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Archive for the 'Exhibitions' Category

Collection Maps: A Day at The Magnes

On the occasion of the upcoming publication of The Jewish World: 100 Treasures of Art and Culture from The Magnes (forthcoming by Skirà/Rizzoli, texts by Alla Efimova and Francesco Spagnolo), I thought I’d share my summary of a day at The Magnes. From the Curator’s Afterword: Inhabiting the curatorial responsibilities of The Magnes Collection at [...]

Drawing us into Rachel Marker’s world with images

What goes into the staging of an exhibition–especially one like Through the Eyes of Rachel Marker? By Lisa Wurtele Let’s peek behind the scenes into the search for images to enhance the visitor’s understanding of Rachel Marker’s world. “Moira and Alla knew they wanted a textural and contextual backdrop – a progression of stills and [...]

Dispatches from the Magnes Working Group on Modern Jewish Culture: An Inquisition Effigy Doll

The Working Group on Modern Jewish Culture is an exciting new initiative of The Magnes, supported by the Townsend Center for the Humanities at the University of California, Berkeley. The Working Group meets monthly, and benefits from the participation of faculty, Magnes curators, and graduate students in Jewish Studies and other area studies. Its ongoing [...]

Spanish Work: Translating the Magnes Collection

As if on an “autopilot” of sorts, I have been continuously adapting (and at times, translating) collection information created over the decades at The Magnes from a German-dominated view of Jewish life to a more, how can I say, ecumenical one. (That is to say, one that reflects a more current state of Jewish studies [...]

With a Little Help From Your Colleagues. Creating and Archiving Exhibitions With Collaborative Digital Tools

In this post, I am presenting a step-by-step description of how the recent exhibition of The Magnes, Gained in Translation: Jews, Germany, California circa 1849 (on view in the Rotunda Gallery of The Bancroft Library at the University of California, Berkeley, until July 1st), was created, and its information archived online, with the help of [...]

The Good Things To Come: Findings from the Museum Collection Storage

Greetings from my new home at the Bancroft and Happy Holidays! These days and months, preparing for the visible storage of the Magnes Collection in its future home in downtown Berkeley, I am busy researching art and artifacts in the art storage facility where the collection will be kept until its move. Quite prophetically, a [...]

Closer To Home: A Cultural History of Jews in California (Casden Institute’s Annual Review, vol. 7)

Congratulations to the Casden Institute for the Study of the Jewish Role in American Life (USC) for publishing the seventh volume of its Annual Review (August 2010). A Cultural History of Jews in California, edited by Bruce Zuckerman with William Deverell (guest editor) and Lisa Ansell (associate editor) covers a topic that is defined as [...]

Jews of the Fillmore Opening Celebration

Jewish Standard Time did not apply to the Jews of the Fillmore opening celebration. Guests excitedly entered the Jazz Heritage Center before its officially posted time, perusing through the exhibition while greeting friends. After settling in, some guests opted to take the Guide by Cell tour, walking around the neighborhood on the particularly balmy afternoon, [...]

Shahrokh Yadegari, Ann Hamilton’s Tower and Oliver Ranch

The day began with the usual stress of an event manager – trying to make sure that the day is starting out well for our 50-plus guests, and that the day can continue to unfold as though it was all effortless. Even as we arrived at Oliver Ranch and began to get a glimpse of [...]

Magnes on the Road – Archives, Libraries, and Museums Unite!

I just returned from the American Association of Museums Annual Conference in Philadelphia. Our session, “Bridging the ALM Divide: An Integrated Archive-Library-Museum Approach for Hybrid Institutions”, highlighted an important project the Magnes is currently working on. The Magnes has a large collection of objects in the museum, a significant amount of documentary materials in the archives, and a significant holding of thousands of rare books and manuscripts. Over the years, these materials have not been cataloged consistently, nor has it been at all easy for researchers to discover related materials across the whole institution. In response to this problem, we decided to adopt a new type of collection management system to help us catalog materials in one centralized database, but according to the professional standards museum, archive, and library materials require.