Exhibitions

The exhibitions of The Magnes highlight the treasures of one of the world’s preeminent Jewish museum collections. By combining museum practice, research, and instruction, they present to the public the results of engaging collaborative projects led by UC Berkeley faculty, students, visiting scholars, artists, and curators. Each exhibition is accompanied by programs connecting academic life and the public interest.

Galleries are open every week from Tuesday through Friday, 11am-4pm, and on evenings and weekends during public events. Entrance is free.

The annual exhibition schedule follows UC Berkeley's Academic Calendar, with openings in the Fall and Spring semesters of each year.


Please note that our galleries are closed during Winter and Summer Breaks. Check our Calendar for a detailed schedule. During gallery closure times, The Magnes remains open for research on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday each week (except during holiday curtailment time, Dec. 23-Jan. 2nd). For further information about collection access, consult the Collection Services Page of this website.

The Worlds of Arthur Szyk | The Taube Family Arthur Szyk Collection

On View: 
May 10, 2017 to May 31, 2018
Aug 28, 2018 to Dec 14, 2018

This exhibition will be continuing in the fall.  

Acquired by The Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life in 2017 thanks to an unprecedented gift from Taube Philanthropies, the most significant collection of works by Arthur Szyk (Łódź, Poland, 1894 – New Canaan, Connecticut, 1951) is now available to the world in a public institution for the first time as the Taube Family Arthur Szyk Collection.

The Karaite Canon: Manuscripts and Ritual Objects from Cairo

On View: 
Jan 23, 2018 to Jun 29, 2018
Aug 28, 2018 to Dec 14, 2018

In 1971, Seymour Fromer (1922-2009), founder of The Magnes, led an expedition to Cairo, Egypt. The Karaite Canon highlights a selection from the over fifty manuscripts he brought to California, along with ritual objects belonging to Cairo’s Karaite community. At the time, the aim of The Magnes was to salvage unique documents during a period of great turmoil in the Middle East.

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

On View: 
Aug 28, 2018 to Dec 14, 2018

This exhibition will be continuing in Spring 2019. 

Notions of resistance, alongside fears and realities of oppression, resound throughout Jewish history. As a minority, Jews express their political aspirations, ideals of heroism, and yearnings of retaliation and redemption in their rituals, art, and everyday life.

Centering on coins in The Magnes Collection, this exhibition explores how the Jewish revolts against Hellenism and the Roman occupation of Palestine (Judaea Capta) echo from antiquity into the present.

Project “Holy Land”: Yaakov Benor-Kalter’s Photographs of British Mandate Palestine, 1923-1940

On View: 
Aug 28, 2018 to Dec 14, 2018

For nearly two decades, Yaakov (Jacob) Benor-Kalter (1897-1969) traversed the Old City of Jerusalem, documenting renowned historical monuments, ambiguous subjects in familiar alleyways, and scores of “new Jews” building a new homeland. Benor-Kalter’s photographs smoothly oscillate between two worlds, and two Holy Lands, with one lens.

Memory Objects: Judaica Collections and Global Migrations

On View: 
Jan 29, 2019 to Dec 13, 2019

Over five hundred ritual objects, books, and manuscripts, acquired half a century ago in 1968 from the Siegfried S. Strauss Collection, comprise the foundational Judaica collection of The Magnes today. Memory Objects: Judaica Collections and Global Migrations brings these materials to light comprehensively for the first time, and also interrogates the formation of private and public Judaica collections in Europe during the great refugee crisis of the interwar period. The First World War uprooted millions across Europe, and beyond.

Keepsakes from Utopia: The Bezalel School of Arts and Crafts in Early 20th-century Jerusalem

On View: 
Aug 27, 2019 to Jun 26, 2020

At the turn of the 20th century, under Ottoman rule, Jerusalem—to the west of the Old City—became a hotbed of Jewish cultural activities. The protagonists of this scene were, for the most part, East-European Jews, eager to shake off the oppressive conditions they had experienced in the Russian Empire.