Masterworks of The Jewish Museum


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Maurice Berger and Joan Rosenbaum; Entries by Vivian B. Mann and Norman L. Kleeblatt

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Published on the hundredth anniversary of The Jewish Museum, this magnificent book explores the culture, history, and beliefs of the Jewish people by presenting an extraordinary selection of works from the Museum’s renowned collection

This beautifully illustrated book explores the culture, history, and beliefs of the Jewish people by presenting an extraordinary selection of works from the collection of The Jewish Museum, New York. Ranging from antiquity to the present day, these artworks and ritual objects include a fourth-century glass vessel and ancient burial plaques; exquisite Torah decorations and marriage contracts; stunningly ornate Hanukkah lamps and spice containers; beautiful paintings and prints by such artists as Moritz Daniel Oppenheim, Marc Chagall, and Ben Shahn; striking contemporary works by Leonard Baskin, Sol LeWitt, George Segal, Diane Arbus, Richard Avedon, and many others; and selections of video and still images from television and film, ranging from documentaries and dramas to situation comedies.

Two introductory essays discuss the history and significance of The Jewish Museum, followed by a superb range of artworks grouped thematically in categories such as memory and history; spirituality and faith; society, politics, and community; text and representation; and television and culture. Each work is accompanied by a short essay providing description and interpretation. Together the reproductions and lively text tell the fascinating story of how Jewish culture has evolved through the centuries and across continents.

Maurice Berger is Senior Fellow at the Vera List Center for Art and Politics at New School University; Joan Rosenbaum is the Helen Goldsmith Menschel Director at the Jewish Museum; Vivian B. Mann is the Morris and Eva Feld Chair in Judaica at The Jewish Museum; and Norman L. Kleeblatt is the Susan and Elihu Rose Curator of Fine Arts at The Jewish Museum. 

“This volume celebrates centuries of Jewish art and artists, from a 4th Century glass vessel to Andy Warhol silk-screen prints. A flip through the pages offers a virtual tour of the museum. Each piece is accompanied by a short essay to provide insight and description. . . . The 175 color illustrations speak volumes about the rich heritage of the Jewish culture and the artists who help to give it a voice.”—Sara Jerome, American Style

“Elegantly proportioned and beautifully illustrated. . . . A valuable panorama of the [Jewish Museum’s] rich and varied holdings, compiled in expert fashion by the curatorial staff. Recommended.”—Choice

“This sumptuously illustrated, coffee-table sized volume . . . features vibrantly colored illustrations of selected works of art in the collection of the museum, accompanied by helpful explanatory essays. . . . Jewish culture and Jewish history as represented by Jewish art is attractively presented here, fully demonstrating why the Jewish Museum is a Jewish treasure. May it live to celebrate many more one hundred year anniversaries.”—Morton I. Teicher, Jewish Journal

“This beautiful coffee-table volume includes detailed essays and art, from film and television stills to traditional Judaica to Andy Warhol.”—Shaun Raviv, Moment Magazine

"There are many remarkable works on display here from every genre—painting, sculpture, documentary, installations and ritual objects. There is humour, pathos, beauty and insight. . . . Well worth the price."—Deborah Stone, The Australian Jewish News


Received Honorable Mention for the 2005 Publications Design Competition organized by the American Association of Museums
ISBN: 9780300102925
Publication Date: June 10, 2004
Publishing Partner: Jewish Museum
256 pages, 9 x 11 1/2
15 duotones + 175 color illus.


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