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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

Tue, Dec 11

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

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10:30 AM

Members-Only Gallery Talk
Hanukkah Lamps in the Jewish Museum Collection

Learn More

Wed, Dec 12

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

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11 AM

JM Journeys
Visitors with Early-Stage Dementia

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Wed, Dec 12

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

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2 PM

JM Journeys
Visitors with Memory Loss

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Thu, Dec 13

Thursday, December 13, 2018

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6:30 PM

Dialogue and Discourse
Lazar Khidekel's Legacy

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Fri, Dec 14

Friday, December 14, 2018

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2 PM

Gallery Talk
The Politics of Abstraction

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Sat, Dec 15

Saturday, December 15, 2018

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11 AM

Free Saturdays

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Sun, Dec 16

Sunday, December 16, 2018

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10:30 AM

Access Family Workshop
Visitors with Learning or Developmental Disabilities

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Sun, Dec 16

Sunday, December 16, 2018

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1 PM

Studio Art Sessions
Expressive Painting

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Sun, Dec 16

Sunday, December 16, 2018

|

2 PM

Access Family Workshop
Visitors with Learning or Developmental Disabilities

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.


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

Two Hanukkah Lamps Honor the Centennial of Leonard... Read More

Senior Curator Susan Braunstein reveals the moving story behind two Hanukkah lamps in the Jewish Museum collection that inspired a gift in honor of the composer Leonard Bernstein.

Left: David Palombo, Hanukkah Lamp, c. 1960–66. Wrought iron: painted. Right: David Palombo, Hanukkah Lamp, c. 1960–66. Wrought iron: painted. The Jewish Museum, New York. Gift of the Rivka and Zvi Tenenbaum Collection in memory of Leonard Bernstein on the centennial of his birth and in honor of his dedicating the nocturne “Halil” to their son the flutist Yadin Tenenbaum. 2018–72, 2018–73.

I have worked as a curator at the Jewish Museum for several decades, and over that time I have been constantly amazed and often moved by the stories that emerge from works of Judaica that have become part of the collection.

Two Hanukkah lamps by the artist David Palombo, acquired earlier this year, exemplify one of these stories, and weave an intriguing connection between three seemingly unrelated elements: the donor Ella Koren-Tenenbaum, the Hanukkah lamps, and the late composer Leonard Bernstein (1918–1990).

Arnold Newman, Leonard Bernstein, New York City, 1968. © Arnold Newman

Born in British Mandate Palestine in 1920, David Palombo was a celebrated sculptor known for his abstract yet expressionist iron work. His two most renowned pieces include the entrance gate to the Hall of Remembrance at Yad Vashem (The World Holocaust Remembrance Center), and the gates to the Knesset (national legislature of Israel), both in Jerusalem.

Palombo’s Hanukkah lamps in the Jewish Museum collection, created in the 1960s, are highly sculptural works similar to the artist’s monumental pieces. The often jagged and sharp elements in his work echo the struggles and tragedies of the times he lived through and that informed the subjects of his works, including the Holocaust and the birth of the State of Israel. Palombo died at age 46 following a tragic motorcycle accident.

Yadin Tenenbaum (1954–1973) an Israeli flute student and soldier who died during the 1973 Yom Kippur War

The two Palombo lamps entered the Jewish Museum collection through a gift from Dr. Ella Koren-Tenenbaum. It was only after discussing the details of the acquisition that Dr. Koren-Tenenbaum shared her thoughts and emotions on why she was donating the Hanukkah lamps.

Dr. Koren-Tenenbaum’s brother, Yadin Tenenbaum, was an accomplished young flutist who, as required of most Israeli citizens, signed up for his military service at age 18. Although he was offered a position in the Israel Defense Force orchestra, he chose combat duty instead. During the 1973 Yom Kippur War, the 19 year-old Yadin was stationed near the Suez Canal as a tank gunner. Although his tank was disabled, he and his crew managed to destroy two Egyptian vehicles before their tank sustained a direct hit. He was decorated posthumously with the Exemplary Conduct Medal for his courage.

Leonard Bernstein (left) and Rivka and Zvi Tenenbaum, April 26, 1982.

