The Museum holdings of The Magnes encompass two main areas: Jewish Art and Jewish Life. The Jewish Art collection includes painting and sculpture, photography, works on paper and artist books, as well as digital and mixed media. The Jewish Life collection includes thousands of objects representing personal and family rituals, synagogue and communal life, and the social interactions among Jewish and host communities in the Global Jewish Diaspora throughout history.

These collections are supported by a solid reference library of secondary literature about the role of art in the Jewish cultures and societies of the Global Jewish Diaspora available to curators and researchers, and by the Magnes Institutional Archives, which contain a detailed documentation on the research, exhibitions and public programs created by The Magnes since its inception in 1962.