About the Jewish Museum

Our Mission: The Jewish Museum is an art museum committed to illuminating the complexity and vibrancy of Jewish culture for a global audience. Through distinctive exhibitions and programs that present the work of diverse artists and thinkers, we share ideas, provoke dialogue, and promote understanding.

The Jewish Museum was the first institution of its kind in the United States and is one of the oldest Jewish museums in the world. The Museum maintains a unique collection of nearly 30,000 works of art, ceremonial objects, and media reflecting the global Jewish experience over more than 4,000 years. Located on New York City's Museum Mile, in the landmarked Warburg mansion, the Jewish Museum is a welcoming home to an ever-changing and dynamic range of opportunities for exploring multiple facets of the global Jewish experience.

Jewish Museum History


The Jewish Museum was founded in 1904 in the library of the Jewish Theological Seminary, where it was housed for more than four decades.

Judge Mayer Sulzberger1 donated a collection of ceremonial art to the library of the Jewish Theological Seminary with the suggestion that a Jewish museum be formed. Subsequent gifts and purchases have helped to form the Museum’s distinguished collection, one of the largest and most important of its kind in the world. In 1944, Frieda Schiff Warburg2, widow of the prominent businessman and philanthropist Felix Warburg3, who had been a Seminary trustee, donated the family mansion4 at 1109 Fifth Avenue at 92nd Street to the Seminary for use as a museum.

Designed in the French Gothic chateau-style by architect Charles P.H. Gilbert, the original building was completed in 1908, and has been the home of the Museum since 1947. A sculpture court was installed alongside the Mansion in 1959, and the Albert A. List Building was added in 1963 to provide additional exhibition and program space.

In 1990, a major expansion and renovation project was undertaken; upon completion in June 1993, the expansion doubled the Museum’s gallery space, created new space for educational programs and provided significant improvements in public amenities.

For more than a century, the Jewish Museum has illuminated art and Jewish culture from ancient times to the present, offering intellectually engaging and educational exhibitions and programs for people of all ages and backgrounds.


  • 1904

    Judge Mayer Sulzberger donates a collection of Jewish ceremonial art to the Jewish Theological Seminary of America as the core of a museum collection. The newly formed museum is the first institution of its kind in the United States and one of the first in the world.

  • 1925

    Through the efforts of Seminary President Cyrus Adler and Felix M. Warburg, the Museum purchases the important collection of 400 Jewish ceremonial objects assembled in the 19th century by Turkish art dealer Hadji Ephraim Benguiat.


    The collection is installed in the Seminary’s new Jacob H. Schiff Library as the Museum of Jewish Ceremonial Objects.


    The imperiled Jewish community of Danzig (Gdansk, Poland) sends ritual objects from its synagogues and homes to New York City for safekeeping. Some 350 of these objects, entrusted to the Museum, are later incorporated into the collection.

  • 1941

    Dr. Harry G. Friedman presents a major collection of ceremonial objects, paintings, sculptures, prints, and manuscripts to the Museum. His continuing donations, eventually numbering more than 600 works, include pieces from Europe, North Africa, and the Middle East.


    Frieda Schiff Warburg gives the Seminary her family residence at 1109 Fifth Avenue to house the Museum.


    The Jewish Museum inaugurates its home in the former Warburg mansion. Curator Stephen Kayser declares that it’s the Museum’s mission to use the fine arts to explore the substance of Jewish life and history. He defines the Museum’s audience as “the American community,” which should “be given insight into the traditions, history, legends, and aspirations of the Jewish people.”

    The Museum purchases the rare and important collection of Polish Judaica assembled by Benjamin and Rose Mintz.


    One hundred and twenty ceremonial objects, looted by the Nazis and recovered by the United States Military Government, are presented to the Museum by Jewish Cultural Reconstruction.


    Dr. Abraham Kanof and his wife, Dr. Frances Pascher, establish the Tobe Pascher Workshop for the creation of Jewish ceremonial art in a modern style.


    To mark its 10th anniversary at 1109 Fifth Avenue, the Museum presents a path-breaking contemporary art exhibition, Artists of the New York School: Second Generation, featuring works by 23 emerging artists including Helen Frankenthaler, Jasper Johns, Robert Rauschenberg, and George Segal.

