Envisioning Maps

Envisioning Maps

Lynne Avadenka
Tony Berlant
Harriete Estel Berman
Doug Beube
Josh Dorman
Susan Erony
Ayana Friedman
Janet Goldner
Leslie Golomb
Melissa Gould
Archie Granot
Barbara Green
Maty Grünberg
Karen Gunderson
Jane Hammond
Burt Hasen
Tamar Hirschl
Gillie Holme
Mike Howard
William Kentridge
Joyce Kozloff
Iris Levinson
David Newman
Marc Petrovic
Mark Podwal
Archie Rand
Irit Rosenberg
Ben Schachter
Paula Scher
Peter Sis
Ann Sperry
Mel Watkins
Paul Weissman


Published in conjunction with the exhibition

Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion Museum
September 2, 2008- February 6, 2009

Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion Museum
Jean Bloch Rosensaft
Laura Kruger
Judy Becker, Phyllis Freedman, Nancy Mantell
Elizabeth McNamara Mueller
Katie Moscowitz
Sylvia de la Piedra, Ariella Kaplan, Lauren Koffler, Scott Lipschitz, Caryn Schuster, Hanoch Sheps

© Copyright 2008 Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system
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ISBN 1-884300-16-2

Printed in the United States of America in 2008 by
Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion
Brookdale Center, One West 4th Street
New York, NY 10012-1186

Mel Watkin
Acrylic, ink, colored pencil on map, 20 1/8″ x 31″

Paula Scher
Acrylic on canvas, 92″ x 65″
Courtesy of Maya Stendhal G



Laura Kruger
Curator, Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion Museum

Seen from the vast distance of outer space, the whirling sphere we inhabit – the planet Earth – is a swirl of elusive colors, seas, Sahara’s, mountain ranges, division-less and

unified. Close up, there is an overlaid network of arbitrary boundaries and every conceivable form of sectioning and fragmentation. The great problems of the distribution of space – the unequal qualities of land, water, and other natural resources – lead to the miseries of starvation and war. However, the exhilaration of exploring terra incognita, the spaces on earth that have not yet been imprinted, is filled with anticipation, dreams, and enormous opportunities.

Maps as visual propaganda have been used since ancient times for numerous political and social reasons. The earliest known surviving map is a Mesopotamian clay tablet dating from c. 3000 B.C.E. that delineated agricultural fields. Navigational maps, both nautical and of the sky, were perhaps the earliest notated guides from place to place, although few have survived. Today we have Global Positioning Satellites and other systems to guide our journeys. NASA provides us with aerial maps of every global centimeter at every nano-second of time.

Deuteronomy 27:17 clearly encourages Jews to regard seriously acknowledged boundaries when it says “Cursed be he who removes his fellow countryman’s landmark.” Preservation of boundary markers was from the earliest times an established community responsibility. Jewish maps define more than places of Jewish ownership: they encompass the places where Jews once lived and were forced out by pogroms, inquisitions, and the Shoah. They include the maps of memory of immigrants, Biblical Israel, and modern Israel.

Envisioning Maps is a selection of paintings and sculptures by contemporary American and international artists who use actual maps as well as the concept of maps in their art. Their concerns include the thrust of historical events, the threat of ecological disaster, political and social justice issues, migration, immigration, and fantasy.

Joyce Kozloff uses maps as the foundation for structures in which she inserts a range of issues, particularly the role of cartography in human knowledge and as an imposition of imperial will. Doug Beube’s globe studded with matches alludes to the potential for world conflagration, while Paul Weissman depicts the path of the toxic clouds covering Europe and North America following the Chornobyl disaster. David Newman’s anthropomorphic beasts balance on the scraps of maps as they battle for dominance.

Mike Howard’s monumental depiction of the Assassination of Trotsky pulls us into the orbit of presumed world domination; the overturned globe is as explicit as the dead Russian ideologist. The idea of domination is chillingly brought home by Melissa Gould’s map, New York, 1945, in which every New York City street is named as if the Nazis had prevailed and it was Berlin. The threat of Nazi victimization is chillingly felt in Tamar Hirschl’s Exodus II, a map of France, in which flight is no longer possible. Karen Gunderson has provided us with the pitch black night sky as it appeared to Jews being rowed to safety on the night of October 1, 1943 from Denmark to Sweden, guided by the stars to their destiny. Working with maps is a hallmark of William Kentridge and in Der Sudliche Sternhimmel, the two dark silhouettes marching across the map of the constellations imply the flight of outcasts or refugees.

