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.
We are pleased to introduce a 3D virtual tour of the Skirball Museum’s core exhibition, An Eternal People: The Jewish Experience, as well as a 3D virtual tour of our recent exhibition, Striking Medals: 50 Years of the Jewish-American Hall of Fame. These tours are not intended to replace an actual visit to the Skirball Museum—rather to entice you to experience the museum in real time! This opportunity for virtual touring comes at a very good time, however, as the Skirball’s core exhibition and temporary exhibition space are currently undergoing renovation.
During this time of closure, please enjoy this Gallery Guide, which offers text and images about the works of art that are on display throughout Mayerson Hall while the Skirball's core collection is closed for renovation.