Zooming In

August 11, 2020

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.

This event is organized by the Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life and presented by UC Berkeley College of Letters & Science, Division of Arts & Humanities as part of the Arts & Ideas Live Online! series.

Francesco Spagnolo is a multidisciplinary scholar focusing on Jewish studies, music, and digital media. At the University of California, Berkeley, he is the Curator of The Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life and an Associate Adjunct Professor in the Department of Music. Among his publications are Italian Jewish Musical Traditions (Rome-Jerusalem, 2001) and The Jewish World: 100 Treasures of Art and Culture (New York, 2014).

Shir Gal Kochavi, Assistant Curator at The Magnes, is an art historian with extensive expertise in provenance research and the history of collecting. In 2017, she received her PhD from the University of Leeds, UK after completing a MA in The History of Business of Art and Collecting from the Institut d’Études Superieures des Arts, Paris (2008). Her professional experience includes assistant positions in art and antiques galleries, and leading the provenance research department at the Company for Location and Restitution of Holocaust Victims’ Assets in Israel.

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 Its remarkably diverse archive, library and museum holdings include art, objects, texts, music, and historical documents about the Jews in the Global Diaspora and the American West.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 both to researchers and to the general public. The holdings of The Magnes continue to grow. Recent acquisition highlights include the Taube Family Arthur Szyk Collection, and the gift of the Roman Vishniac Archive.

Manuscript [89.0.3]: Shiviti Amulet, Morocco, 19th Century

Friday, August 21, 2020 at Noon

Hebrew Amulets

Practical Magic (and Health Insurance) in Early-Modern Times

Arthur Szyk, Do Not Forgive Them

Friday, August 28, 2020 at Noon

Arthur Szyk and The Right to America

Friday, September 4, 2020 at Noon

Graduating in Style

Ethnic Diversity at the University of Padua (Italy, 17th century)

Carpet inscribed in Hebrew after Song of Songs

Friday, September 11, 2020 at Noon

Nature in the Song of Songs

An Early 20th Century Carpet from Jerusalem

Friday, September 25, 2020 at Noon

The Social Medium that Once Was

Postcards in the Global Jewish Diaspora

Portrait of Theresa Ehrman Jelenko by Sarah Samuel Stein 1906

Friday, October 2, 2020 at Noon

From San Francisco to Paris (and Back)

Theresa Ehrman and the Stein Family

Friday, October 9, 2020 at Noon

On Hitler’s Balcony

Historian Koppel Pinson in Europe (1945-1946)

Friday, October 16, 2020 at Noon

Pushing Buttons, Old and New

Prayers Shawls, Karaite Jews, and Subversive Rituals (with artist Nicki Green)

Porcelain table service inscribed with the monogram "NC"

Friday, October 23, 2020

En Route

A Porcelain Set Between Paris, Istanbul and Berkeley

Friday, October 30, 2020 at Noon

A Silent Presence

Female representations in synagogue textiles

Friday, November 6, 2020 at Noon

Beyond the Photo Archive

Reconstructing The Concerns of Roman Vishniac (1971) at The Magnes

Friday, November 13, 2020 at Noon

Old Craft – New Media

Gabriella Willenz’s Bezalel-inspired Leaning Towers series

Friday, November 20, 2020 at Noon

Jewish Resistance

The many contexts of a 1905 painting by Lazar Krestin

Friday, December 4, 2020 at Noon

Birth Certificates in Cloth

Ritual Textiles for the Jewish Life Cycle

Friday, December 11, 2020 at Noon

Displaying Identity, Protecting Oneself

(What do we learn from) The shape of Hanukkah lamps

Friday, December 18, 2020 at Noon

Hanukkah and Survival

A “Displaced Persons” Workshop in Germany, 1945

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