Welcome to the Magnes!

The Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life remains closed until further notice in compliance with Alameda County’s and the city of Berkeley’s COVID-19 guidelines. The health and safety of our community is very important to us; our staff are following protocols set by UC Berkeley and Alameda County to reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19 through social distancing, telecommuting, etc.

Please visit our FacebookInstagram, and Twitter feeds for daily updates and Flickr for interactive digital access to the Collections (and make sure to search our online collection database at magnesalm.org). In the meantime, UC Berkeley’s Division of Arts & Humanities has created a new space to share live digital content such as conversations, lectures, performances, and presentations. View the schedule here.


 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 Its remarkably diverse archive, library and museum holdings include art, objects, texts, music, and historical documents about the Jews in the Global Diaspora and the American West.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 holdings of The Magnes continue to grow. In 2017, The Magnes established the Taube Family Arthur Szyk Collection, and in 2018 received the gift of the Roman Vishniac Archive

Zooming In

Weekly Curatorial Conversations from The Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life

Each week, curators Francesco Spagnolo and Shir Kochavi present insights and connections emerging from the holdings of UC Berkeley's Magnes Collection, one of the largest Jewish museum collections in the world. Throughout the series, guests will join them to explore Jewish art and life, one object at a time.

Fridays at Noon, August 21-December 18, 2020 (except Sept. 18 & Nov. 27) | A Zoom (free or licensed) account is required to attend these free programs.

From San Francisco to Paris (and Back): Theresa Herman and the Stein Family

When: 
Fri, Oct 02, 2020 12:00pm to 12:30pm

From our series, "Zooming In: Weekly Curatorial Conversations from The Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life."

Each week, Curators Francesco Spagnolo and Shir Kochavi present insights and connections emerging from the holdings of UC Berkeley's Magnes Collection, one of the largest Jewish museum collections in the world. Throughout the series, guests will join them to explore Jewish art and life, one object at a time. 

On Hitler's Balcony: Historian Koppel Pinson in Europe (1945-1946)

When: 
Fri, Oct 09, 2020 12:00pm to 12:30pm

From our series, "Zooming In: Weekly Curatorial Conversations from The Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life."

Each week, Curators Francesco Spagnolo and Shir Kochavi present insights and connections emerging from the holdings of UC Berkeley's Magnes Collection, one of the largest Jewish museum collections in the world. Throughout the series, guests will join them to explore Jewish art and life, one object at a time. 

Pushing Buttons, Old and New: Prayer Shawls, Karaite Jews, and Subversive Rituals (with Artist Nicki Green)

When: 
Fri, Oct 16, 2020 12:00pm to 12:30pm

From our series, "Zooming In: Weekly Curatorial Conversations from The Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life."

Each week, Curators Francesco Spagnolo and Shir Kochavi present insights and connections emerging from the holdings of UC Berkeley's Magnes Collection, one of the largest Jewish museum collections in the world. Throughout the series, guests will join them to explore Jewish art and life, one object at a time. 

En Route: A Porcelain Set Between Paris, Istanbul and Berkeley

When: 
Fri, Oct 23, 2020 12:00pm to 12:30pm

From our series, "Zooming In: Weekly Curatorial Conversations from The Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life."

Each week, Curators Francesco Spagnolo and Shir Kochavi present insights and connections emerging from the holdings of UC Berkeley's Magnes Collection, one of the largest Jewish museum collections in the world. Throughout the series, guests will join them to explore Jewish art and life, one object at a time. 

In Real Times. Arthur Szyk: Art & Human Rights (1926-1951)

On View: 
Jan 28, 2020 to May 29, 2020
Sep 1, 2020 to Dec 18, 2020

Born into a middle-class Polish Jewish family, Arthur Szyk (Łódź, Poland, 1894 – New Canaan, Connecticut, 1951) lived a life framed by two world wars, the collapse of European democracies, and the rise of totalitarianism. A refugee, he ultimately settled in the United States in 1940. Throughout his work as a miniature artist and political caricaturist, he used motifs drawn from religion, history, politics, and culture, pairing extraordinary craftsmanship with searing commentary on a diverse range of subjects including Judaism, the American Revolution, the Second World War, the Holocaust, and the founding of the State of Israel. 

