pegs were conceived as miniature houses with compartments painted in gold to symbolize the spiritual journey embodied in the interval between Passover and Shavuot. Each peg on his counter is unique, but they all fit together as a whole, with their combined form suggesting rooftops of a village.

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Increasingly, historical material in the Jewish Museum’s holdings can be found in digital formats. Leading up to the holiday, Senior Curator Susan Braunstein unearthed a digital file from 2006, which contained an interactive website counterpart for Saphyr. While Kahn’s omer calendar was on display at the Museum, visitors could access the website on a laptop in the exhibition gallery, allowing users to count the omer with the sculpture as Kahn designed it.

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Fast-forward over a decade later as we count the days to Shavuot in 2018: technology and web browsers have evolved, and the Museum was not able to recreate the Flash environment of Kahn’s interactive website from 2006. To place the interactive omer calendar online once again would not be functional for most users, given that the original content is now in an ancient format (by internet standards). As a multimedia software platform, Flash is nearly obsolete, and set to be phased out by the year 2020. To simulate the original web experience from 2006, video screen recordings on local PC environments from a similar era were created to make the program’s interactive functionality accessible for the online audiences of today.

Kahn’s contemporary take on centuries-old Jewish practices surrounding Shavuot through sculpture and then technology, turns the practice of counting omer into a physical, then responsive act, engaging the user in the performance of the ritual. The piece, as he explains, permits infinitely unique use, from year to year, and person to person:

[The work] leaves your hands, it leaves your studio, and it becomes something totally different for everyone else. You have to learn how to let go.

— Elisabeth Rivard, Interim Digital Marketing Associate

Celebrate Shavuot at the Jewish Museum

  • Join Russ & Daughters at the Jewish Museum, open late on Thursday, May 17 for a Shavuot dinner celebration. The restaurant will offer a special Shavuot-themed menu of homemade blintzes, noodle kugel, and other traditional dairy delights. Dairy-based foods like blintzes and cheesecake have traditionally alluded to the Torah’s nourishing qualities in Judaism.
  • Shavuot Free Admission days: In addition to Free Saturdays, the Jewish Museum will be open with free admission on Sunday, May 20 and Monday, May 21. See what’s on view and plan your visit.

Objects Tell Stories: Counting the Omer with Tobi Kahn’s Interactive “Saphyr” was originally published in The Jewish Museum on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

Video: Marc Camille Chaimowicz at the Jewish Museum Read More

https://medium.com/media/e17e1c7e4feea6efc113e9be7a3b46e5/href

“As the viewer… you get to imagine, and possibly have that experience for yourself,” says Associate Curator Kelly Taxter in the Jewish Museum’s new exhibition video for Marc Camille Chaimowicz: Your Place or Mine… Through August 5, visitors to the Museum may find the historic Felix Warburg Mansion transformed by the London-based artist’s works on display. Chaimowicz’s cross-disciplinary practice centers on the home, and challenges categorical divisions between fine and decorative arts. Once a private residence on Fifth Avenue, the Warburg Mansion now reclaims its former identity as a domestic space — and “certainly a place that Marc Camille could feel at home.”

Installation view of Marc Camille Chaimowicz: Your Place or Mine… The Jewish Museum, New York. Photo by: Jason Mandella

This summer, join us for a range of programs to guide visitors of all ages as they explore the themes and ambiguities in Chaimowicz’s work:

Featured Programs

  • On Thursday, May 17, exhibition curator Kelly Taxter moderates a discussion on Decoration and Domesticity with writer and critic Kirsty Bell and artists Tom Burr and Adam Putnam.
  • At drop-in studio art workshop for families ages 3 and up on Mother’s Day, Sunday, May 13, participants will create their own decorative cloth inspired by the colorful patterns of Marc Camille Chaimowicz.
  • Each Monday in July, families are invited to join us for a series of weekly Summer Studio Sessions. Learn about the art of Marc Camille Chaimowicz paint still lifes, design dioramas, and create printed patterns by observing natural forms found in Central Park.
  • On Thursday, July 12, artist Chris Domenick leads a walk-through of the exhibition sharing his insights on the artist’s work in painting, sculpture, and installation, which blurs the boundaries between art and design.
  • On Sunday, July 15, a Pattern Power studio art workshop taught by contemporary artist Timothy Hull takes inspiration from the art of Marc Camille Chaimowicz. Participants will create their own unique patterns and learn block printing techniques to apply them to fabric.

Marc Camille Chaimowicz: Your Place or Mine… is on view now at the Jewish Museum in New York through August 5.


