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Past Exhibits

Here is a history of exhibitions at Jewish Museum Milwaukee:
JUNE 16 – AUGUST 27

Celebrate the creative contributions, imaginative mind and indelible legacy of the beloved artist, teacher, Milwaukee community member and consummate observer, Adolph Rosenblatt. From paintings and drawings, to bronze cast works, ceramic figures, sculptural tableaus and large-scale installations, Adolph’s pieces offer a unique window into both historical and contemporary life. The layers of visual depth which comprise his work reveal the expressive spontaneity of his philosophy and process.

Moments & Markers, a retrospective exhibit, explores the people, places and unscripted occurrences that make Milwaukee exceptional, as well as the headlines and global events Adolph captured for perpetuity through his unique vision and lens.

Learn more about this exhibit>>

 February 17 – May 28

Esther Nisenthal Krinitz was 15 when she defied Nazi orders, separating from her family as they and the other Jews of their Polish village reported to a nearby train station. Making their way to a village where they were unknown, Esther and her younger sister survived the war by posing as Polish farm girls. They never saw their family again.

Fifty years later, determined to show her daughters the family she had lost, Esther turned to needle and thread to create a series of 36 hauntingly beautiful, exquisitely detailed works of fabric collage and embroidery – a legacy born of love, loss, and the sheer force of memory.

Learn more about this exhibit>>

April 20 – May 23, 2017

Places can be deceiving. Where grass and trees now grow were once scenes of unspeakable horror — killing grounds where more than 2 million human beings were murdered solely for their religion or ethnic heritage. Without our memory, those places and times will be forgotten. In conjunction with Yahad – In Unum (Together – In One),  the Milwaukee Jewish  Federation presented Holocaust by Bullets, a special exhibition detailing the work to preserve the memories and places in the former Soviet Union where the Nazis killed more than 2.2 million Jewish and Roma people.

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September 14, 2016 – January 8, 2017

Inspired by seventeenth-century Dutch still-life paintings, Sheboygan-based artist Beth Lipman creates large-scale, three-dimensional interpretations in glittering glass. We are delighted to bring this mid-career retrospective to Wisconsin to celebrate a local Jewish artist with national reach. Organized by the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts.

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June 2 – August 28, 2016

Since the 1920s, the game of mah jongg has ignited the popular imagination with its beautiful tiles, mythical origins, and communal spirit. Come learn the history and meaning of the beloved game that became a Jewish-American tradition. Jewish Museum Milwaukee is excited to bring this acclaimed traveling exhibit for its Midwest debut. This exhibit was curated and circulated by the Museum of Jewish Heritage-A Living Memorial to the Holocaust, New York.

Learn more about this exhibit>>

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February 7 – May 15, 2016

Considered the greatest 20th century illuminator, in the originally curated exhibit, Arthur Szyk: The Art of Illumination, Jewish Museum Milwaukee explored Szyk’s career as a leading political caricaturist in America during World War ll. Through this survey of Szyk’s impressive and eclectic body of work, JMM addressed aspects of important Jewish historical events and highlighted the capacity of art to affect social change.

Learn more about this exhibit>>

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October 4, 2015 – January 17, 2016

This exhibit, curated by Jewish Museum Milwaukee, explored how Jews came to Argentina, focusing on the similarities and differences to Milwaukee’s history. We demystify the Jewish experience in Argentina and provide historical context for immigration, community development and anti-Semitism.

Learn more about this exhibit>>

29 Apr 1947, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA --- Original caption: 4/29/1947-Philadelphia, PA: Hank Greenberg, first baseman, is shown connecting for a third inning homer against Blue Jays. Seminick is the catcher and Barr is the umpire. --- Image by © Bettmann/CORBIS

29 Apr 1947, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA — Original caption: 4/29/1947-Philadelphia, PA: Hank Greenberg, first baseman, is shown connecting for a third inning homer against Blue Jays. Seminick is the catcher and Barr is the umpire. — Image by © Bettmann/CORBIS

Chasing Dreams

June 10, 2015 -September 7, 2015

Chasing Dreams celebrated baseball and the many fans, players, and characters who helped shape our American story. Every triumph and defeat, every hero on and off the field, has become another chapter in the history we all share. And for immigrants and minority groups especially, it has played a crucial role in understanding, and sometimes challenging, what it means to be American.Jewish Museum Milwaukee celebrated baseball with a core interactive exhibit from the National Museum of Jewish American History in Philadelphia and locally borrowed memorabilia.

