October 22—December 21, 2014
In celebration of FOTOFOCUS, the works of three important Cincinnati photographers are being featured at the Skirball Museum and the American Jewish Archives on the historic campus of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion.
In 1957 George S. Rosenthal (1922–1967) was commissioned by the Cincinnati Historical Society to document the architectural history of the West End before major disruption of the neighborhood occurred with the construction of Interstate 75.
Over a 30-year period Daniel J. Ransohoff (1921–1993) created a remarkable photographic record of Cincinnati’s disadvantaged in neighborhoods across the city, including the West End.
As a photographer for The Catholic Telegraph and The American Israelite, Ben Rosen (1913-2008) captured unique snapshots of life in the Queen City during rapidly changing times, including the visit of Charles Lindbergh to Lunken Airport in 1927 and chilling photos of the devastation of the 1937 flood.
The exhibition of photographs will be augmented by documents and memorabilia provided by the families of the photographers. In conjunction with the Skirball and American Jewish Archives exhibitions, the Klau Library will display a selection of books by and about Jewish photographers. All venues are located at 3101 Clifton Avenue.
On view through June 22, 2014
At the Opening Reception, scholar and writer Peter Nash described how he became interested in American expatriate artist Moses Ezekiel, and told of his adventures in Rome when he traveled there to find and explore the places in which Ezekiel lived and worked. Nash is the author of the newly published book, The Life and Times of Moses Jacob Ezekiel: American Sculptor, Arcadian Knight, in which he describes Ezekiel as a Sephardic Jew, a homosexual, Confederate soldier, Southern apologist, opponent of slavery, patriot, expatriate and artist of international fame in the fin-de-siècle world of artists and intellectuals. After his lecture, Nash signed copies of his book, which will be for sale at the event.
The intimate exhibition at the Skirball grew out of a recently acquired gift of works by Moses Ezekiel and his circle from the artist's great-nephew Lee Striker, explains Abby Schwartz, the museum’s interim director. These works, mostly on paper but including three oil paintings by members of the artist’s circle and Ezekiel’s sculpting tools, complement the three bronze and marble pieces already in the museum's collection. "We are delighted to have Peter Nash to discuss his book and describe his journey in words and images into Ezekiel’s world in Rome,” says Schwartz. “Nash is a descendent of the artist, and did much of his research here in Cincinnati. We look forward to welcoming him back to share his insights and give context to the small but choice group of works on view in this spotlight exhibition.”
On view June 2 through June 22, 2014
Jewish immigration from the former Soviet Union to Germany grew enormously during the same period when Russian Jews flocked to Israel. Starting with some 28,000 Jews in 1990, by 2005 Germany had added over 200,000 Jews. In response to this trend, the German Foreign Ministry has created a multi-media exhibit of photographs and films that relate the experiences of contemporary German Jews in different walks of life. Viewers will see and hear how survivors, entertainers, educators, journalists, business people, teenagers, entrepreneurs, and rabbis are shaping Jewish life in Germany today.
The exhibit begins with five panels that provide historical context and demographic information about Jews in Germany. Many of the panels feature QR (quick response) codes that allow smart phone users with the appropriate application to access additional audio-visual content. A kiosk in the gallery offers three short films produced specifically for the exhibition.
The Cincinnati showing of Jewish Life in Germany Today is co-sponsored by the Skirball Museum on the campus of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion; the Jewish Community Relations Council of the Jewish Federation of Cincinnati; the Consulate General of the Federal Republic of Germany, Chicago; and the American Jewish Committee.
On view through February 27, 2014
Shlomo-Zalman Dov-Baruch Schatz (1867-1932), who later changed his first name to Boris, was a renowned sculptor and founder of the Bezalel Academy in Jerusalem. He was born in the town of Vorno, near the Lithuanian city of Vilna and studied at Vilna’s School of Drawing and later received work as a drawing teacher. The Jewish sculptor Mark Antokolsky had a strong influence on Schatz’s work and on his decision to specialize in sculpture. Schatz came to believe that art should have a high degree of realism that expressed the authentic “Jewishness” of the characters it depicted. He was involved off and on with the Zionist movement. His most important work, Mattathias the Maccabee, is known today only in photographs. In 1905, in what was then Palestine, Schatz founded what is now the Bezalel Academy of Art and Design in Jerusalem. “Schatz is better known as the founder of the Bezalel School of Arts and Crafts than for his own work as an artist,” says Abby Schwartz, Interim Director of the Skirball Museum. “I am delighted to be able to bring together in one space these works in a variety of media. This is an exciting opportunity to explore Schatz’s artistic versatility and his contributions as a sculptor and painter.”
Pictured: Boris Schatz, Who Will Pity You, Oh Jerusalem, and Who Will Give You Peace?, bronze relief, ca. 1920, Skirball Museum, HUC-JIR/Cincinnati
On view February 3 – March 31, 2013
An Exhibit of wood block prints and exploratory drawings by Alexi Natchev, as published in The Elijah Door, a children’s book by Linda Leopold Strauss.
Whether immediate and visceral, or detailed and sophisticated, every picture book illustration starts with thumbnail sketches, diagrams, and rough ideas. Even the simplest published page is the culmination of a vast amount of trial and error. This exhibit peels away the page to take a look at the inspirational material, failed ideas, and sparks that are eventually harnessed to produce the successful children’s illustrations for the book The Elijah Door. View over 30 original hand-colored prints, hand carved wood blocks and preparatory drawings for an original Passover folk tale.
On view September 10, 2012 - December 31, 2012
A Blessing to One Another is a multi-media exhibit of photos, videos and artifacts documenting the pontiff’s unique life long relationship with the Jewish People. In the course of his papacy, John Paul 11 shattered the chain of 2,000 years of painful history between Catholics and Jews, becoming the first pope ever to visit a synagogue, the first pope to officially recognize the State of Israel and the first pope to formally engage in the act of repentance for the Catholic Church’s historical treatment of the Jews. This interactive experience that allows visitors to follow in John Paul II’s footsteps through the four major periods in the pope’s life: his childhood ; his years as a student in Krakow during World War II; his ministry as priest, bishop and cardinal; and his papacy. At the end you are invited to affirm this unique relationship by offering your own prayer at a replica of Jerusalem’s Western Wall.