An Archive of Archives: Roman Vishniac's Exhibition History | New York, 1971-72

On View: 
Jan 28, 2020 to May 29, 2020
Sep 1, 2020 to Dec 18, 2020

The Magnes acquired the Roman Vishniac Archive in 2018, thanks to an unprecedented gift by the late Mara Vishniac Kohn (1926-2018). The collection is comprised of thousands of original prints, negatives, and archival materials documenting the long international career of Roman Vishniac (1897-1990), a Russian-born modernist photographer most notable for documenting Eastern-European Jewish life in the years immediately preceding the Holocaust. Vishniac’s work has been celebrated in exhibitions and publications since the 1940s. The gift represents one of the most important acquisitions made by The Magnes since its founding in 1962, and one of inestimable value to UC Berkeley for insight and research into 20th-century East European Jewry, and beyond.

As this important collection is being painstakingly processed and documented, The Magnes is beginning to share new findings with the public. An archive of this magnitude is bound to reveal many discoveries, opening up new perspectives on the life and work of a globally recognized photographer, and allowing us to revisit some of the salient moments in his career. A veritable “archive of archives,” the collection also contains among its treasures substantial documentation of some of Vishniac’s early exhibitions.

Souvenirs from Utopia: The Bezalel School of Arts and Crafts in Jerusalem (1906-1932)

On View: 
Aug 27, 2019 to Dec 13, 2019
Jan 21, 2020 to May 29, 2020
Sep 1, 2020 to Dec 18, 2020

At the turn of the 20th century, under Ottoman rule, Jerusalem was rapidly developing into a center of Jewish cultural activities. The protagonists of this scene were, for the most part, recent East-European Jewish immigrants. They had been inspired to move to Palestine by the emerging Zionist movement, and were eager to shake off the oppressive conditions they had experienced under the Russian Empire. 

From San Francisco to Paris (and Back): Theresa Herman and the Stein Family

When: 
Fri, Oct 02, 2020 12:00pm to 12:30pm

From our series, "Zooming In: Weekly Curatorial Conversations from The Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life."

Each week, Curators Francesco Spagnolo and Shir Kochavi present insights and connections emerging from the holdings of UC Berkeley's Magnes Collection, one of the largest Jewish museum collections in the world. Throughout the series, guests will join them to explore Jewish art and life, one object at a time. 

On Hitler's Balcony: Historian Koppel Pinson in Europe (1945-1946)

When: 
Fri, Oct 09, 2020 12:00pm to 12:30pm

From our series, "Zooming In: Weekly Curatorial Conversations from The Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life."

Each week, Curators Francesco Spagnolo and Shir Kochavi present insights and connections emerging from the holdings of UC Berkeley's Magnes Collection, one of the largest Jewish museum collections in the world. Throughout the series, guests will join them to explore Jewish art and life, one object at a time. 

Pushing Buttons, Old and New: Prayer Shawls, Karaite Jews, and Subversive Rituals (with Artist Nicki Green)

When: 
Fri, Oct 16, 2020 12:00pm to 12:30pm

From our series, "Zooming In: Weekly Curatorial Conversations from The Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life."

Each week, Curators Francesco Spagnolo and Shir Kochavi present insights and connections emerging from the holdings of UC Berkeley's Magnes Collection, one of the largest Jewish museum collections in the world. Throughout the series, guests will join them to explore Jewish art and life, one object at a time. 

En Route: A Porcelain Set Between Paris, Istanbul and Berkeley

When: 
Fri, Oct 23, 2020 12:00pm to 12:30pm

From our series, "Zooming In: Weekly Curatorial Conversations from The Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life."

Each week, Curators Francesco Spagnolo and Shir Kochavi present insights and connections emerging from the holdings of UC Berkeley's Magnes Collection, one of the largest Jewish museum collections in the world. Throughout the series, guests will join them to explore Jewish art and life, one object at a time. 

A Silent Presence: Female representations in synagogue textiles

When: 
Fri, Oct 30, 2020 12:00pm to 12:30pm

From our series, "Zooming In: Weekly Curatorial Conversations from The Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life."

