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Jewish Museum, Manhattan

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Basic Information

Location 40.7854°N 73.9575°W
Phone number +1 212-423-3200
Country United States
City New York City
Address 1109 5th Ave, New York, NY 10128, United States

General Information

Open to visitors yes
Need appointment no
Handicap accessibility no
Website http://www.thejewishmuseum.org/
Geographical Coordinates 40.78537,-73.95758


The Jewish Museum of New York, an art museum and repository of cultural artifacts, is the leading Jewish museum in the United States. With over 26,000 objects, it contains the largest collection of art and Jewish culture outside of museums in Israel. The museum is housed at 1109 Fifth Avenue, in the former Felix M. Warburg House, along Museum Mile on the Upper East Side of Manhattan in New York City. While its collection was established in 1904 at the Jewish Theological Seminary of America, the museum did not open to the public until 1947. It focuses both on artifacts of Jewish history and on modern and contemporary art. Its permanent exhibition, Culture and Continuity: The Jewish Journey, is supplemented by rotating exhibitions and special exhibitions.

History and time period

The collection that seeded the museum began with a gift of 26 Jewish ceremonial art objects from Judge Mayer Sulzberger to the Jewish Theological Seminary of America on January 20, 1904, where it was housed in the seminary's library. The collection was moved in 1931, with the Seminary, to 122nd and Broadway and set aside in a room entitled 'The Museum of Jewish Ceremonial Objects'. The collection was subsequently expanded by major donations from Hadji Ephraim Benguiat and Harry G. Friedman. In January 1944, Frieda Schiff Warburg, widow of philanthropist Felix M. Warburg (d.1937), donated the family mansion as a permanent home for the museum, and the site opened to the public as 'The Jewish Museum' in May 1947. The building was expanded in 1963 and by architect Kevin Roche in 1993. In the 1960s, the museum took a more active role in the general world of contemporary art, with exhibitions like Primary Structures, which helped to launch the Minimalist art movement. In the decades since, the museum has had a renewed focused on Jewish culture and Jewish artists. From 1990 through 1993, director Jane Rosenbaum led the project to renovate and expand the building and carry out the museum’s first major capital campaign, of $60 million. The project, designed by architect Kevin Roche, doubled the size of the museum, providing it with a seven-story addition. In 1992, the Jewish Museum and the Film Society of Lincoln Center teamed up to create The New York Jewish Film Festival, which presents narrative features, short films and documentaries. Today, the museum also provides educational programs for adults and families, sponsoring concerts, films, symposia and lectures related to its exhibitions. Joan Rosenbaum had been the museum's director since 1981 until her retirement in 2010. In 2011 the museum named Claudia Gould as its new director.

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