Jewish Museum (Thursday Doors)

aging in place

paths of other lives well-worn–
of layered movement,
other steps repeated, present–
lives remembered, reborn,
well-worn–renewed and also ancient

The Jewish Museum was originally located in the library of the Jewish Theological Seminary on the Upper West Side. In 1944, Frieda Schiff Warburg, the widow of financier Felix Warburg, donated the family mansion to the museum to house its growing collection. Landmarked in 1981, the mansion was designed in the French Gothic chateau style by architect Charles P H Gilbert in 1908. It is one of the few surviving residences from the early 1900s on upper Fifth Avenue.

It was the first Jewish Museum in the United States, and holds the largest collection of Jewish art and culture outside of Israel. I visited a few weeks ago to see the “New York 1962-1964” exhibit. In the 1960s, the museum was a leader in exhibiting contemporary art, and this show contains over 150 artists working in the city at the time who were exhibited here.

The interior contains doors that look just like you would expect doors to look in a Victorian Age mansion. But somehow it works with all kinds of art. In the photo below, you can see in the far room the video of Walter Cronkite giving the news that JFK had been assassinated. The exhibit contained videos, music, dance, poetry, and cultural references as well as visual art.

Here’s a different view through a door into another room.

And here’s a beautiful emergency exit door.

I really like this museum because it’s not too large, it’s never too crowded, and they curate their exhibits so well. There was of course work by many artists I was familiar with, but I was glad to make the acquaintance of some new ones too.

Martha Edelheit
Carolee Schneeman
Emma Amos

My poem is in the Emmett form, for Muri’s scavenger hunt.

You can visit the Jewish Museum website here.

And as always look for more doors and share your own here at Thursday Doors, hosted by Dan Antion.

About memadtwo

For more madness, follow me on Instagram @h_zimel methodtwomadness is a blog of two friends, Nina and Kerfe kblog is Kerfe's solo branch on the tree

32 responses to “Jewish Museum (Thursday Doors)”

  1. ben Alexander says :

    *applause* ~ I love that museum!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. D. Avery @shiftnshake says :

    I always enjoy your Thursday tour of the city. Thank you for opening these doors of this museum! I would definitely check this out, should I ever get back to the city for a visit.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Dan Antion says :

    Thank you for sharing a museum I need to add to my list of places to visit in the city. The doors and the artwork behind them are beautiful.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. murisopsis says :

    I love the poem – so appropriate for this museum (so many lives overlapping and intertwined within its walls). I love the look of the doors and exterior but my thought then turned to dusting! I cannot imagine that as a residence unless I had an army of housekeepers!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Ingrid says :

    I love the look of this building: it must be a fascinating museum!


  6. Suzette Benjamin says :

    A beautiful building. Wow, the architecture is stunning. A beautifully decorative emergency exit…quite a unique door.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. merrildsmith says :

    Beautiful building and museum. It sounds like a wonderful museum to visit.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. robertawrites235681907 says :

    Hi Kerfe, your poem is a good fit for this post and I just love these carved doors. Gorgeous.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Teagan Riordain Geneviene says :

    Kerfe, your poem is beautiful. And this museum — it’s breathtaking. Hugs on the wing.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. sunhesper says :

    This is the first museum I will visit whenever I make it to NYC, for all of the reasons you mention here. You wrote a beautiful tribute to a national treasure. Iā€™m happy for them that they ended up in such a fascinating home!

    Liked by 1 person

    • memadtwo says :

      Thanks Sun. They had an interactive Leonard Cohen exhibit a few years ago with a big video room of his performances of the same songs morphing back and forth through time that was spectacular. They really take care with every show.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Frank @ Beach Walk Reflections says :

    That is quite the stately building with a wonderful collection of doors! Thanks for introducing me to it.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. D. Wallace Peach says :

    What a beautiful building. I love it when places like this are generously donated and become homes to art and culture for all to enjoy. ā¤

    Liked by 1 person

  13. boundlessblessingsblog says :

    Marta your poem is superb and what awesome building. Too good.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. msjadeli says :

    Gorgeous looking place. Thanks for sharing its history and examples of some of the art. Those carved wooden doors are enough to take the breath away.

    Liked by 1 person

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