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Displaying items by tag: Jewish Museum

Friday, 18 September 2015 10:32

ICA Miami Appoints Its First Permanent Director

A year after establishing itself as Miami’s newest arts venue, the Institute of Contemporary Art, Miami has chosen a permanent director.

Ellen Salpeter, a longtime arts institution leader in New York who has served as deputy director of external affairs for the Jewish Museum in New York since 2012, will start her new position at ICA Miami on Dec. 1.

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“Women who visit the salons on a regular basis develop a sense of discrimination and appreciation,” the cosmetics magnate Helena Rubinstein once wrote. “It is like visiting museums and recognizing the work of famous artists.” She was talking about her own beauty salons, not the sort of literary gatherings associated with Gertrude Stein. But she had been to that kind of salon, too, in Paris and London, and her association of self-care with connoisseurship was deliberate.

That connection runs throughout the Jewish Museum’s stimulating exhibition “Helena Rubinstein: Beauty Is Power,” the first museum show devoted to this entrepreneurial makeup doyenne (1872-1965).

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Critics think they have the last word, but sometimes art keeps talking. In 2008, while organizing the Jewish Museum’s boisterous survey of Abstract Expressionism, “Action/Abstraction: Pollock, de Kooning and American Art, 1940-1976,” the curator, Norman L. Kleeblatt, noticed that two paintings — Lee Krasner’s “Untitled” (1948) and Norman Lewis’s “Twilight Sounds” (1947) — seemed to be speaking to each other. He had the good sense to listen and, later, to orchestrate a deeper conversation. The result is “From the Margins: Lee Krasner and Norman Lewis, 1945-1952,” a nuanced, sensitive and profound exhibition.

The show isn’t really a dialogue, in the conventional sense. But it bravely elides differences of gender, race and religion, finding that Krasner and Lewis — a Jewish woman and an African-American man — shared a visual language that was a subtler, more intimate dialect of Abstract Expressionism.

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Monday, 04 August 2014 11:54

The Jewish Museum Unveils New Website

The Jewish Museum launched a completely new website designed by Sagmeister & Walsh, the New York City design firm led by Stefan Sagmeister and Jessica Walsh, which also designed the Museum's new graphic identity. Available at , the website features a responsive design that gives users access to all site content across any device or screen size. It also offers richer content on the Museum and its collection, significantly increasing opportunities for online engagement.

"This stunning new website substantially expands the Jewish Museum's digital presence, making us more accessible than ever," said Claudia Gould, Helen Goldsmith Menschel Director. "Website visitors can engage on multiple levels with our collection, exhibitions, and other related content," she added.

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Berlin’s first Jewish Museum opened in January 1933, just one week before the Nazis seized power. Karl Schwarz, its founder, realized immediately that the museum was doomed and his life was in danger.

He fled Berlin for Tel Aviv months after opening the museum, which he’d worked for years to turn into a reality.

“The new museum had only just been founded and I had to leave it!” he wrote in his memoir. “But these considerations were hardly worth anything; much more important things were at stake -- my life, my work, my children’s future. I knew absolutely: There was nothing to hope for here.”

Almost 80 years and much painstaking research later, the Centrum Judaicum, on the site of the former museum, has reassembled some of the lost art for an exhibition titled “The Berlin Jewish Museum (1933-1938): Traces of a Lost Collection.”

Schwarz described his last tour of the museum in June 1933, the day before he left. “It seemed to me that the smell of Death already wafted through the halls,” he said.

Next to the New Synagogue on central Oranienburgerstrasse, the museum did survive for another five years, becoming an important refuge for Jewish artists, before being taken over and sealed by the Nazis in the pogroms of November 1938.

Its content, including paintings by Max Liebermann, Marc Chagall, Lesser Ury, Moritz Oppenheim and Leonid Pasternak, was seized and hidden: Some paintings were stashed in a vault on the other side of the city.

Lengthy Quest

The new show is the result of a 30-year quest by Hermann Simon, the director of the Centrum Judaicum, aided since about 1990 by his deputy Chana Schuetz.

Most of the recovered artworks are in Berlin on temporary loan for the exhibition, though the quest -- and the show --also paved the way for at least one restitution.

An examination of the back of a painting by Max Liebermann revealed that it never belonged to the Berlin Jewish Museum but was on loan from Liebermann’s widow, Martha. It will be returned by Jerusalem’s Israel Museum to the artist’s family after the show, the museum said in a statement yesterday.

The 1934 painting, one of Liebermann’s last, shows “The Return of Tobias,” a scene from the Book of Tobit. Liebermann intended it as a call to German Jews to return to Judaism in the face of Nazi persecution -- just as Tobias returned home to try to heal his father’s sight, Schuetz explained.

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