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.
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.