The Skirball Museum in Cincinnati has a long history as one of the oldest repositories of Jewish cultural artifacts in America. The first stage in the museum's development lasted for nearly a century, beginning when Hebrew Union College (HUC) opened in Cincinnati, Ohio in 1875 and over time began accepting donations of Judaic objects and books. In 1913, the College's Union Museum was founded with the assistance of the National Federation of Temple Sisterhoods, becoming the first formally established Jewish museum in the United States. In the 1920s, the collections rapidly expanded with the purchase of several significant private collections of Judaica, including those of Salli Kirchstein, Joseph Hamburger, and Louis Grossman. In 1950, HUC merged with the Jewish Institute of Religion (JIR).
In 1990, The Skirball Museum Cincinnati opened in the newly renovated Mayerson Hall, presenting its core exhibit An Eternal People: The Jewish Experience, comprised of seven thematic galleries that portray the cultural, historical, and religious heritage of the Jewish people.
Jewish American Heritage Month at the Skirball Museum
In celebration of Jewish American Heritage Month, a national commemoration of the contributions that American Jews have made to the fabric of our nation’s history, culture, and society that takes place each May, the Skirball Museum will highlight some of the artwork in its collections created by American Jewish artists. The Klau Library will display books and posters featuring Jewish American achievements, with special focus on American Jews in medical research which is the theme for the May 2017 celebration.
During the month of May, visitors to the Skirball will be able to self- guide through the featured works, which range from sculpture and paintings to textiles and works on paper by nineteenth and twentieth century American artists. According to Skirball Museum director Abby Schwartz, “this month of celebration of the achievements of American Jews offers the opportunity to reflect on the values of inclusion, acceptance, and religious liberty that this country holds dear. We are delighted to showcase the rich resources of the Skirball Museum and Klau Library in support of this national month of commemoration.”
May 2017: Skirball Museum Has New Board for Membership Campaign. Read more >
May 2017: 'Rembrandt and the Jews' Exhibit at HUC-JIR. Read more >
April 2017: Klau Library and Skirball Museum Celebrate Jewish American Heritage Month. Read more >
March 2017: Scoop :60 | Rembrandt at Skirball. Watch the video >
March 2017: Rembrandt and the Jews: The Berger Print Collection Exhibition Opening. Read more >
March 2017: An Exhibit Of Rembrandt Etchings Now Open At The Cincinnati Skirball Museum. Read more >
March 2017: Rembrandt’s Close Relationship with the Jews. Read more >
March 2017: Movers & Makers Cincinnati: Cultural Exhibits. Read more >
February 2017: [Video] Cincinnati Skirball Museum and "Rembrandt and the Jews." Watch the video >
February 2017: Rembrandt and the Jews: Berger Print Collection Coming to Skirball Museum. Read more >
December 2016: Skirball Museum Announces Current and Upcoming Exhibitions and Public Programs. Read more >
October 2016: Skirball Museum Honors Judy Lucas. Read more >
December 2015: Skirball Museum Tells Story of Jewish History, Especially in America. Read More >
November 2015: Skirball Museum Begins to Open "Ten Treasures" Collection to the Public. Read more >
May 5, 2015: B’nai B’rith International and Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion Skirball Museum Partner to Establish New Home for Distinctive Art Collection. Read more >
February 2016: Showcase with Barbara Keller: Skirball Musuem of Art. Read more >