About The Magnes

About The Magnes Collection

In 2010 the Judah L. Magnes Museum became The Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life at the University of California, Berkeley. As one of the preeminent Jewish collections in the world, it provides accessible resources to scholars, students, and visitors. Its remarkably diverse archive, library and museum holdings include art, objects, texts, music, and historical documents about Jews in the Global Diaspora including the American West.

Founded in Berkeley in 1962 by Seymour and Rebecca Camhi Fromer, the former Judah L. Magnes Museum was one of the first Jewish museums in the United States. Reflecting the guiding concerns of American Jewry after the Holocaust, the museum focused on preserving the legacy of vanishing communities around the world.

The founding of the museum paralleled the establishment of Jewish studies as an academic field. The Magnes Collection joined UC Berkeley’s College of Letters and Science within the Division of Arts and Humanities. Along with Berkeley’s Center for Jewish Studies and the Helen Diller Institute for Jewish Law and Israel Studies, The Magnes is part of a robust center of Jewish research, scholarship, and teaching.

The Magnes Collection has continually expanded the canon of Jewish cultural history, integrating visual, musical and material cultures with traditional text-focused research. Learn more about the history of The Magnes.

The Magnes and the University

The Magnes is a part of the Division of Arts and Humanities at the University of California, Berkeley.

The Magnes Museum Foundation

The Magnes Museum Foundation promotes the well being of the Magnes Collection at the University of California, Berkeley. The Foundation holds an endowment on behalf of The Magnes Collection. It funds special projects and contributes annually to The Magnes Collection.

Scholarly Board of Advisors

The Scholarly Board of Advisors support a robust program of exhibitions and research.

Staff

The Magnes Collection has a professional staff noted for its engagement with students, researchers, and visitors.

Latest News

News about The Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life. Learn about exhibitions, programs, events, and collection highlights.

Magnes is now part of the Museums for All access program

Magnes is now part of the Museums for All access program

[Berkeley]—The Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life joins its campus peers BAMPFA, Lawrence Hall of Science, and UC Botanical Garden in participating in Museums for All, a signature access program of the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS),...

The Magnes Collection Annual Report 2023

The Magnes Collection Annual Report 2023

Thank you, on behalf of the entire team at the Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life, for supporting our work and sustaining the museum as one of the preeminent Jewish collections in the world! Among our many accomplishments during this landmark year from July 2022...

Press Room

The Magnes welcomes inquiries from the press. For articles about collections and exhibitions, and other related inquiries, please contact Laura Bratt at lbratt@berkeley.edu.

Newsletters

The Magnes Collection’s “What’s On” e-newsletter provides up-to-date news about the collection, exhibitions, and programs.

Education

As one of the preeminent Jewish collections in the world, the Magnes connects students of all backgrounds with the vibrancy and diversity of Jewish life in the global diaspora and the American West through its holdings of art, objects, texts, and music.

Students looking at postcards and manuscripts.

Education Engagement and Resources

Resources and digital media to help bring Jewish Art and Life into the classroom.

Memory Project

Undergraduate Research Apprenticeship Program (URAP)

Offering an opportunity to earn academic credit and gain experience in the arts

Join The Magnes Team

The Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life is a public-facing museum on the University of California, Berkeley campus that conducts research, presents programming, and develops original exhibitions sourced from its collections of art, objects, texts, and music. The Magnes offers a dynamic environment that values creativity, teamwork and collaboration both within the museum and campus-wide.

The Magnes provides a number of ways in which museum professionals, scholars, students, and the community can work with the collection and its resources related to Jewish art, culture, and life.

Memory Project

Careers at The Magnes

See what positions are currently open at The Magnes and become and integral part of our mission.

Volunteer at The Magnes

Volunteer

Help The Magnes bring our exciting exhibitions and programs to the community.

The Magnes Auditorium

Venue Rental

The Magnes offers designated spaces available for private and corporate events, during and after public hours.

FAQ

When are The Magnes galleries open?

The Magnes museum is open during UC Berkeley's fall and spring semester. The galleries are closed during winter and summer break. Admission is free.

Can I take public transportation to The Magnes?

The Downtown Berkeley BART station is located just around the block from The Magnes, on Shattuck Avenue between Allston Way and Addison Street.

The following bus lines stop in Downtown Berkeley:

AC Transit Bus lines including 6, 7, 18, 51B, 52, 65, 67, 79, 88, 800, 851, and F

Bear Transit: C, P, RFS

Where can I park?

Two- and four-hour metered street parking is available in downtown Berkeley and is payable by credit or debit card. Nearby paid parking garages include the Allston Way Parking Garage (between Shattuck and Milvia), the Oxford Parking Garage (on Kittredge west of Oxford), and the Center Street Garage (at 2025 Center Street, accessible from Center or Addison Streets).

Please note The Magnes cannot guarantee availability of parking and that many parking lots near campus are either unavailable or charge special event pricing during major campus events, including Cal athletic events. View the latest athletics schedule here.

Is the museum accessible by wheelchair?

The Magnes Collection’s front lobby, galleries, and auditorium are all accessible by wheelchair. Staff will assist if required.

Learn more about accessibility at The Magnes.

What is The Magnes's service animal policy?

Service animals are always allowed on campus grounds and in campus buildings, including in The Magnes.

A service animal is a dog or miniature horse that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for persons with disabilities. Dogs that solely provide companionship, comfort, and emotional support are not considered service animals under the ADA.

More information on University policy regarding service animals.

Does the Magnes participate in the Museums for All program?

Yes, the Magnes participates in Museums for All, a program that provides free or reduced admission to families who are a part of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) or Women, Infants and Children (WIC) Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) cards.

Admmission is free with no need for reservations. Just come in during museum hours.

Museums for All is a national access program that encourages individuals of all backgrounds to visit museums regularly and build lifelong museum habits.

How do I gain access to the collection for research or other academic purposes?

Appointments with the Florence Helzel Collection Study to view select holdings for research or other academic or educational purposes may be made two weeks in advance of intended use.

For further information regarding collection access and use of the Florence Helzel Collection Study, refer to the Collection Services Page.

May I take photographs in the museum?

Still photography for noncommercial, personal use is permitted, unless otherwise noted in the galleries. The use of tripods and camera extension poles is prohibited.

How do I receive The Magnes Collection's What's On Newsletter?

To get up-to-date information about our upcoming programs and exhibitions, please sign up for our mailing list and receive our monthly newsletter sent right to your inbox.

Do you still have a question?

If you can’t find the answer to your question, you can always contact us.