Feb 13, 2020–Jan 10, 2021
In 1873, at the end of the California Gold Rush, Levi Strauss & Co., named for a Bavarian Jewish dry goods merchant in San Francisco, obtained a U.S. patent with tailor Jacob Davis on the process of putting metal rivets in men’s denim work pants to increase their durability. It was the birth of the blue jean.
Feb 13, 2020–Feb 28, 2021
This exhibition draws extensively from the holdings of The Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life (University of California, Berkeley) and showcases a variety of textiles in use by San Francisco Jewish community members during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.
The Contemporary Jewish Museum commissioned artwork by Sacramento-based artist Dave Lane to be placed in its soaring lobby space. The massive sculpture, entitled Lamp of the Covenant, is a 90-foot-long, six ton work suspended high over the heads of visitors. Attached to an enormous oval of steel are antique objects: world globes, light bulbs, tools such as nineteenth century apple peelers and blow torches, and various other objects that suggest the unfolding marvels of the cosmos.
The teen years are instrumental in the development of a sense of self. They are also a critical time in the creation of what psychologists from the Family Narrative Lab at Emory University call the “intergenerational self”—a self embedded in a larger family history.
What shapes us? Which family histories become our core stories? How do we make them our own? Over fifty teens, ranging in age from twelve to nineteen years old, created audio works reflecting on these questions and exploring themes including migration, language, rebellion, persistence, and passion.