Programs History

The Magnes has a fifty-year history of presenting exhibitions that break new ground in Jewish Studies research, build upon the collaboration between curators and UC Berkeley faculty and students, expand Judaica connoisseurship, introduce under-recognized Jewish artists of the 20th century, and take risks with experimental projects by contemporary artists. Many of its exhibitions drawn on selections from its extensive collections, or commissioned works that use the collections as inspiration. 

This page is a growing archive of the exhibition history of the institution since its founding in 1962. The description of each exhibition is augmented by texts and label texts, images, press releases, links to press coverage and artists and contributors websites.

Visitors to the website who have been involved with any of the exhibitions created by the former Judah L. Magnes Museum and wish to contribute additional materials are encouraged to do so, reaching out to our staff through our contact information page.

Around Arthur Szyk: Berkeley Scholars on Art and History

When: 
Tue, Oct 23, 2018 5:30pm
Tue, Nov 27, 2018 5:30pm

The Taube Family Arthur Szyk Collection comprises hundreds of artworks, sketches, illustrated books, and archival documents created between two world wars and documenting the rise of totalitarianism in Europe. Szyk’s work touches on motifs drawn from the Bible, history, politics, and culture to pair extraordinary craftsmanship with searing commentary on a diverse range of subjects including Judaism, the American War of Independence, the Second World War, the Holocaust, and the founding of the State of Israel.

Around Arthur Szyk: Berkeley Scholars on Art and History

When: 
Tue, Oct 23, 2018 5:30pm
Tue, Nov 27, 2018 5:30pm

The Taube Family Arthur Szyk Collection comprises hundreds of artworks, sketches, illustrated books, and archival documents created between two world wars and documenting the rise of totalitarianism in Europe. Szyk’s work touches on motifs drawn from the Bible, history, politics, and culture to pair extraordinary craftsmanship with searing commentary on a diverse range of subjects including Judaism, the American War of Independence, the Second World War, the Holocaust, and the founding of the State of Israel.

Pogrom: Kishinev and the Tilt of History | Steven Zipperstein (Stanford) in conversation with John Efron (UC Berkeley)

When: 
Thu, Sep 13, 2018 5:30pm

This event is free and open to the public

Please RSVP here

Pogrom: Kishinev and the Tilt of History (Liveright/WW Norton, 2018) by Steven Zipperstein will be available for purchase through Mrs. Dalloway's bookstore after the event.

In April, 1903, 49 Jews were killed, 600 were raped or wounded, and more than 1,000 Jewish-owned houses and stores were ransacked and destroyed during three days of violence in the town of Kishinev. So shattering were the aftereffects of this rampage, that one historian remarked that it was “nothing less than a prototype for the Holocaust itself.”

Recounted in lurid detail by newspapers throughout the Western world, and covered sensationally by America’s Hearst press, the pre-Easter attacks seized the imagination of an international public, quickly becoming the prototype for what would become known as a “pogrom,” and providing the impetus for efforts as varied as The Protocols of the Elders of Zion and the formation of the NAACP. Using new evidence culled from Russia, Israel, and Europe for his new book, Pogrom: Kishinev and the Tilt of History (Liveright/WW Norton, 2018), distinguished historian Steven J. Zipperstein brings  historical insight and clarity to a much-misunderstood event.

Fall 2018 Opening Reception | Pièces de Résistance & Project “Holy Land”

When: 
Tue, Sep 04, 2018 5:00pm

 

The Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life

cordially invites you to an opening reception for
its two new exhibitions

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

&

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

Tuesday, September 4, 2018 at 5 pm

2121 Allston Way, Berkeley

Irvin Ungar on Arthur Szyk: Soldier in Art

When: 
Wed, May 02, 2018 12:00pm to 1:00pm

In 2017, The Magnes acquired from Irvin Ungar, a private collector, the most significant collection of works by Arthur Szyk (Łódź, Poland, 1894 – New Canaan, Connecticut, 1951)  thanks to an unprecedented gift from Taube Philanthropies. Szyk’s works are now available to the world in a public institution for the first time as the Taube Family Arthur Szyk Collection.

Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett on Theatre of History: Presenting the Past in American Jewish Museums

When: 
Mon, Apr 16, 2018 6:30pm to 9:00pm

Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett (POLIN Museum, Warsaw, and NYU) on 
Theatre of History: Presenting the Past in American Jewish Museums

Monday, April 16, 6:30pm
Presented by GTU Center for Jewish Studies, in collaboration with The Magnes, UC Berkeley

The 2018 Taubman Lectures | Annette Yoshiko Reed: "Forgetting the Jewish Past between Rupture and Renewal"

When: 
Mon, Mar 12, 2018 7:00pm
Wed, Mar 14, 2018 7:00pm
Thu, Mar 15, 2018 5:30pm

The Herman P. and Sophia Taubman Chair in Jewish Studies

invite you to the 2018 Taubman Lecture Series by Professor Annette Yoshiko Reed, NYU.

Lecture 1
What Was Lost with the Dead Sea Scrolls
When: Monday, March 12, 7:00 p.m.

The 2018 Taubman Lectures | Annette Yoshiko Reed: "Forgetting the Jewish Past between Rupture and Renewal"

When: 
Mon, Mar 12, 2018 7:00pm
Wed, Mar 14, 2018 7:00pm
Thu, Mar 15, 2018 5:30pm

The Herman P. and Sophia Taubman Chair in Jewish Studies

invite you to the 2018 Taubman Lecture Series by Professor Annette Yoshiko Reed, NYU.

Lecture 1
What Was Lost with the Dead Sea Scrolls
When: Monday, March 12, 7:00 p.m.

The 2018 Taubman Lectures | Annette Yoshiko Reed: "Forgetting the Jewish Past between Rupture and Renewal"

When: 
Mon, Mar 12, 2018 7:00pm
Wed, Mar 14, 2018 7:00pm
Thu, Mar 15, 2018 5:30pm

The Herman P. and Sophia Taubman Chair in Jewish Studies

invite you to the 2018 Taubman Lecture Series by Professor Annette Yoshiko Reed, NYU.

Lecture 1
What Was Lost with the Dead Sea Scrolls
When: Monday, March 12, 7:00 p.m.

The Gallery & the Archive

When: 
Wed, Feb 21, 2018 5:30pm to 7:00pm

Free and open to the Public

Join David Wilson, Greg Niemeyer and Nicki Green, three contemporary artists who, in recent years, have interacted with The Magnes Collection and contributed to exhibitions that intersect new works with art and artifacts from the collection itself, in a conversation about art, creativity, archives, and memory, moderated by Francesco Spagnolo.

Opening Reception l High Holy Days at the Luna Park: Show-card Posters from the Firschein Press & The Karaite Canon: Manuscripts and Ritual Objects from Cairo

When: 
Wed, Jan 31, 2018 5:00pm to 7:00pm

The Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life cordially invites you to an opening reception for its two new exhibitions:

High Holy Days at the Luna Park: Show-card Posters from the Firschein Press, Brooklyn, NY, 1920–1974 
&
The Karaite Canon: Manuscripts and Ritual Objects from Cairo 

OPENING REMARKS
George Breslauer, Faculty Director, The Magnes
Francesco Spagnolo, Curator, The Magnes

MAGIC SPELLS | A Final Meeting with Victoria Hanna, Francesco Spagnolo and the Students in the UC Berkeley Course, “Jewish Nightlife”

When: 
Mon, Dec 11, 2017 12:30pm to 2:00pm

Free and Open to the Public 

 

Join Schusterman Visiting Artist Victoria Hanna, Professor Francesco Spagnolo, and the students in his UC Berkeley course, Jewish Nightlife, for a final presentation of their work.

MAGIC SPELLS: A Weekly Performance Series Featuring Victoria Hanna and Hebrew Amulets from The Magnes Collection

When: 
Tue, Oct 24, 2017 5:30pm to 7:00pm
Tue, Oct 31, 2017 5:30pm to 7:00pm
Tue, Nov 07, 2017 5:30pm to 7:00pm
Tue, Nov 14, 2017 5:30pm to 7:00pm
Tue, Nov 21, 2017 5:30pm to 7:00pm
Tue, Nov 28, 2017 5:30pm to 7:00pm
Tue, Dec 05, 2017 5:30pm to 7:00pm

Free and open to the public

Meet Victoria Hanna and watch as she develops MAGIC SPELLS, a new performance repertoire based on Hebrew amulets in The Magnes Collection.