Each week, Curators Francesco Spagnolo and Shir Kochavi present insights and connections emerging from the holdings of UC Berkeley's Magnes Collection, one of the largest Jewish museum collections in the world. Throughout the series, guests will join them to explore Jewish art and life, one object at a time. 

Beyond the Photo Archive: Reconstructing The Concerns of Roman Vishniac (1971) at The Magnes

When: 
Fri, Nov 06, 2020 12:00pm to 12:30pm

From our series, "Zooming In: Weekly Curatorial Conversations from The Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life."

Each week, Curators Francesco Spagnolo and Shir Kochavi present insights and connections emerging from the holdings of UC Berkeley's Magnes Collection, one of the largest Jewish museum collections in the world. Throughout the series, guests will join them to explore Jewish art and life, one object at a time. 

Old Craft - New Media: Gabriella Willenz's Bezalel-inspired Leaning Tower series

When: 
Fri, Nov 13, 2020 12:00pm to 12:30pm

From our series, "Zooming In: Weekly Curatorial Conversations from The Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life."

Each week, Curators Francesco Spagnolo and Shir Kochavi present insights and connections emerging from the holdings of UC Berkeley's Magnes Collection, one of the largest Jewish museum collections in the world. Throughout the series, guests will join them to explore Jewish art and life, one object at a time. 

Jewish Resistance: The many contexts of a 1905 painting by Lazar Krestin

When: 
Fri, Nov 20, 2020 12:00pm to 12:30pm

From our series, "Zooming In: Weekly Curatorial Conversations from The Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life."

Each week, Curators Francesco Spagnolo and Shir Kochavi present insights and connections emerging from the holdings of UC Berkeley's Magnes Collection, one of the largest Jewish museum collections in the world. Throughout the series, guests will join them to explore Jewish art and life, one object at a time. 

Birth Certificates in Cloth: Ritual Textiles for the Jewish Life Cycle

When: 
Fri, Dec 04, 2020 12:00pm to 12:30pm

From our series, "Zooming In: Weekly Curatorial Conversations from The Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life."

Each week, Curators Francesco Spagnolo and Shir Kochavi present insights and connections emerging from the holdings of UC Berkeley's Magnes Collection, one of the largest Jewish museum collections in the world. Throughout the series, guests will join them to explore Jewish art and life, one object at a time. 

Displaying Identity, Protecting Oneself: (What do we learn from) The shape of Hanukkah lamps

When: 
Fri, Dec 11, 2020 12:00pm to 12:30pm

From our series, "Zooming In: Weekly Curatorial Conversations from The Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life."

Each week, Curators Francesco Spagnolo and Shir Kochavi present insights and connections emerging from the holdings of UC Berkeley's Magnes Collection, one of the largest Jewish museum collections in the world. Throughout the series, guests will join them to explore Jewish art and life, one object at a time. 

Hanukkah and Survival: A Workshop for "Displaced Persons" in Germany, 1945

When: 
Fri, Dec 18, 2020 12:00pm to 12:30pm

From our series, "Zooming In: Weekly Curatorial Conversations from The Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life."

Each week, Curators Francesco Spagnolo and Shir Kochavi present insights and connections emerging from the holdings of UC Berkeley's Magnes Collection, one of the largest Jewish museum collections in the world. Throughout the series, guests will join them to explore Jewish art and life, one object at a time. 

September 2020

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In Real Times. Arthur Szyk: Art & Human Rights (1926-1951)

In Real Times. Arthur Szyk: Art & Human Rights (1926-1951)


9/1/2020 to 12/18/2020

Every week, Tuesday-Friday, 11am-4pm, during the UC Berkeley Fall and Spring Semesters.

Born into a middle-class Polish Jewish family, Arthur Szyk (Łódź, Poland, 1894 – New Canaan, Connecticut, 1951) lived a life framed by two world wars, the collapse of European democracies, and the rise of totalitarianism. A refugee, he ultimately settled in the United States in 1940. Throughout his work as a miniature artist and political caricaturist, he used motifs drawn from religion, history, politics, and culture, pairing extraordinary craftsmanship with searing commentary on a diverse range of subjects including Judaism, the American Revolution, the Second World War, the Holocaust, and the founding of the State of Israel. 