The composer Leonard Bernstein heard Yadin’s story and wrote a haunting nocturne in his memory called Halil (the Hebrew word for flute). Bernstein dedicated the score to “the spirit of Yadin and his fallen brothers”:

“Halil” is formally unlike any other work I have written, but is like much of my music in its struggle between tonal and non-tonal forces. In this case, I sense that struggle as involving wars and the threat of wars, the overwhelming desire to live, and the consolations of art, love and the hope for peace. It is a kind of night-music, which, from its opening 12-tone row to its ambiguously diatonic final cadence, is an ongoing conflict of nocturnal images: wish-dreams, nightmares, repose, sleeplessness, night-terrors and sleep itself, Death’s twin brother. I never knew Yadin Tenenbaum, but I know his spirit.
— Leonard Bernstein
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These two sets of artistic creations — the musical composition and the ceremonial objects — are therefore linked in their explorations of the destruction and disruption caused by wars, and in the power of art to help us grapple with the emotions they raise.

Commemorating the centennial of Leonard Bernstein’s birth this year, Dr. Koren-Tenenbaum donated the two Palombo Hanukkah lamps as a gift to the Museum from her parents in memory of their son. Bernstein’s Halil has been performed numerous times in concert halls around the world, serving to keep alive the memory of this talented and heroic individual.

—Susan L. Braunstein, Senior Curator

Installation view of Scenes from the Collection. The Jewish Museum, New York. Photo by: Jason Mandella

Over 80 Hanukkah lamps from the Jewish Museum collection are now on view in Accumulations: Hanukkah Lamps, part of Scenes from the Collection.

On Tuesday, December 4 at 2 pm, celebrate Hanukkah with Senior Curator Susan Braunstein at her gallery talk This is How We Do It. Dedicated to the study of historical and contemporary Judaica for nearly 40 years, Braunstein will discuss her process in choosing and organizing this selection of Hanukkah lamps. Free with Museum Admission and RSVP at TheJewishMuseum.org/Calendar.


Two Hanukkah Lamps Honor the Centennial of Leonard Bernstein’s Birth was originally published in The Jewish Museum on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

Art, Politics, Rivalry: How the Russian Avant-Garde Flourished... Read More

Art, Politics, Rivalry: How the Russian Avant-Garde Flourished in Vitebsk

On view now at the Jewish Museum, Chagall, Lissitzky, Malevich tells the extraordinary story of how a radical art school in an unlikely city in Russia changed the course of art history forever.

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More than 100 years ago, Vladimir Lenin said about the Russian Revolution, “there are decades where nothing happens; and there are weeks where decades happen.” The same idea is at work in Chagall, Lissitzky, Malevich: The Russian Avant-Garde in Vitebsk, 1918–1922, now on view at the Jewish Museum. The exhibition tells the extraordinary story of an unlikely city in Russia, which in just five years, saw the rise and fall of the People’s Art School of Vitebsk, an incubator for radical artists and thinkers.

Marc Chagall, Over Vitebsk, 1915–20, after a 1914 painting. Oil on canvas. The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Acquired through the Lillie P. Bliss Bequest (by exchange), 1949. Artwork © Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris; image provided by The Museum of Modern Art / licensed by SCALA / Art Resource, New York

The heady days following the Russian Revolution and Bolsheviks’ rise to power had an enormous effect on the Vitebsk-born artist Marc Chagall. The new communist state was defined by ideals of collectivism and equality. For the first time, the passage of a law abolishing all discrimination on the basis of religion or nationality gave him, as a Jew, full Russian citizenship. With Chagall’s appointment as Fine Arts Commissioner for the Vitebsk region, the People’s Art School was conceived in 1918. The school was open to all, charged no tuition, and recruited many students from the working-class Jewish population in the city. The stage was set to form a new Leftist art: one that would celebrate and influence the course of current events.

Kazimir Malevich, Mystic Suprematism (Red Cross on Black Circle), 1920–22. Oil on canvas. Stedelijk Museum Collection, Amsterdam, ownership recognized by agreement with the estate of Kazimir Malevich, 2008

Our new video provides a glimpse of the exhibition, and an introduction to the major figures involved. Marc Chagall saw a revolution in each artist’s “inextinguishable inner voice,” manifest in his whimsical dreamscapes of Vitebsk. He invited El Lissitzky to head the School’s graphic design arm, where the trained architect used reductive shapes and colors in Soviet agitprop. Finally, Kazimir Malevich arrived from Moscow, and gathered a devoted following among students who imitated his radical abstract approach, known as Suprematism.

Like all art radical movements, the People’s Art School was subject to volatile personalities and clashing ideologies. It was not destined to last, graduating its first and last class in May 1922. While the People’s Art School was short-lived, it nurtured artistic experimentation and inclusivity among the avant-garde. Jews like Chagall and the lesser-known David Yakerson enjoyed citizenship and creative privileges. Women joined the movement too, such as Cubo-Futurist Vera Ermolaeva. Ultimately torn apart by factionalism, the People’s Art School in Vitebsk had influence that dwarfed its brief lifespan.

