Place Category: Museums and Galleries
Located on New York City’s Museum Mile, the Jewish Museum is a jewel-box of an art museum, and a distinctive hub for art and Jewish culture for people of all backgrounds.
The Museum maintains a unique collection of nearly 30,000 works of fine art, Judaica, antiquities, folk art, ceremonial objects, and broadcast media which reflect the global Jewish experience over more than 4,000 years. Our distinguished exhibition history reveals a deep and rich exploration of Jewish culture and identity, and includes some of the most seminal shows of the 20th and 21st centuries. Our dynamic education programs – from talks and lectures, to performances, to hands-on art making and more – serve a wide range of audiences, including families, students, educators, and art lovers.
The Jewish Museum, one of the world’s preeminent institutions devoted to exploring art and Jewish culture, from ancient to contemporary, was founded in 1904 in the library of The Jewish Theological Seminary, where it was housed for more than four decades. The Jewish Museum was the first institution of its kind in the United States and is the oldest existing Jewish museum in the world.
Judge Mayer Sulzberger donated the first gift of 26 objects of fine and 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 permanent collection, one of the largest and most important of its kind in the world.
In 1944, Frieda Schiff Warburg, widow of the prominent businessman and philanthropist Felix Warburg, who had been a Seminary trustee, donated the family mansion at 1109 Fifth Avenue at 92nd Street to the Seminary for use as a museum. Located along New York City’s Museum Mile, and 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 1989, 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, provided significant improvements in public amenities, and added a two-floor permanent collection exhibition called Culture and Continuity: The Jewish Journey, which tells the unfolding story of Jewish culture and identity through 800 works of art.
Today, the Jewish Museum presents a diverse schedule of internationally acclaimed temporary exhibitions while maintaining a collection of nearly 30,000 objects reflecting global Jewish identity – paintings, sculpture, works on paper, photographs, ethnographic material, archaeological artifacts, numismatics, ceremonial objects, and broadcast media.
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