Location: The Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life

Read More

»
Souvenirs from Utopia: The Bezalel School of Arts and Crafts in Jerusalem (1906-1932)

Souvenirs from Utopia: The Bezalel School of Arts and Crafts in Jerusalem (1906-1932)

Case Study No. 10
9/1/2020 to 12/18/2020

Every week, Tuesday-Friday, 11am-4pm, during the UC Berkeley Fall and Spring Semesters.

At the turn of the 20th century, under Ottoman rule, Jerusalem was rapidly developing into a center of Jewish cultural activities. The protagonists of this scene were, for the most part, recent East-European Jewish immigrants. They had been inspired to move to Palestine by the emerging Zionist movement, and were eager to shake off the oppressive conditions they had experienced under the Russian Empire. 

Location: The Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life

Read More

»
An Archive of Archives: Roman Vishniac's Exhibition History | New York, 1971-72

An Archive of Archives: Roman Vishniac's Exhibition History | New York, 1971-72


9/1/2020 to 12/18/2020

Every week, Tuesday-Friday, 11am-4pm, during the UC Berkeley Fall and Spring Semesters.

The Magnes acquired the Roman Vishniac Archive in 2018, thanks to an unprecedented gift by the late Mara Vishniac Kohn (1926-2018). The collection is comprised of thousands of original prints, negatives, and archival materials documenting the long international career of Roman Vishniac (1897-1990), a Russian-born modernist photographer most notable for documenting Eastern-European Jewish life in the years immediately preceding the Holocaust. Vishniac’s work has been celebrated in exhibitions and publications since the 1940s. The gift represents one of the most important acquisitions made by The Magnes since its founding in 1962, and one of inestimable value to UC Berkeley for insight and research into 20th-century East European Jewry, and beyond.

As this important collection is being painstakingly processed and documented, The Magnes is beginning to share new findings with the public. An archive of this magnitude is bound to reveal many discoveries, opening up new perspectives on the life and work of a globally recognized photographer, and allowing us to revisit some of the salient moments in his career. A veritable “archive of archives,” the collection also contains among its treasures substantial documentation of some of Vishniac’s early exhibitions.

Location: The Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life

Read More

»
 
 
 
Graduating in Style: Ethnic Diversity at the University of Padua (Italy, 17th century)

Graduating in Style: Ethnic Diversity at the University of Padua (Italy, 17th century)


Fri, Sep 04, 2020 12:00pm to 12:30pm

From our series, "Zooming In: Weekly Curatorial Conversations from The Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life."

Each week, Curators Francesco Spagnolo and Shir Kochavi present insights and connections emerging from the holdings of UC Berkeley's Magnes Collection, one of the largest Jewish museum collections in the world. Throughout the series, guests will join them to explore Jewish art and life, one object at a time. 

Location: Zoom Event

Read More

 
 
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In Real Times. Arthur Szyk: Art & Human Rights (1926-1951)

In Real Times. Arthur Szyk: Art & Human Rights (1926-1951)


9/1/2020 to 12/18/2020

Every week, Tuesday-Friday, 11am-4pm, during the UC Berkeley Fall and Spring Semesters.

Born into a middle-class Polish Jewish family, Arthur Szyk (Łódź, Poland, 1894 – New Canaan, Connecticut, 1951) lived a life framed by two world wars, the collapse of European democracies, and the rise of totalitarianism. A refugee, he ultimately settled in the United States in 1940. Throughout his work as a miniature artist and political caricaturist, he used motifs drawn from religion, history, politics, and culture, pairing extraordinary craftsmanship with searing commentary on a diverse range of subjects including Judaism, the American Revolution, the Second World War, the Holocaust, and the founding of the State of Israel. 

Location: The Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life

Read More

»
«
Souvenirs from Utopia: The Bezalel School of Arts and Crafts in Jerusalem (1906-1932)

Souvenirs from Utopia: The Bezalel School of Arts and Crafts in Jerusalem (1906-1932)

Case Study No. 10
9/1/2020 to 12/18/2020

Every week, Tuesday-Friday, 11am-4pm, during the UC Berkeley Fall and Spring Semesters.