  • 1962

    Alan Solomon becomes Director and confirms the Museum’s commitment to exhibiting the work of New York City’s most advanced artists.


    A building expansion, underwritten by Vera and Albert A. List, opens, providing flexible modern galleries and an outdoor sculpture court.

    The Museum organizes the Recent American Synagogue Architecture exhibition, including designs by Louis Kahn and Barnett Newman.


    The Museum presents Jasper Johns’ first solo museum exhibition.


    Sam Hunter becomes Director of the Jewish Museum.


    Primary Structures, the landmark exhibition that defined the Minimalist movement; the first major exhibition of the paintings of Ad Reinhardt; and the exhibition Lower East Side: Portal to American Life are organized.


    The exhibition Masada: Struggle for Freedom is presented.


    Karl Katz becomes Director of the Jewish Museum.


    Software, a pioneering exhibition about information technology and interactive art, is organized.


    ​The Museum opens a permanent installation of archaeological artifacts.


    Joy Ungerleider becomes Director.

    The Museum negotiates the acquisition of nearly 600 ancient artifacts found in Israel, and expands its focus to encompass all of Jewish culture.


    Jewish Experience in the Art of the 20th Century is presented.


    The retrospective exhibition Jack Levine: Paintings, Drawings and Graphics is presented.

  • 1980

    Jacques Lipchitz’s sculpture The Sacrifice is prominently installed.


    Joan Rosenbaum becomes Director of the Jewish Museum.

    The Museum’s archaeological holdings expand with the gift of Max and Betty Ratner’s antiquities collection.

    The National Jewish Archive of Broadcasting, with a mission to collect, preserve, and exhibit television, cable television, and radio programs related to the Jewish experience, is founded at the Museum through support from the Charles H. Revson Foundation.


    Kings and Citizens: The History of the Jews in Denmark, 1622 – 1983 is presented.


    The Precious Legacy: Judaic Treasures from the Czechoslovak State Collections is presented.


    The Museum honors Dorothy Rodgers for her role in inspiring the development of a permanent collection exhibition.

    The plaster version of George Segal’s The Holocaust is acquired, becoming one of the Museum’s signature works.


    Gardens and Ghettos: The Art of Jewish Life in Italy is organized.


    The Dreyfus Affair: Art, Truth and Justice, an acclaimed exhibition integrating the visual arts and social history, is presented.


    A renovation and expansion project, designed by architect Kevin Roche, begins.


    In collaboration with the Film Society of Lincoln Center, the Museum establishes the New York Jewish Film Festival.

    Bridges and Boundaries: African Americans and American Jews is presented.


    The Museum re-opens in expanded and renovated quarters. Inaugural presentations include From the Inside Out: Eight Contemporary Artists and the permanent exhibition, Culture and Continuity: The Jewish Journey.

    The Museum initiates annual December 25 family programming.


    The exhibitions Too Jewish?: Challenging Traditional Identities and Marc Chagall: 1907 – 1917 are presented.


    An Expressionist in Paris: The Paintings of Chaim Soutine is organized.

  • 2000

    The newly reinstalled Floor 4 galleries of the permanent collection exhibition, Culture and Continuity: The Jewish Journey open, accompanied by thematic audio guides.


    Marc Chagall: Early Works from Russian Collections is presented.


    The exhibitions New York: Capital of Photography and the widely discussed Mirroring Evil: Nazi Imagery/Recent Art are presented.


    The exhibitions Entertaining America: Jews, Movies, and Broadcasting and Schoenberg, Kandinsky, and the Blue Rider are organized.

    The newly reinstalled Floor 3 galleries of Culture and Continuity: The Jewish Journey open.


    Centennial year celebrations are highlighted by the exhibition Modigliani: Beyond the Myth.


    The exhibitions The Power of Conversation: Jewish Women and Their SalonsWild Things: The Art of Maurice Sendak, and Sarah Bernhardt: The Art of High Drama are presented.


    The Jewish Museum marks Joan Rosenbaum’s 25th anniversary as director.

