Welcome to the Magnes!

Exhibitions, Programs, and 15,000 Objects from Around the World

The Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life was established in 2010 following the transfer of the Judah L. Magnes Museum to the University of California, Berkeley. Its remarkably diverse archive, library and museum holdings include art, objects, texts, music, and historical documents about the Jews in the Global Diaspora and the American West. As one of the world's preeminent Jewish collections in a university setting, it provides highly innovative and accessible resources to both researchers and the general public

The Invisible Museum: History and Memory of Morocco

On View: 
Aug 29, 2017 to Jun 29, 2018

Since its inception in 1962, the former Judah L. Magnes Museum distinguished itself by directing its collecting efforts outside the focus on European Jewish culture and history that was prevalent among American Jewish museums at the time. During the 1970s and 1980s, its founders, Seymour and Rebecca Fromer, actively corralled an informal team of activist collectors and supporters. Together, they were able to bring to Berkeley art and material culture from North Africa, the Middle East, and the Indian subcontinent.

High Holy Days at the Luna Park: Show-card Posters from the Firschein Press (Brooklyn, NY, 1920-1974)

On View: 
Jan 23, 2018 to Jun 22, 2018

This exhibition presents a selection from the over one hundred “show-card” posters printed by the Firschein Press, a small business operated by East European Jewish immigrants, that served local Jewish and non-Jewish communities in Brooklyn for the better half of the 20th century. Oscar Firschein brought the posters to California once the Press ceased its activities. He and his wife, Theda, donated them to The Magnes in 2017.

The Karaite Canon: Manuscripts and Ritual Objects from Cairo

On View: 
Jan 23, 2018 to Dec 14, 2018

A selection from the over fifty manuscripts collected by The Magnes in Cairo, Egypt, during an expedition led by the museum’s founder, Seymour Fromer, in 1971. At the time, the aim of The Magnes was to salvage unique documents during a period of great turmoil in the Middle East.