At the turn of the 20th century, under Ottoman rule, Jerusalem was rapidly developing into a center of Jewish cultural activities. The protagonists of this scene were, for the most part, recent East-European Jewish immigrants. They had been inspired to move to Palestine by the emerging Zionist movement, and were eager to shake off the oppressive conditions they had experienced under the Russian Empire. 

Location: The Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life

Read More

»
«
An Archive of Archives: Roman Vishniac's Exhibition History | New York, 1971-72

An Archive of Archives: Roman Vishniac's Exhibition History | New York, 1971-72


9/1/2020 to 12/18/2020

Every week, Tuesday-Friday, 11am-4pm, during the UC Berkeley Fall and Spring Semesters.

The Magnes acquired the Roman Vishniac Archive in 2018, thanks to an unprecedented gift by the late Mara Vishniac Kohn (1926-2018). The collection is comprised of thousands of original prints, negatives, and archival materials documenting the long international career of Roman Vishniac (1897-1990), a Russian-born modernist photographer most notable for documenting Eastern-European Jewish life in the years immediately preceding the Holocaust. Vishniac’s work has been celebrated in exhibitions and publications since the 1940s. The gift represents one of the most important acquisitions made by The Magnes since its founding in 1962, and one of inestimable value to UC Berkeley for insight and research into 20th-century East European Jewry, and beyond.

As this important collection is being painstakingly processed and documented, The Magnes is beginning to share new findings with the public. An archive of this magnitude is bound to reveal many discoveries, opening up new perspectives on the life and work of a globally recognized photographer, and allowing us to revisit some of the salient moments in his career. A veritable “archive of archives,” the collection also contains among its treasures substantial documentation of some of Vishniac’s early exhibitions.

Location: The Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life

Read More

»
 
 
 
 
 
Nature in the Song of Songs: An Early-20th century carpet from Jerusalem

Nature in the Song of Songs: An Early-20th century carpet from Jerusalem


Fri, Sep 11, 2020 12:00pm to 12:30pm

From our series, "Zooming In: Weekly Curatorial Conversations from The Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life."

Each week, Curators Francesco Spagnolo and Shir Kochavi present insights and connections emerging from the holdings of UC Berkeley's Magnes Collection, one of the largest Jewish museum collections in the world. Throughout the series, guests will join them to explore Jewish art and life, one object at a time. 

Location: Zoom Event

Read More

 
 
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In Real Times. Arthur Szyk: Art & Human Rights (1926-1951)

In Real Times. Arthur Szyk: Art & Human Rights (1926-1951)


9/1/2020 to 12/18/2020

Every week, Tuesday-Friday, 11am-4pm, during the UC Berkeley Fall and Spring Semesters.

Born into a middle-class Polish Jewish family, Arthur Szyk (Łódź, Poland, 1894 – New Canaan, Connecticut, 1951) lived a life framed by two world wars, the collapse of European democracies, and the rise of totalitarianism. A refugee, he ultimately settled in the United States in 1940. Throughout his work as a miniature artist and political caricaturist, he used motifs drawn from religion, history, politics, and culture, pairing extraordinary craftsmanship with searing commentary on a diverse range of subjects including Judaism, the American Revolution, the Second World War, the Holocaust, and the founding of the State of Israel. 

Location: The Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life

Read More

»
«
Souvenirs from Utopia: The Bezalel School of Arts and Crafts in Jerusalem (1906-1932)

Souvenirs from Utopia: The Bezalel School of Arts and Crafts in Jerusalem (1906-1932)

Case Study No. 10
9/1/2020 to 12/18/2020

Every week, Tuesday-Friday, 11am-4pm, during the UC Berkeley Fall and Spring Semesters.

At the turn of the 20th century, under Ottoman rule, Jerusalem was rapidly developing into a center of Jewish cultural activities. The protagonists of this scene were, for the most part, recent East-European Jewish immigrants. They had been inspired to move to Palestine by the emerging Zionist movement, and were eager to shake off the oppressive conditions they had experienced under the Russian Empire. 