    The exhibitions Eva Hesse: Sculpture and Alex Katz Paints Ada are organized.


    The Sculpture of Louise Nevelson: Constructing a Legend, the first major American survey of the artist’s work since 1980, is organized.

    A new interactive children’s exhibition, Archaeology Zone: Discovering Treasures from Playgrounds to Palaces, opens.


    Action/Abstraction: Pollock, de Kooning, and American Art, 1940 – 1976, the first major U. S. exhibition in 20 years to rethink Abstract Expressionism, is organized by the Jewish Museum in collaboration with the Albright-Knox Gallery and the Saint Louis Art Museum. 


    Alias Man Ray: The Art of Reinvention is presented.


    Houdini: Art and Magic, the first major art museum exhibition to examine Houdini’s life, is organized.


    Claudia Gould is appointed Helen Goldsmith Menschel Director of the Jewish Museum.

    Collecting Matisse and Modern Masters: The Cone Sisters of Baltimore and The Radical Camera: New York’s Photo League, 1936 – 1951 are presented.

    The New York Jewish Film Festival marks its 20th anniversary.


    The exhibitions Kehinde Wiley/The World Stage: Israel; Edouard Vuillard: A Painter and His Muses, 1890 – 1940; and Crossing Borders: Manuscripts from the Bodleian Libraries are presented.


    The exhibitions As it were … So to speak: A Museum Collection in Dialogue with Barbara Bloom; Six Things: Sagmeister & Walsh; Jack Goldstein × 10,000; Art Spiegelman’s Co-Mix: A Retrospective; and Chagall: Love, War, and Exile are presented.


    The exhibitions Other Primary Structures; Mel Bochner: Strong Language; From the Margins: Lee Krasner and Norman Lewis, 1945 – 1952; and Helena Rubinstein: Beauty Is Power are presented.

    The Jewish Museum launches new graphic identity and redesigned website with design firm Sagmeister & Walsh.


    The exhibitions Repetition and Difference; Revolution of the Eye: Modern Art and the Birth of American Television; and The Power of Pictures: Early Soviet Photography, Early Soviet Film are presented.


    The New York Jewish Film Festival marks its 25th anniversary with record attendance.

    Russ & Daughters at the Jewish Museum opens, a restaurant and take-out appetizing counter.

    The exhibitions Isaac Mizrahi: An Unruly History; Roberto Burle Marx: Brazilian Modernist; and Pierre Chareau: Modern Architecture and Design are presented.

    The Jewish Museum launches its inaugural Kickstarter campaign to crowdfund the exhibition Take Me (I'm Yours).


    After nearly 25 years, the Museum's permanent collection exhibition Culture and Continuity: The Jewish Journey closes, makinng way for Scenes from the Collection.

    The exhibitions Florinne Stettheimer:Painting Poetry and Modigliani Unmasked are presented.


    The Jewish Museum opens Scenes from the Collection a dynamic new exhibition of the collection, transforming the entire third floor with nearly 600 works from antiquities to contemporary art.


    The exhibitions Rachel Feinstein: Maiden, Mother, Crone, Leonard Cohen: A Crack in Everything, and Edith Halpert and the Rise of American Art are presented.

  • 2020

    The exhibitions We Fight to Build a Free World: An Exhibition by Jonathan Horowitz and Lawrence Weiner: ALL THE STARS IN THE SKY HAVE THE SAME FACE are presented.


    The exhibitions Modern Look: Photography and the American Magazine, Louise Bourgeois, Freud’s Daughter, Afterlives: Recovering the Lost Stories of Looted Art, and The Hare with Amber Eyes are presented.


    The exhibitions Jonas Mekas: The Camera Was Always Running and New York: 1962 - 1964 are presented.


    The exhibitions The Sassoons and After “The Wild”: Contemporary Art from The Barnett and Annalee Newman Foundation Collection are presented.

    James S. Snyder is appointed Helen Goldsmith Menschel Director. 

Contact Us

For more information, please contact the following departments.

General Information and Inquiries

General Information
212.423.3200 ext. 0
Box Office
212.423.3200 ext. 0
Press Inquiries

Visit our Press Room for current news releases.

