The Jewish Museum's collection spans more than 4,000 years through nearly 30,000 objects, including painting, sculpture, photography, decorative arts, ceremonial objects, antiquities, works on paper, and media. Viewed through a contemporary lens, the collection is a mirror of Jewish identities past and present. In Scenes from the Collection, art and Jewish cultural objects are presented together, affirming universal values that are shared among people of all faiths and backgrounds.
Scenes from the Collection will be divided into different sections, or scenes, highlighting the diversity and depth of the collection. Each one reveals the ways in which the presentation of art and history are shaped by context and perspective. The dynamic installation will present the collection as a powerful expression of artistic and cultural creativity as well as a reflection of the continual evolution that is the essence of Jewish identity. This unique mix of art and ceremonial objects speaks of the many strands of Jewish tradition, culture, spirituality, and history. The stories the works of art tell will illuminate multiple perspectives on being Jewish in the past and present, how Jewish culture intersects with art, and how it is part of the larger world of global interconnections.
The exhibition will also explore the history of the Museum's collection itself over the more than 100 years of its existence. Key episodes in the origins of the collection will be highlighted in texts scattered through the galleries considering what, why, and how the Museum has collected and what this says about the changing identity of the institution, and evolving intersections of art, Jewish culture, and world events.