Video: Marc Camille Chaimowicz at the Jewish Museum was originally published in The Jewish Museum on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

Seeing the American Dream Read More

Yael Miller, Associate Director of Marketing, reflects on Larry Sultan’s Untitled (Mom Posing in Front of a Green Wall)”

Larry Sultan, Untitled (Mom Posing in Front of a Green Wall), 1984–89. Chromogenic color print. The Jewish Museum, New York. Purchase: Ferkauf Fund. 1991–110

The first thing that draws me to Larry Sultan’s evocative photograph Untitled (Mom Posing in Front of a Green Wall), on view now in Scenes from the Collection at the Jewish Museum, is its rich visual effect. The subjects are boxed in by their surroundings: a luminous curtain, glowing white furnishings, cheerful yellow flowers, and of course, the verdant backdrop and carpeting. I love her lavender silk blouse, his tropical shirt, their matching white pants, and matching tans. Upon closer inspection, this is an image that tells the story of a couple who has fled a grim urban existence in pursuit of an idealized lifestyle — in their case, the California dream.

Irving and Jean Sultan, the couple captured in this photograph, relocated their family from Brooklyn to Los Angeles in 1949, when their son Larry was a young child. In a 1989 Los Angeles Times interview, Larry Sultan said:

My father bought a one-way ticket from New York in 1949 and ended up in a dream house in Sherman Oaks. It was part of the cultural myth of the ’50s about going west.

This photograph is a vignette from this life, in which its subjects project an aspirational image: glamorous, sporty, distinctively American, and bearing no identifiable trace of the Old World.

The mother’s slightly guarded expression and spry femininity complement the father’s stubborn, masculine solidity. The baseball game — America’s pastime — is on the television. Their roles appear to be traditional; she hovers, as if interrupted on her way to the kitchen to fix a tray of sandwiches and iced tea; whereas he hunches impatiently.

A closer reading of this image reveals the mother’s stance, as she lightly leans against the wall, is confident and stable, not vulnerable, or frail. It almost appears, in a sense, as though she is holding up the walls of their home.

She would have had good reason to feel this way. A few years earlier, Irving had been pushed into retirement from his job as Vice President of Sales at Schick Safety Razor Company in Los Angeles. Jean, who prided herself on her track record as a successful residential real estate broker, continued to work.

During their careers, both parents were successful. They wanted their son to succeed, too, and posed for him in countless photographs over a ten-year span. Catalyzed by Irving’s retirement, Larry chronicled his parents’ daily lives through photography, home movies, and interviews, culminating in his book Pictures from Home, first published in 1992. The look of thin patience on Jean’s face in Untitled (Mom Posing in Front of a Green Wall) might reveal her sentiment in that moment about her participation in the project.

Despite their cooperation, both parents often disagreed with the way that their son portrayed them. Larry directed them not to smile. He manipulated the moment, asking his parents to repeat motions again and again, for instance, his father’s golf swing, captured unheroically in the midst of the living room. According to the book, Irving complained that the images showed him in an inaccurately morose light, and that their situations looked “strained and artificial.” Even outside of the project, Larry’s sensibilities leaked into other depictions of his mother, to her great disapproval. He wrote:

Mom calls and tells me that the pictures I made of her for the real-estate section of the Los Angeles Times are so miserable that she refused to tell anyone that I had made them, and when asked about them she said that she had to hire some hack photographer because I was unavailable. I can hear her trying to disguise her anger, but it comes through:
“Here I am top saleswoman in the office and I’m the only one in the newspaper that doesn’t even look like a sales agent. Who would buy a house from someone who looks so severe? It doesn’t even look like me. I hate that picture.”

Even with their somber overtones, the images in Pictures from Home have an idyllic quality, and Untitled (Mom Posing in Front of a Green Wall) is no exception. Although they aren’t smiling for the camera, the photograph reveals truths about the couple, and immortalizes their relationship to their son, to each other, and to their home. It is difficult to visualize this couple in another setting, so naturally have they acclimated to this place and their life here. So when Irving had to choose between his California dream, and transferring back east for his company, he chose retirement, ending his twenty-year career at Schick.

Jean passed away eleven years after this photograph was taken. Like her high-end real estate listings over the years, her obituary was published in the Los Angeles Times. It read:

Jean will be remembered for her love of her family and her joy in their happiness. She will be missed by all who remember her elegance, her love of life and great style.

Irving’s, published in the same paper five years later, was a fitting companion to hers:

He was a towering figure to all who loved him. We carry him in our hearts. He dances amongst the stars reunited with his beloved wife, Jean.

These heartfelt tributes are unsurprising, even only in context of this singular image. Also unsurprising is the fact that neither made any mention of Jean or Irving’s family origins, or places of birth. As it would appear in their son’s photography, they had fully actualized the American Dream.

— Yael Miller, Associate Director of Marketing

Larry Sultan’s photograph Untitled (Mom Posing in Front of a Green Wall) is on view now in Scenes from the Collection at the Jewish Museum. Learn more about this work in the Jewish Museum collection online.


Seeing the American Dream 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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