Rental Opportunities

Learn more about Rentals availability.​

Website Questions

Program Information

Public Programs Box Office

Check out our Public Programs and see what’s on the calendar.

212.423.3200 ext. 0
Family Programs Box Office

​Learn more about Family Programs and see what’s on the calendar.

212.423.3200 ext.0
School Programs Information

See our resources for Pre-K – 12 Educators

Adult Group Tours Information

Learn more about planning your group visit

Film Festival

The New York Jewish Film Festival is presented by the Jewish Museum and Film at Lincoln Center.

Membership Information

Membership Information

​Learn about Membership benefits and ways to support the Jewish Museum. 

Members-Only Events

Funding Opportunities

Institutional Giving
Corporate Sponsorships
Commemorative Gifts and Special Giving Opportunities

Acquisitions and Exhibitions

For proposal information click here.

Shopping Information

Cooper Shop at the Jewish Museum


For information about requests, click here.

Board of Trustees

As of February 2024


Robert A. Pruzan, Chairman

Shari Aronson, President

Sander Levy, Vice President

Gail A. Binderman, Vice Chair

Mahnaz Moinian, Vice Chair

Harriet Schleifer, Vice Chair

Malcolm Levine, Treasurer

Jane Wilf, Assistant Treasurer

David Shapiro, Secretary

Andrew E. Lewin, Assistant Secretary

James S. Snyder, Helen Goldsmith Menschel Director, ex officio


Jonathan Crystal

Nomi P. Ghez

David Israel

Virginia Kamsky

Carol Schapiro Kekst

Jonathan Krane

Jeanette Lerman

Betty Levin

Phyllis Mack

Aaron Malinsky

Joshua Nash*

Steve Novenstein

David L. Resnick

Michael Rubinoff

Paul Salama-Caro

David Sambur

Stephen M. Scherr

John M. Shapiro

Amy Rose Silverman

James Stern

Audrey Wilf

Benjamin Winter

Life Members

Barry J. Alperin**

E. Robert Goodkind*

Robert J. Hurst*

Dr. Henry Kaufman

Francine Klagsbrun

Ellen Liman

Susan Lytle Lipton*

Leni May*

Morris W. Offit*

Amy Rubenstein

H. Axel Schupf*

John L. Vogelstein**


Clare Peeters

Shuly Rubin Schwartz

* Chairman Emeritus
** President Emeritus

Frequently Asked Questions

Can the Jewish Museum appraise artwork and artifacts?

The Museum and its staff are unable to authenticate or perform appraisals of works of art or artifacts for the public. We suggest that you consult a reputable art dealer, appraiser, or auction house. You may also wish to contact the Appraisers Association of America to get more information on certain types of appraisals.

Does the Jewish Museum ever donate admission passes for organizations holding fundraisers?

A request for donations of admission passes may be submitted by email to Visitor Experience at info@thejm.org. Be sure to include the name of the organization and the date of your fundraiser.

I own an object or artwork that I would like to donate to the Jewish Museum. What should I do?

The Jewish Museum’s collection has benefitted from the generosity of numerous donors over the years. The Museum collects Judaica (Jewish ceremonial objects), work by Jewish artists, and art that relates to Jewish subjects, themes, or experiences. (The Museum does not collect historical documents, artifacts from the Holocaust, or Jewish books or manuscripts).

If you are interested in offering an object or artwork to the Jewish Museum, and you believe the work is appropriate for our institution, please send the following information to submissions@thejm.org and include “Donation Inquiry” in the subject line:

  • Cover letter stating your intentions for donation
  • Your contact information
  • Artist's name (or country of origin for Judaica/anonymous artworks), title, date, medium, dimensions for each object / artwork
  • High resolution image(s) of each object / artwork
  • Provenance (ownership history), including when and how the object(s) / artwork(s) came into your possession

Please note that only email submissions will be reviewed, and that email attachments must not exceed 20 MB total. Potential donations cannot be brought to the Museum or left in our custody, and we cannot review objects or artworks in person. Due to the volume of offers we receive, we are not be able to respond directly to every submission. If your proposal is of interest, a member of the curatorial department will contact you.

