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.

In Global Transit: Forced Migration of Jews and other Refugees (1940s-1960s)

When: 
Mon, May 20, 2019 4:00pm to 8:00pm
Tue, May 21, 2019 9:00am to 3:00pm
Wed, May 22, 2019 9:00am to 5:00pm

In Global Transit Forced Migration of Jews and Other Refugees (1940s – 1960s)
May 20 – 22, 2019
German Historical Institute | Pacific Regional Office at the University of California, Berkeley
Second Conference in the Series “In Global Transit” organized by the German Historical Institutes in Washington and London
In cooperation with the Max Weber Stiftung Branch Offices in Delhi and Beijing, and The Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life, University of California, Berkeley

Conveners: Wolf Gruner, USC Shoah Foundation Center for Advanced Genocide Research, Los Angeles; Simone Lässig, German Historical Institute Washington; Francesco Spagnolo, The Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life, UC Berkeley; Swen Steinberg Queen's University, Kingston

In Global Transit: Forced Migration of Jews and other Refugees (1940s-1960s)

When: 
Mon, May 20, 2019 4:00pm to 8:00pm
Tue, May 21, 2019 9:00am to 3:00pm
Wed, May 22, 2019 9:00am to 5:00pm

In Global Transit Forced Migration of Jews and Other Refugees (1940s – 1960s)
May 20 – 22, 2019
German Historical Institute | Pacific Regional Office at the University of California, Berkeley
Second Conference in the Series “In Global Transit” organized by the German Historical Institutes in Washington and London
In cooperation with the Max Weber Stiftung Branch Offices in Delhi and Beijing, and The Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life, University of California, Berkeley

Conveners: Wolf Gruner, USC Shoah Foundation Center for Advanced Genocide Research, Los Angeles; Simone Lässig, German Historical Institute Washington; Francesco Spagnolo, The Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life, UC Berkeley; Swen Steinberg Queen's University, Kingston

In Global Transit: Forced Migration of Jews and other Refugees (1940s-1960s)

When: 
Mon, May 20, 2019 4:00pm to 8:00pm
Tue, May 21, 2019 9:00am to 3:00pm
Wed, May 22, 2019 9:00am to 5:00pm

In Global Transit Forced Migration of Jews and Other Refugees (1940s – 1960s)
May 20 – 22, 2019
German Historical Institute | Pacific Regional Office at the University of California, Berkeley
Second Conference in the Series “In Global Transit” organized by the German Historical Institutes in Washington and London
In cooperation with the Max Weber Stiftung Branch Offices in Delhi and Beijing, and The Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life, University of California, Berkeley

Conveners: Wolf Gruner, USC Shoah Foundation Center for Advanced Genocide Research, Los Angeles; Simone Lässig, German Historical Institute Washington; Francesco Spagnolo, The Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life, UC Berkeley; Swen Steinberg Queen's University, Kingston

The Sixteenth Annual Judith Lee Stronach Memorial Lecture on the Teaching of Poetry

When: 
Sun, May 19, 2019 3:00pm to 6:00pm

Almog Behar is a poet, novelist, and critic. Born in 1978, Behar now lives in Jerusalem. He has published three books of poetry: Zim'on Be'erot (Well's Thirst, 2008), Chut Moshekh Min Ha-Lashon (A Thread Drawing from the Tongue, 2009) and Shirim Le-Asirei Batei-Ha-Sohar (Poems for the Prisoners, 2016); a collection of short stories, Ana Min Al-Yahoud (I am on one of the Jews, 2009); and one novel, Chahla ve-Hezkel (Rachel and Ezekiel, 2010) that was translated into Arabic and published in Cairo in 2016.

17th Annual Holocaust Remembrance Day

When: 
Sun, Apr 28, 2019 11:30am to 1:30pm

The City of Berkeley announces the 17th Annual Holocaust Remembrance Day Program honoring survivors, and remembering those who were murdered, those who resisted, and those who rescued victims of the Holocaust.

Over 11 million people were targeted for extermination by the Nazis, including 6 million Jews, Roma people, Poles, people with mental and physical disabilities, homosexuals, political dissidents, communists, socialists and dissenting clergy.

The Herman P. and Sophia Taubman Chair in Jewish Studies 2019 Taubman Lectures

When: 
Tue, Apr 09, 2019 7:00pm
Thu, Apr 11, 2019 7:00pm
Tue, Apr 16, 2019 5:30pm

Lecture One: Tuesday, April 9, 7pm: Freud, Anna O., and the Linguistic Architecture of the Modern Jewish Self

Lecture Two: Thursday, April 11, 7pm: A Different Diaspora: Translation, Dispersion, and the Rewriting of Psychoanalysis in Jewish Languages

Lecture Three: Tuesday, April 16, 5:30pm: Weinreich's "Freud Laboratory": The Yiddish Translation and Reception of Psychoanalysis (Reception follows.)

The Herman P. and Sophia Taubman Chair in Jewish Studies 2019 Taubman Lectures

When: 
Tue, Apr 09, 2019 7:00pm
Thu, Apr 11, 2019 7:00pm
Tue, Apr 16, 2019 5:30pm

Lecture One: Tuesday, April 9, 7pm: Freud, Anna O., and the Linguistic Architecture of the Modern Jewish Self

Lecture Two: Thursday, April 11, 7pm: A Different Diaspora: Translation, Dispersion, and the Rewriting of Psychoanalysis in Jewish Languages

Lecture Three: Tuesday, April 16, 5:30pm: Weinreich's "Freud Laboratory": The Yiddish Translation and Reception of Psychoanalysis (Reception follows.)

The Herman P. and Sophia Taubman Chair in Jewish Studies 2019 Taubman Lectures

When: 
Tue, Apr 09, 2019 7:00pm
Thu, Apr 11, 2019 7:00pm
Tue, Apr 16, 2019 5:30pm

Lecture One: Tuesday, April 9, 7pm: Freud, Anna O., and the Linguistic Architecture of the Modern Jewish Self

Lecture Two: Thursday, April 11, 7pm: A Different Diaspora: Translation, Dispersion, and the Rewriting of Psychoanalysis in Jewish Languages

Lecture Three: Tuesday, April 16, 5:30pm: Weinreich's "Freud Laboratory": The Yiddish Translation and Reception of Psychoanalysis (Reception follows.)

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