Help Us Pick This Year’s JM26!

Last December, the Jewish Museum released our first “JM26” – a list of 26 events, ideas, and people that helped define the year’s Jewish cultural zeitgeist. We learned about Pope Francis and his love of Chagall, Justin Bieber’s declaration that Anne Frank would have been a “Belieber,” and that Thanksgiving and Hanukkah could form a wonderfully delicious merger known as “Thanksgivukkah.”

A recent planning meeting for this year’s JM26. Our staff loves BuzzFeed’s Jewish Food Taste Test. What do YOU think should make this year’s list?

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A Kaleidoscopic Perspective on the Jewish Immigrant Experience

At the center of Masterpieces & Curiosities: A Russian-American Quilt, on view at the Jewish Museum through February 15, 2015, hangs one of the most intriguing, charming, and visually intricate objects in our collection. It’s a colorful quilt, originally owned by a Russian Jewish immigrant family. The quilt was assembled in America, incorporating panels probably embroidered in the Old Country. Its majesty and central placement within the gallery encourages visitors to thoroughly examine the beautiful patterns and motifs that make up its decoration.

Installation view of the exhibition Masterpieces & Curiosities: A Russian-American Quilt, August 22, 2014 – February 15, 2015. The Jewish Museum, NY. Photo by: David Heald

The show is part three of our exciting new Masterpieces & Curiosities series. These are intimate essay exhibitions centered on a single work of art from the Museum’s permanent collection. They have already explored a medieval aquamanile ritual handwashing vessel and Diane Arbus’s important photograph A Jewish giant at home with his parents, in the Bronx, N.Y., 1970. A painting by Nicole Eisenman titled Seder and the Alfred Stieglitz photograph The Steerage are among the subjects of future Masterpieces & Curiosities exhibitions.

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Madame’s Moment

Helena Rubinstein in front of a montage of some of the many portraits she commissioned throughout her life, 1958. Helena Rubinstein Foundation Archives, Fashion Institute of Technology, SUNY, Gladys Marcus Library, Special Collections

Helena Rubinstein: Beauty Is Power opened to the public on October 31, marking the first time a museum has explored this fascinating historic figure. Through the cosmetics empire and art collections Rubinstein built, Madame (as she was widely known) helped break down the status quo of taste, blurring boundaries between commerce, art, fashion, beauty, and design. Even in advance of the grand opening, Beauty Is Power had already attracted adulation from the press, including feature coverage in W magazine and The New York Times. Continue reading