October 23, 2014–Ongoing
Based on the Talmudic study principle of havruta—the study of religious texts by people in pairs—In That Case at The CJM encourages learning through fellowship for Bay Area artists, established professionals, museum staff, and the entire CJM community. Capitalizing on the unique Jewish perspective inherent to The Museum, this program will take the practice of havruta and repurpose it for the contemporary art community. Each local artist invited to participate in In That Case will be given the opportunity of working with an established writer, scientist, thinker, or academic in a field of their choosing. The resulting collaborations will be presented here in the Sala Webb Education Center.
September 18, 2014–Ongoing
The Contemporary Jewish Museum celebrates the legacy of one of San Francisco’s greatest and most beloved benefactors in a new exhibition Hardly Strictly Warren Hellman. Warren Hellman (1934–2011) was an investment banker, philanthropist, musician, and music enthusiast who believed in the importance of community arts. Among a host of business and philanthropic accomplishments, Hellman may now be best recognized for the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival (HSB), which he founded in 2001. Held annually in Golden Gate Park, the free festival draws more than 700,000 people.
Co-presented with Reboot, this interactive installation allows visitors to contribute their own Six-Word Memoir to a live stock ticker on view in the lobby of The CJM. Take a seat on our Arne Jacobsen swan sofa and use Twitter on your smart phone to instantly add your Six-Word Memoir to the live feed. The Reboot installation on Jewish life is based on SMITH Magazine’s Six-Word Memoirs, a project inspired by Ernest Hemingway’s legendary shortest of short stories, “For sale: baby shoes, never worn.” This succinct form has become a powerful tool to catalyze conversation, spark imagination, or simply break the ice.
October 23, 2014–February 1, 2015
Arnold Newman (1918–2006) was one of the most productive, creative, influential and successful portrait photographers of the twentieth century. With great sensitivity and care, he incorporated the personal environment, the work, and the intellectual background of the subject in his photographs. For Newman, creating a successful portrait was a question of camera, lighting, film, and the cropping of a picture. His metaphorical studies of famous artists, creative professionals, scientists, intellectuals, and statesmen are formally and conceptually balanced compositions. Martha Graham, Philip Johnson, Marilyn Monroe, Grandma Moses, Salvador Dali, Max Ernst, and Pablo Picasso are only a few of his celebrated sitters. With his poignant and symbolic portraits, Newman set high artistic and aesthetic standards.
Through October 28, 2014
Since the 1920s, the game of mah jongg has ignited the popular imagination with its beautiful tiles, mythical origins, and communal spirit. It is a game more widely known than played or understood, and it is a true cultural hybrid. With roots in China, it made a lasting impression on American audiences and became closely linked with Jewish women beginning in the 1930s. The exhibition explores the fascinating history of the game and its impact on cultural identity, fashion and style. The exhibition provides insight into the history and imagery of the game and explores connections between Chinese and Jewish cultures and includes dozens of artifacts — scorecards, aprons, packages, tiles — chronicling both the commercial legacy and social history of the game. Project Mah Jongg was curated and is circulated by the Museum of Jewish Heritage—A Living Memorial to the Holocaust, New York.