Upcoming Programs

Take a deeper dive into the themes and specific works in the exhibition through a series of programs for visitors of all ages and backgrounds:

  • On December 6, Marc Chagall’s granddaughter and art historian Bella Meyer shares her childhood memories of the iconic artist, and provides personal insight into his involvement as Fine Arts Commissar in Vitebsk.
  • On December 13, discover the Suprematist visions of Lazar Khidekel, one of the People’s Art School’s most celebrated students. Architect Daniel Libeskind, and art historians Regina Khidekel and Maria Kokkori will moderate a discussion on Khidekel in conjunction with the exhibition.
  • A series of thematic Friday gallery talks will visit the exhibition and guide interpretation of select works. Join “Understanding the -isms” on December 7 to demystify the terms Suprematism, Cubism, and Futurism. On December 14, hear “The Politics of Abstraction” and learn how this mode became a powerful vehicle for expression.
  • For families with kids 3 & up, join us for Character Puppets for Chagall, a series of vacation week art activities, December 23-25, 27-28 & 30.

Chagall, Lissitzky, Malevich: The Russian Avant-Garde in Vitebsk, 1918–1922 is on view at the Jewish Museum through January 9, 2019. Learn more and buy tickets to the exhibition online at TheJewishMuseum.org/CLM.


Art, Politics, Rivalry: How the Russian Avant-Garde Flourished in Vitebsk was originally published in The Jewish Museum on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

Leonard Cohen: A Crack in Everything Coming to... Read More

Leonard Cohen: A Crack in Everything — Coming to the Jewish Museum

Opening in April 2019, the Jewish Museum in New York presents a contemporary art exhibition inspired by the life and work of novelist, poet, and singer/songwriter Leonard Cohen.

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Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack, a crack in everything
That’s how the light gets in.

 — Leonard Cohen

A world-renowned novelist, poet, and singer/songwriter who inspired generations of writers, musicians, and artists, Leonard Cohen (1934–2016) was an extraordinary poet of the imperfection of the human condition, giving voice to what it means to be fully alert to the complexities and desires of both body and soul. For decades, he tenaciously supplied the world with melancholy and urgent observations on the state of the human heart, in songs such as “Suzanne,” “Bird on a Wire,” and “Hallelujah.” With equal parts gravitas and grace, Cohen teased out a startlingly inventive and singular language, depicting both an exalted spirituality and an earthly sexuality. His interweaving of the sacred and the profane, of mystery and accessibility, was such a compelling combination it became seared into memory.

Leonard Cohen: A Crack in Everything, opening at the Jewish Museum in April 2019, is the first exhibition entirely devoted to the imagination and legacy of the influential singer/songwriter, man of letters, and global icon from Montréal, Canada. The exhibition includes commissioned works by a range of international artists who have been inspired by Cohen’s style and recurring themes in his work, a video projection showcasing Cohen’s own drawings, and an innovative multimedia gallery where visitors can hear covers of Cohen’s songs by musicians such as Lou Doillon; Feist; Moby; and The National with Sufjan Stevens, Ragnar Kjartansson, and Richard Reed Parry, among others.

Participating Artists

Kara Blake
Candice Breitz
Janet Cardiff & George Bures Miller
Christophe Chassol
Daily Tous Les Jours
Tacita Dean
Kota Ezawa
George Fok
Ari Folman
Jon Rafman
Taryn Simon

Courtesy of Old Ideas, LLC

Organized by the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal (MAC), the exhibition is curated by John Zeppetelli, Director and Chief Curator at the MAC, and Victor Shiffman, Guest Curator. The New York presentation is coordinated for the Jewish Museum by Kelly Taxter, Barnett and Annalee Newman Curator of Contemporary Art, and Ruth Beech, Senior Deputy Director, Programs & Strategic Initiatives.

Following its New York showing, the exhibition will tour to Kunstforeningen GL STRAND and Nikolaj Kunsthal, Copenhagen, Denmark (October 23, 2019 — February 16, 2020) and the Contemporary Jewish Museum, San Francisco (September 17, 2020 — January 3, 2021).

Leonard Cohen: A Crack in Everything is on view at the Jewish Museum in New York, April 12 — September 8, 2019. To learn more, visit TheJewishMuseum.org.


Leonard Cohen: A Crack in Everything Coming to 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.

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