Location: The Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life

Read More

»
«
An Archive of Archives: Roman Vishniac's Exhibition History | New York, 1971-72

An Archive of Archives: Roman Vishniac's Exhibition History | New York, 1971-72


9/1/2020 to 12/18/2020

Every week, Tuesday-Friday, 11am-4pm, during the UC Berkeley Fall and Spring Semesters.

The Magnes acquired the Roman Vishniac Archive in 2018, thanks to an unprecedented gift by the late Mara Vishniac Kohn (1926-2018). The collection is comprised of thousands of original prints, negatives, and archival materials documenting the long international career of Roman Vishniac (1897-1990), a Russian-born modernist photographer most notable for documenting Eastern-European Jewish life in the years immediately preceding the Holocaust. Vishniac’s work has been celebrated in exhibitions and publications since the 1940s. The gift represents one of the most important acquisitions made by The Magnes since its founding in 1962, and one of inestimable value to UC Berkeley for insight and research into 20th-century East European Jewry, and beyond.

As this important collection is being painstakingly processed and documented, The Magnes is beginning to share new findings with the public. An archive of this magnitude is bound to reveal many discoveries, opening up new perspectives on the life and work of a globally recognized photographer, and allowing us to revisit some of the salient moments in his career. A veritable “archive of archives,” the collection also contains among its treasures substantial documentation of some of Vishniac’s early exhibitions.

Location: The Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life

Read More

»
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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In Real Times. Arthur Szyk: Art & Human Rights (1926-1951)

In Real Times. Arthur Szyk: Art & Human Rights (1926-1951)


9/1/2020 to 12/18/2020

Every week, Tuesday-Friday, 11am-4pm, during the UC Berkeley Fall and Spring Semesters.

Born into a middle-class Polish Jewish family, Arthur Szyk (Łódź, Poland, 1894 – New Canaan, Connecticut, 1951) lived a life framed by two world wars, the collapse of European democracies, and the rise of totalitarianism. A refugee, he ultimately settled in the United States in 1940. Throughout his work as a miniature artist and political caricaturist, he used motifs drawn from religion, history, politics, and culture, pairing extraordinary craftsmanship with searing commentary on a diverse range of subjects including Judaism, the American Revolution, the Second World War, the Holocaust, and the founding of the State of Israel. 

Location: The Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life

Read More

»
«
Souvenirs from Utopia: The Bezalel School of Arts and Crafts in Jerusalem (1906-1932)

Souvenirs from Utopia: The Bezalel School of Arts and Crafts in Jerusalem (1906-1932)

Case Study No. 10
9/1/2020 to 12/18/2020

Every week, Tuesday-Friday, 11am-4pm, during the UC Berkeley Fall and Spring Semesters.

At the turn of the 20th century, under Ottoman rule, Jerusalem was rapidly developing into a center of Jewish cultural activities. The protagonists of this scene were, for the most part, recent East-European Jewish immigrants. They had been inspired to move to Palestine by the emerging Zionist movement, and were eager to shake off the oppressive conditions they had experienced under the Russian Empire. 

Location: The Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life

Read More

»
«
An Archive of Archives: Roman Vishniac's Exhibition History | New York, 1971-72

An Archive of Archives: Roman Vishniac's Exhibition History | New York, 1971-72


9/1/2020 to 12/18/2020

Every week, Tuesday-Friday, 11am-4pm, during the UC Berkeley Fall and Spring Semesters.

The Magnes acquired the Roman Vishniac Archive in 2018, thanks to an unprecedented gift by the late Mara Vishniac Kohn (1926-2018). The collection is comprised of thousands of original prints, negatives, and archival materials documenting the long international career of Roman Vishniac (1897-1990), a Russian-born modernist photographer most notable for documenting Eastern-European Jewish life in the years immediately preceding the Holocaust. Vishniac’s work has been celebrated in exhibitions and publications since the 1940s. The gift represents one of the most important acquisitions made by The Magnes since its founding in 1962, and one of inestimable value to UC Berkeley for insight and research into 20th-century East European Jewry, and beyond.

