Scene + Heard: Security Guard

The Jewish Museum is known to have pretty tight security, but for good reason! We value our art, our visitors and our staff. Our museum guards are essential for ensuring that everyone has an enjoyable and safe experience each time they visit.

So, meet Carl. He has been a guard at The Jewish Museum for twelve years. Although he says he fell into his position here because of a recommendation, Carl has now come to appreciate art and culture in a new way. His favorite part of working at The Jewish Museum is getting a privileged inside look at the art world through his job. Carl says he has learned a lot since beginning his work at The Jewish Museum. The most challenging aspect is dealing with the public which can also be a rewarding experience as well.

Indeed, Carl is somewhat picky about the art that he likes. He enjoys figurative painting much more than abstract art. He believes that a high level of skill and technique are necessary for the creation of great art. Carl’s favorite work at The Jewish Museum is Isidor Kauffman’s detailed Portrait of Isidor Gewitsch c. 1900 that can be viewed in the galleries and the online collection. One of the memorable exhibitions at The Jewish Museum for Carl was the 1999 John Singer Sargent: Portraits of the Wertheimer Family. He was fascinated by the photographic quality of Sargent’s paintings.

Outside of The Jewish Museum, Carl races mountain bikes downhill and was even ranked second in 2008 of all the downhill bikers in New York State. Carl is also a devoted Yankees fan and the coach of The Jewish Museum Lions staff softball team. Carl grew up racing bicycles and playing baseball and notes that the Lions are a great core group.

Image Credit: Isidor Kaufmann (Austrian, b. Hungary, 1853-1921). Portrait of Isidor Gewitsch, c. 1900. Oil on panel, 18 1/16 x 14 5/8 in. (45.9 x 37.1 cm). The Jewish Museum, New York. Gift of Mr. and Mrs. M.R. Schweitzer, JM 3-63.

Scene + Heard is an ongoing blog series profiling Jewish Museum staff. We often hear questions such as the above from our friends and visitors. These profiles provide a behind-the-scenes glimpse of our 9 to 5 lives. Please feel free to send us questions for future profiles to info(at)thejm.org.

Shira Dickstein, Marketing Intern, conducted the interview and wrote this article.