Exhibition And Programs Coming To The Jewish Museum


September 14, 2012 through February 3, 2013

England's Bodleian Library at Oxford University, established by Sir Thomas Bodley in 1602, is renowned for its great treasures. Among them is one of the most important collections of medieval Hebrew illuminated manuscripts in the world. Crossing Borders: Manuscripts from the Bodleian Libraries will feature over 60 works - Hebrew, Arabic, and Latin manuscripts - the majority of which have never been seen in the United States. Included will be the splendid Kennicott Bible as well two works in the hand of Maimonides, one of the most prominent Jewish philosophers and rabbinic authorities. This presentation showcases a selection from the Bodleian's superb holdings within the larger context of the history of medieval Christian Hebraism - the study by Christian scholars of the Hebrew Bible and rabbinic sources, which first received full expression in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. As Protestantism took hold in the sixteenth century, Hebraist trends resurged, sparking interest in the collecting of Hebrew books, and propelling the formation of the Bodleian's outstanding Hebraica collection. This exhibition is based on Crossing Borders: Hebrew Manuscripts as a Meeting-place of Cultures co-curated by Piet van Boxel and Sabine Arndt for The Bodleian Libraries. The New York City presentation has been organized by The Jewish Museum's Curator Claudia Nahson.

PRESS PREVIEW - Tuesday, September 11, 10 am - 1 pm

September 14, 2012 through February 3, 2013

Ethereal veil paintings and a recent 12-foot tall clear glass sculpture by Izhar Patkin (b. 1955, Israel) will be on view as the first in a new series of installations presenting work by artists in all media, as well as works from the Museum's Permanent Collection. Curators will pursue projects that push artists' work in new directions and advance new ideas about art and culture. Patkin's artwork develops complex visual narratives and metaphors, often in relation to specific texts or stories. Using translucent, nontraditional materials that are often multidimensional, his paintings counter both the legibility of the post-Renaissance easel paintings and the Modernist concept of the sanctity of flat canvas support.

PRESS PREVIEW - Tuesday, September 11, 10 am - 1 pm


Through July 29, 2012

The Jewish Museum is presenting Kehinde Wiley/The World Stage: Israel, featuring 14 large-scale paintings from the contemporary American painter Kehinde Wiley's newest series, The World Stage: Israel. The vibrant portraits of Israeli youths from diverse ethnic and religious affiliations are each embedded in a unique background influenced by Jewish ceremonial art. Also included are 11 works - papercuts and large textiles - chosen by the artist from The Jewish Museum's collection. All of the 14 paintings on view are being displayed in New York for the first time. A new acquisition by Wiley (born 1977, Los Angeles) served as impetus for the exhibition. The painting, Alios Itzhak (2011), is a nine-foot tall portrait of a young Jewish Ethiopian-Israeli man surrounded by an intricate decorative background inspired by a traditional Jewish papercut in the Museum's collection. Wiley says his appropriated decorative backgrounds serve as catalysts for his paintings. The paintings represent a unique fusion of contemporary culture with European traditions and those of North Africa and the Middle East. Roughly two-thirds of the portraits in the Israel series are of Ethiopian Jews, others are of native-born Jews and Arab Israelis. The artist is driven by an ongoing exploration of globalization, diasporas, cultural hybridity, and power. Saying he knows what it feels like to exist on the periphery, Wiley likes to catapult often powerless, anonymous young men of color onto enormous canvases and into the visual language of the powerful. The large size of the paintings reflects Wiley's observation that scale has been used as a measure of historical importance throughout art history.

Through September 23, 2012

The art of Edouard Vuillard (1868-1940) - a painter who began his career as a member of the Nabi group of avant-garde artists in Paris in the 1890s - is celebrated at The Jewish Museum in the first major one-person, New York exhibition of the French artist's work in over twenty years. Edouard Vuillard: A Painter and His Muses, 1890-1940 includes more than 50 paintings as well as a selection of prints, photographs and documents exploring the crucial role played by the patrons, dealers and muses who comprised Vuillard's circle. The exhibition examines the prominence of key players in the cultural milieu of modern Paris, many of them Jewish, and their influence on Vuillard's professional and private life. Vuillard's continuing significance from the turn of the 20th century to the onset of World War II are also explored. Edouard Vuillard: A Painter and His Muses, 1890-1940 brings together works from public and private collections in the U.S. and Europe. A quarter of the paintings have never been exhibited publicly in America before. Vuillard's career spans fifty years. During his lifetime, Paris was the capital of the international avant-garde, the laboratory of new styles in art, music, poetry, and prose. Vuillard had unusually close and sustained relationships with his patrons; some became intimate and lifelong friends. In this glittering cultural milieu he became romantically involved with two fascinating women, Misia Natanson and Lucy Hessel, each of whom served as both patron and muse. Edouard Vuillard: A Painter and His Muses, 1890-1940 traces the entire arc of Vuillard's career, in which he pursued painterly experimentation in color, media, and ambience, especially in portraiture. Vuillard's late portraits are a revelation - among the great examples in the twentieth century and of dazzling virtuosity. Experimental, yet deeply committed to the old masters throughout his life, Vuillard maintained a continual tension in his work between tradition and modernism.

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