I am an artist (or artist representative) and would like a curator to see my work. What should I do?

If you would like to introduce the Museum to your work, or the work of an artist you represent, please send the following materials to submissions@thejm.org and include “Artist Submission” in the subject line:

  • Cover letter with your contact information
  • Artist CV or resume
  • Artist’s and/or representative’s statement about the work
  • PDF portfolio of images with title, date, medium, and dimensions for each artwork (20 works maximum)
  • Critical reviews and/or scholarly essays on the work if available

Please note that only email submissions will be reviewed, and that email attachments must not exceed 20 MB total. Original artworks cannot be brought to the Museum or left in our custody, and we cannot review materials or portfolios in person. The Jewish Museum values the work of artists from around the globe, but the volume of submissions often outnumbers staff capacity to review and respond to each individually. For that reason, the Museum treats the review process as informational only. Critiques or comments are not offered on submissions. A member of the curatorial department will get back to artists or their representatives if the work is of interest.

How do I submit a film for consideration for the New York Jewish Film Festival?

Please complete and submit the NYJFF Film Submission Form.

I am a curator and would like to submit a proposal for an exhibition at the Jewish Museum. What should I do?

If you are a curator interested in proposing an exhibition for the Jewish Museum,  please send the following materials to submissions@thejm.org and include “Exhibition Proposal” in the subject line:

  • Cover letter with curator’s contact information
  • Curator’s CV or resume
  • A concise proposal detailing the thesis of your exhibition
  • An illustrated checklist with identifying information for each work (artist, title, date, medium, dimensions, collection)
  • Brief biographies of all artists
  • A maximum of ten supplemental images

Please note that only email submissions will be reviewed, and that email attachments must not exceed 20 MB total. Due to the volume of proposals we receive, we are not able to respond directly to every submission. If your proposal is of interest, a member of the curatorial department will contact you.

I am conducting research on your past exhibitions and would like to learn more about your archives. What should I do?

Due to limited staff availability, we are only able to accommodate a limited number of research and archival requests at this time. Please email your research inquiries to archives@thejm.org. Requests will be reviewed quarterly. If your research request is approved, a member of the curatorial department will contact you. 

Rental Opportunities

Exterior view of The Jewish Museum

Located at the heart of New York City’s Museum Mile, the Warburg Mansion, a landmarked French gothic chateau style building and home of the Jewish Museum, offers elegant and versatile venue options to provide a unique and memorable setting for all your special event needs.

Entertaining at the Jewish Museum is a privilege we extend to our Corporate Members and Patrons at the $5,000 level and above. Exceptions are made to non-profits on a case-by-case basis provided proof of designation status.

All venue rates and event fees support the Museum’s unique and dynamic exhibitions and programs illuminating art and Jewish culture through nearly 30,000 works of art, Judaica, and antiquities from around the world.

For further information on venue rental opportunities, please contact our rentals department at rentals@thejm.org.

Spaces Available:

  • The Café

    The Café

    The Café offers a unique and modern dining experience. With cozy banquet seating and the Museum’s signature mural by Maira Kalman, the setting is perfect for private meals, meetings, Shabbat dinners and smaller seated engagements.

    Currently Unavailable. Please check back soon for our newest offerings with a new vendor.


    •  60 for a seated meal
    •  80 for a standing cocktail reception

    Request this space
  • Scheuer Auditorium

    Scheuer Auditorium

    The Scheuer Auditorium features architectural details and stained-glass windows from the original Warburg Mansion interior. A flexible and stunning space for your next private dinner, client/staff party, conference, wedding, or other life cycle event.


    •  150 for a seated meal
    •  190 for auditorium-style seating
    •  200 for a standing cocktail reception

    Request this space
  • Skirball Lobby

    Skirball Lobby

    The Skirball Lobby features period columns and a magnificent ceiling. Perfect for small intimate cocktail receptions for clients, friends, and family. Great to combine with a private viewing or tour of our unparalleled exhibitions.


    •  30 for a seated event
    •  75 for a standing cocktail reception 

    Request this space