Learn more about this exhibit>>

Image from Founders and Visionaries exhibit at Jewish Museum Milwaukee

Founders & Visionaries

March 15 – May 31, 2015

This exhibit explored four Jewish artists whose work as both teachers and artists changed the Wisconsin art scene.Whether it be Joseph Friebert’s social realism, Fred Berman’s introduction of abstract expressionism into a Regionalist-dominated Midwest, Aaron Bohrod’s rediscovery of still-life art for his generation, or Alfred Sessler’s lithographs and innovative “reduction block” method, Wisconsin’s twentieth-century Jewish artists made their mark as true founders and visionaries.Programs included:

  • Trip to artist Beth Lipman’s studio and to the Museum of Wisconsin Art in West Bend
  • Studio tour with Nina and Richard Edelman
  • Joseph Friebert: The Artist as Social Conscious
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Stitching History from the Holocaust

September 14, 2014 – March 1, 2015

Prague 1939: A True Story of Talent Lost. Paul and Hedy Strnad are trapped as the Nazis close in. Can Hedy’s dress designs and their cousin in Milwaukee help them to get to the United States?All efforts failed. Hedy and Paul perished in the Holocaust, but there memory lives on in the letter and sketches which form the core of this haunting exhibit. Come and experience Hedy’s designs brought to life.This blockbuster exhibit was covered in The New York Times and an award-winning documentary was created by Milwaukee Public Television. The exhibit received the American Association of State and Local History History in Progress (HIP) Award, one of three awarded nationally.Learn more at our Stitching History From the Holocaust website.  This is exhibit is also available to travel.

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Jews Who Rock: 60 Years of Jews in Rock-N-Roll

April 27 – August 10, 2014

This exciting exhibit examined the Jewish influences in rock and roll and popular music through representational sampling of the countless singers, songwriters, musicians, concert promoters and record company executives who worked on stage and behind the scenes to build a musical foundation and rich legacy which continues to thrive today. This exhibit was created by Art Visions.
Programs included:

  • U-Rock Concert and Lecture Series with the Peck School of the Arts
  • Roots of Jewish Rock with Steve Palec
  • Jewish Entrepreneurship in Rock with Jonathan Pollack
  • School of Rock Family Concert
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Andy Warhol: 10 Portraits of Jews of the Twentieth Century

December 15, 2013 – March 30, 2014

Depicting noted individuals from various disciplines, these brightly-colored creations feature historical figures and renowned luminaries of Jewish culture. Warhol’s large scale portraits allude to the grandiosity associated with fame while establishing an intimacy between subject and viewer.
Programs included:

  • Exploration of Warhol’s Minyan with Professor James Yood
  • Printmaking Workshops
  • Lecture on Louis Brandeis with Professor J. Gordon Hylton.
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From Push Carts to Professionals: The Evolution of Jewish Business in Milwaukee

August 18 – December 1, 2013

Whether they continued to practice a trade from the Old Country or started from scratch in the New World, Jews made an impact on the business community in Milwaukee. Factors such as the Depression, World War II and the GI Bill affected the workforce and career paths. From the fruit and vegetable filled carts pushed down cobbled streets to major corporations, this exhibit will explore the nearly 170-year history of Milwaukee Jewish business and its diversity through moving stories, artifacts and oral histories. This exhibit was on display from September to December 2013.

