Pianist Daniel Gortler in Conversation with Victoria Bond

Israeli pianist Daniel Gortler – who performs works by Clara and Robert Schumann and Johannes Brahms today at the Jewish Museum – was recently recorded in conversation with composer-conductor Victoria Bond.

They discuss the close, almost filial relationship between Robert Schumann, the composer, Clara, his wife  a famous concert pianist and also a composer – and Johannes Brahms, who met them as a budding performer-composer and whose incipient greatness already was apparent to the couple. The bond between the Schumanns and Brahms was long and complex, musical and personal.

Gortler and Bond also discuss the works Gortler performs at the Museum, including multiple Romances by Clara Schumann, the Davidsbündlertänze by Robert Schumann, and the Variations and Fugue on a Theme of G.F. Handel by Brahms. Continue reading

Hanukkah in Your Pocket

Light My Fire, the Jewish Museum’s Hanukkah app, lets you celebrate the Festival of Lights wherever you are! The app’s been pretty busy during the off-season and now boasts improved performance and exciting updates for the 2014 holiday. More details after the jump, including links to download on your iOS or Android device!

Continue reading

A Hanukkah Lamp Chosen for This Year’s Festival of Lights

Hanukkah Lamp, Eastern Galicia or western Ukraine, 1752 or 1753. Cast, engraved, and punched copper alloy. The Jewish Museum, gift of Dr. Harry G. Friedman, F 1423

The profusion of flowers on this Hanukkah lamp takes inspiration from both biblical and Eastern European sources. On the arms are blossoms and buds referring to those on the first menorah built for the Tabernacle in the wilderness, as described in Exodus 25: “And thou shalt make a candlestick of pure gold. . . . And there shall be six branches [with] cups made like almond-blossoms . . . a knop and a flower.”

The floral brackets around the base are similar to the reflectors on Ukrainian chandeliers, but function here merely as decoration. They perhaps suggest the metaphor of the menorah as a Tree of Life.

- Susan L. Braunstein, Henry J. Leir Curator

This Hanukkah lamp, selected from our world-renowned collection, will stand in the Skirball Lobby through the celebration of Hanukkah, December 16 – 24, 2014. It was chosen to create a dialogue with Bouquet XI (2014), artist Willem de Rooij’s visually complex floral sculpture, on view in the lobby through April 19, 2015. Be sure to see it on your next visit, and share your photos by using the hashtag #JMHanukkah and tagging @TheJewishMuseum.