Exhibitions

The exhibitions of The Magnes highlight the treasures of one of the world’s preeminent Jewish museum collections. By combining museum practice, research, and instruction, they present to the public the results of engaging collaborative projects led by UC Berkeley faculty, students, visiting scholars, artists, and curators. Each exhibition is accompanied by programs connecting academic life and the public interest.

Galleries are open every week from Tuesday through Friday, 11am-4pm, and on evenings and weekends during public events. Entrance is free.

The annual exhibition schedule follows UC Berkeley's Academic Calendar, with openings in the Fall and Spring semesters of each year.


Please note that our galleries are closed during Winter and Summer Breaks. Check our Calendar for a detailed schedule. During gallery closure times, The Magnes remains open for research on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday each week (except during holiday curtailment time, Dec. 23-Jan. 2nd). For further information about collection access, consult the Collection Services Page of this website.

Pièces de Résistance: Echoes of Judaea Capta From Ancient Coins to Modern Art

On View: 
Aug 28, 2018 to Dec 14, 2018

This exhibition will be continuing in Spring 2019. 

Notions of resistance, alongside fears and reality of oppression, resound throughout Jewish history. As a minority, Jews express their political aspirations, ideals of heroism, and yearnings of retaliation and redemption in their rituals, art, and everyday life.

Project “Holy Land”: Yaakov Benor-Kalter’s Photographs of British Mandate Palestine, 1923-1940

On View: 
Aug 28, 2018 to Dec 14, 2018

Capturing ambiguous subjects in familiar alleyways of the Old City of Jerusalem, historical monuments of universal renown, along with scores of techno-muscular “new Jews” building a new homeland, Benor-Kalter’s photographs smoothly oscillated between two worlds, and two Holy Lands, with one lens.

Memory Objects: Judaica Collections and Global Migrations

On View: 
Jan 29, 2019 to Dec 13, 2019

Over five hundred ritual objects, books, and manuscripts, acquired half a century ago in 1968 from the Siegfried S. Strauss Collection, comprise the foundational Judaica collection of The Magnes today. Memory Objects: Judaica Collections and Global Migrations brings these materials to light comprehensively for the first time, and also interrogates the formation of private and public Judaica collections in Europe during the great refugee crisis of the interwar period. The First World War uprooted millions across Europe, and beyond.

Keepsakes from Utopia: The Bezalel School of Arts and Crafts in Early 20th-century Jerusalem

On View: 
Aug 27, 2019 to Jun 26, 2020

At the turn of the 20th century, under Ottoman rule, Jerusalem—to the west of the Old City—became a hotbed of Jewish cultural activities. The protagonists of this scene were, for the most part, East-European Jews, eager to shake off the oppressive conditions they had experienced in the Russian Empire.