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Felix Lembersky: Soviet Form, Jewish Context

March 14 – July 14, 2013

Felix Lembersky’s art (b. Lublin, Poland, 1913; d. Leningrad, 1970) takes the viewer on a journey through the Jewish experience in the Soviet Union. His canvases capture a complex world where life, faith, and the creative spirit persevere amid war and state-sponsored terror. Educated under both the Soviet avant-garde and the formative years of Socialist Realism, Lembersky realigned realist and modernist forms to create emotionally charged and thought-provoking imagery that served as a viable alternative to state-mandated art.
Programs Included:

  • Members Opening and Reception with Yelena Lembersky
  • Fine Arts Quartet Concert
  • Soviet Art and Culture after Stalin with Professor Christine Harris
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Revealed: Private Collections from the Jewish Community

December 16, 2012 – February 28, 2013

Collections provide insight into history, curiosities, experience, personal passions and values. The Jewish Museum Milwaukee showcased fine art, Judaica and memorabilia from local collectors. Many of the pieces on display will make their public debut in this exhibit. See hidden treasures from throughout the Jewish community revealed!
Programs Included:

  • A Behind the Scenes Look at the Milwaukee Art Museum’s Grete Marks Exhibition and Other Jewish Artists of the Bauhaus with curator, Mel Buchanan
  • Jewish Identity in the Arts with Professor Doug Rosenberg
  • Appraisers’ Fair
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Exclusionary Mesures: Mount Sinai Hospital & Brynwood Country Club

August 19 – November 25, 2012

Faced with anti-Semitism, Jewish immigrants created institutions to address employment, health care, education and recreation. This exhibit explored the ongoing legacies of Mount Sinai Hospital and Brynwood Country Club, organizations that affected the Jewish and greater community of Milwaukee.
Programs Included:

  • The History of Mt. Sinai: The Merging and Changing of Hospital Policies and Practices
  • Back at Brynwood Community Reception
  • Immigration and Labor Unions in America with Professor Tony Micheals
  • Excluded or Excluder: Three-part discussion series
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Mazel Tov! A Celebration of Jewish Weddings

May 13 – July 31, 2012

Tradition and Change – Symbolism and Celebration. The Jewish wedding has been a foundation of Judaic religion and culture since Biblical times. The act of uniting a bride and groom is considered a mitzvah, or good deed and demonstrates the commitment of two people to each other as well as to the Jewish people. While customs central to the wedding date back centuries, younger generations have created new traditions reflective of their lives.
Programs Included:

  • Screening of Match & Marry

One: Jewish Photographic Portraits by Arnold Newman

December 25, 2011 – March 30, 2012

This exhibit explored the work of Arnold Newman through his Jewish subjects. He is considered to be the father of environmental photography. In his six decade career, he was able to capture people from diverse backgrounds and professions in their element.Programs Included:

  • “Facing the Camera: Photography and Portraiture”with curator, Lisa Hostetler
  • Landscape of the Lens and Beyond: Portrait Photography Mini Course
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Midred Fish Harnack: The Story of a Wisconsin Woman’s Resistance

Through artistic and historical displays, the Jewish Museum Milwaukee presented the life and work of this Milwaukee hero. Come and learn this fascinating story of personal courage and the difference one individual can make by standing up in the face of adversity.
Programs Included:

  • Lecture with Mildred Fish Harnack Biographer, Shareen Blair Brysac
  • Premier Screening of Wisconsin’s Nazi Resistance: The Mildred Fish-Harnack Story

This exhibit is available to travel.
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The Children of Israel Journeyed: Selections from the Chagall Bible Series

March 6 – June 6, 2011

The exhibit included twenty-one etchings by Marc Chagall, on loan from the Haggerty Museum of Art at Marquette University and displayed alongside the monumental Chagall tapestry which hangs in the Museum atrium.

    Programs Included:

  • Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra Performance
  • Lecture series with Marquette Professor Diedre Dempsey and Haggerty curator Lynn Shumow
  • Print-making Workshop at RedLine Milwaukee
Growing Up Milwaukee: Camping
August – December 2010
Growing Up Milwaukee: Youth Groups
August – December 2009