As this important collection is being painstakingly processed and documented, The Magnes is beginning to share new findings with the public. An archive of this magnitude is bound to reveal many discoveries, opening up new perspectives on the life and work of a globally recognized photographer, and allowing us to revisit some of the salient moments in his career. A veritable “archive of archives,” the collection also contains among its treasures substantial documentation of some of Vishniac’s early exhibitions.

Location: The Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life

Read More

»
 
 
 
 
 
The Social Medium that Once Was: Postcards in the Global Jewish Diaspora

The Social Medium that Once Was: Postcards in the Global Jewish Diaspora


Fri, Sep 25, 2020 12:00pm to 12:30pm

From our series, "Zooming In: Weekly Curatorial Conversations from The Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life."

Each week, Curators Francesco Spagnolo and Shir Kochavi present insights and connections emerging from the holdings of UC Berkeley's Magnes Collection, one of the largest Jewish museum collections in the world. Throughout the series, guests will join them to explore Jewish art and life, one object at a time. 

Location: Zoom Event

Read More

 
 
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In Real Times. Arthur Szyk: Art & Human Rights (1926-1951)

In Real Times. Arthur Szyk: Art & Human Rights (1926-1951)


9/1/2020 to 12/18/2020

Every week, Tuesday-Friday, 11am-4pm, during the UC Berkeley Fall and Spring Semesters.

Born into a middle-class Polish Jewish family, Arthur Szyk (Łódź, Poland, 1894 – New Canaan, Connecticut, 1951) lived a life framed by two world wars, the collapse of European democracies, and the rise of totalitarianism. A refugee, he ultimately settled in the United States in 1940. Throughout his work as a miniature artist and political caricaturist, he used motifs drawn from religion, history, politics, and culture, pairing extraordinary craftsmanship with searing commentary on a diverse range of subjects including Judaism, the American Revolution, the Second World War, the Holocaust, and the founding of the State of Israel. 

Location: The Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life

Read More

»
 
 
 
«
Souvenirs from Utopia: The Bezalel School of Arts and Crafts in Jerusalem (1906-1932)

Souvenirs from Utopia: The Bezalel School of Arts and Crafts in Jerusalem (1906-1932)

Case Study No. 10
9/1/2020 to 12/18/2020

Every week, Tuesday-Friday, 11am-4pm, during the UC Berkeley Fall and Spring Semesters.

At the turn of the 20th century, under Ottoman rule, Jerusalem was rapidly developing into a center of Jewish cultural activities. The protagonists of this scene were, for the most part, recent East-European Jewish immigrants. They had been inspired to move to Palestine by the emerging Zionist movement, and were eager to shake off the oppressive conditions they had experienced under the Russian Empire. 

Location: The Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life

Read More

»
«
An Archive of Archives: Roman Vishniac's Exhibition History | New York, 1971-72

An Archive of Archives: Roman Vishniac's Exhibition History | New York, 1971-72


9/1/2020 to 12/18/2020

Every week, Tuesday-Friday, 11am-4pm, during the UC Berkeley Fall and Spring Semesters.

The Magnes acquired the Roman Vishniac Archive in 2018, thanks to an unprecedented gift by the late Mara Vishniac Kohn (1926-2018). The collection is comprised of thousands of original prints, negatives, and archival materials documenting the long international career of Roman Vishniac (1897-1990), a Russian-born modernist photographer most notable for documenting Eastern-European Jewish life in the years immediately preceding the Holocaust. Vishniac’s work has been celebrated in exhibitions and publications since the 1940s. The gift represents one of the most important acquisitions made by The Magnes since its founding in 1962, and one of inestimable value to UC Berkeley for insight and research into 20th-century East European Jewry, and beyond.

As this important collection is being painstakingly processed and documented, The Magnes is beginning to share new findings with the public. An archive of this magnitude is bound to reveal many discoveries, opening up new perspectives on the life and work of a globally recognized photographer, and allowing us to revisit some of the salient moments in his career. A veritable “archive of archives,” the collection also contains among its treasures substantial documentation of some of Vishniac’s early exhibitions.

Location: The Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life

Read More

»