Scenes from the Collection at The Jewish Museum, opens January 21, 2018

“For the first time in 25 years, the Jewish Museum has organized a major new exhibition of its unparalleled collection. Scenes from the Collection transforms the entire third floor with nearly 600 works from antiquities to contemporary art, many of which are on view for the first time at the Museum. Art and Jewish objects are shown together, affirming universal values that are shared among people of all faiths and backgrounds.

The Jewish Museum’s collection spans more than 4,000 years through nearly 30,000 objects, including painting, sculpture, photography, decorative arts, ceremonial objects, antiquities, works on paper, and media. Viewed through a contemporary lens, the collection is a mirror of Jewish identities past and present. Scenes from the Collection allows viewers to consider what, why, and how the Museum has collected and what this says about the changing identity of the institution, and evolving intersections of art, Jewish culture, and world events.

Instead of a single narrative, Scenes from the Collection is divided into seven different sections, or scenes, highlighting the diversity and depth of the collection. Each one reveals the ways in which the presentation of art and history are shaped by context and perspective. The new installation is a powerful expression of artistic and cultural creativity as well as a reflection of the continual evolution that is the essence of Jewish identity. This unique mix of art and ceremonial objects speaks of the many strands of Jewish tradition, culture, spirituality, and history. The stories the works of art tell illuminate multiple perspectives on being Jewish in the past and present, how Jewish culture intersects with art, and how it is part of the larger world of global interconnections.” — The Jewish Museum

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

Kehinde Wiley (American, b. 1977). Alios Itzhak (The World Stage: Israel), 2011. Oil and enamel on canvas, 115 x 80 x 1/8 in (292.1 x 203.2 x 0.4 cm). The Jewish Museum, New York, Purchase: Gift of Lisa and Steven Tananbaum Family Foundation; Gift in honor of Joan Rosenbaum, Director of the Jewish Museum from 1981-2011, by the Contemporary Judaica, Fine Arts, Photography, and Traditional Judaica Acquisitions Committee Funds, 2011-31.

Installation view photo by Jason Mandella. From left to right: Israel Dov Rosenbaum, mizrah, 1877; Kehinde Wiley, Alios Itzhak (The World Stage: Israel), 2011; Abraham Shulkin, Torah Ark from Adath Yeshurun Synagogue, 1899.

Mizrah. Israel Dov Rosenbaum Podkamen, Austria-Hungary (now Pidkamin, Ukraine), 1877. Paint, ink, and graphite on cut paper, 30½ x 21 in. (77.5 x 53.3 cm). The Jewish Museum, New York, Gift of Helen W. Finkel in memory of Israel Dov Rosenbaum, Bessie Rosenbaum Finkel, and Sidney Finkel, 1987-136.

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

Joan Snyder (American, b. 1940). Hard Sweetness, 1971. Oil, acrylic, and enamel on canvas, 50 7/16 x 50 9/16 in. (128.1 x 128.4 cm). Jewish Museum, New York, Gift of Stephanie H. Bernheim, 2007-3.

Nicole Eisenman (American, b. France, 1965). Seder, 2010. Oil on canvas, 39 1/16 x 48 in. (99.2 x 121.9 cm). The Jewish Museum, New York, Purchase: Lore Ross Bequest; Milton and Miriam Handler Endowment Fund; and Fine Arts Acquisitions Committee Fund, 2011-3.

Artist unknown, Torah case with finials, c. 1850—85, stamped and parcel-gilt silver; ink on parchment; graphite, ink, and paint on paper; glass; and wood Jewish Museum, New York, Gift of the International Synagogue, 2016-18.

Installation view of Scenes from the Collection. “Accumulations”. The Jewish Museum, NY. Photo by: Jason Mandella.

Installation view of Scenes from the Collection. “Signs and Symbols”. The Jewish Museum, NY. Photo by: Jason Mandella.

Torah ark curtain or reader’s desk cover. Possibly Ottoman Empire, early 20th century.  Quilted cotton: embroidered with silk thread, 45¼ x 30⅜ in. (114.9 x 77.2 cm).  The Jewish Museum, New York, Gift of Dr. Harry G. Friedman, F 4936.

Mamluk Revival Bowl Damascus, Ottoman Syria, 1904 or 1905.  Brass with silver, copper, and gold inlay H: 5⅜ in. (13.7 cm) D: 11 1/16 in. (28.1 cm).  The Jewish Museum, New York, Gift of Dr. Harry G. Friedman, F 919.

Plate, possibly for Passover Marked with the maker’s initials L Q R Vienna, c. 1900. Glazed ceramic, 1 x 14¾ in. (2.5 x 37.5 cm). The Jewish Museum, New York, Gift of Mr. and Mrs. A. B. Doran, 1984-49.

Installation view of Scenes from the Collection. “Personas”. The Jewish Museum, NY.

Moritz Daniel Oppenheim (German, 1800-1882). Self-Portrait, 1814-16. Oil on canvas, 38 11/16 x 32 7/8 in. (98.3 x 83.5 cm). The Jewish Museum, New York, Purchase: Anonymous Gift in memory of Curtis Hereld; Esther Leah Ritz Bequest; Fine Arts Acquisitions Committee Fund; Gift of Mr. and Mrs. George Jaffin, by exchange; and Abraham Aaroni and Ruth Taub Bequests, 2008-137.

Lee Krasner, American, 1908-1984. Self-Portrait, c. 1930. Oil on linen, 30 1/8 x 25 1/8 in. (76.5 x 63.8 cm). The Jewish Museum, New York, Purchase: Esther Leah Ritz Bequest; B. Gerald Cantor, Lady Kathleen Epstein, and Louis E. and Rosalyn M. Shecter Gifts, by exchange; Fine Arts Acquisitions Committee Fund; and Miriam Handler Fund, 2008-32.

Theresa Bernstein (American, b. Austria, 1890-2002). Self-Portrait, 1914. Oil on canvas, 24 3/4 × 22 1/8 in. (62.9 × 56.2 cm). The Jewish Museum, New York, Gift of Girard Jackson, 1991-32.

Scenes from the Collection is organized by the Jewish Museum curatorial team.

Images courtesy The Jewish Museum.