Israel’s distinctive map appears in a number of works and that of Paula Scher staggers the viewer with an avalanche of names, places, statistics, and demographic information, plumbing the depth of the full meaning of the word ‘map.’ Maty Grünberg, using layers of handmade paper, depicts the aging of the state of Israel – not only the natural erosion of the land but the numerous etched lines of the altered borders, which create a physical and psychological portrait. Archie Rand superimposes an intense portrait of the visionary leader, Theodore Herzl, over a prophetic map.

Returning home is a theme that links both maps of migration and maps of immigration. A humanist note is struck by the hand-blown glass assemblages of Marc Petrovic, in which plump birds find their way home guided by nautical maps. Barbara Green documents the journey of her family from Europe to America, using actual documents, maps, and miniature paintings. Peter Sis provides sheer fantasy in the form of a majestic whale/map of New York City. Mark Podwal brings sharp wit and political message to his charged drawings, including a view of Gershom Scholem’s Jerusalem.

“In other words, maps are not records of what each part of the world actually is; regardless of historical and cultural context, maps are careful imaginings of what people have wanted the world to be.”(1)

  1. Edney, Matthew H., “Mapping Parts of the World.” in Akerman, James R.; Karrow, Jr., Robert W., eds. Maps: Finding Our Place in the World (Chicago: University of Chicago Press for the Field Museum and the Newberry Library, 2007): 117-57.


Lynne Avadenka

The Distance between Monuments XI, 2006.
Mixed media; 16 1/2” x 11 3/4”

Education: M.F.A., B.F.A., Wayne State University, Detroit, MI
Selected Collections: Library of Congress, Washington DC; Jewish Museum, NY; New York Public Library, NY; Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago

“The map is from a 1928 Hebrew language atlas. The two areas excised from the map are the country of Hungary and the place for a stamp in legitimate mail. The text is excerpted from the testimony at Nuremberg after the Second World War.


Tony Berlant

The Caspian Sea, 1995.
Found tin, meteorite, gold, silver; 4” x 3 1/2”

Education: M.F.A., M.A., B.A., University of California, Los Angeles.
Selected Collections: Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; Whitney Museum of American Art, NY; Art Institute of Chicago, IL; Philadelphia Museum of Art, PA

“It is significant that when viewed up close, one sees everything at once, unlike conventionally sized ‘paintings,’ the eye does not scan from part to part. Of course, the map is a reduced depiction of a vast territory. The metal object is a meteorite, a piece of iron that fell from the sky.”


Harriete Estel Berman

And There Was Light, 2004.”
Seven-panel book with removable spice box, recycled tin containers and spice tins, vintage steel dollhouses, 10k. gold rivets, aluminum rivets, stainless steel screws. Entire book: 14 1/4” x 46” open; Each panel: 14 1/4” x 9”; Spicebox: 4 1/4” x 2 5/8” x 2”

Education: M.F.A., Tyler School of Art, Temple University, Philadelphia; B.F.A., Syracuse University, Syracuse, New York
Selected Collections: Jewish Museum, NY; Jewish Museum, Berlin; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

And There Was Light” is a book that opens to reveal seven hinged pages. On one side, the pages illustrate the biblical narrative progressing through the six days of creation to the seventh and final day of rest. On the other side, each page illustrates an analogous theme of secular achievements from enlightenment and logic to the scientific and engineering.


Doug Beube

Strike Anywhere, 2007.
Globe, matches; 10″ x 10″ x 12″

Education: M.F.A. in Photography, Visual Studies Workshop, Rochester, NY.
Selected Collections: Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto; Brooklyn Museum of Art, NY; Dartmouth College, NH; Museum of Modern Art, NY; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, MN

The artist’s fantastical vision reshapes books and globes into forms that mirror their implied content, evoking the playful construct of language.


Josh Dorman

Melange, 2007.
Mixed media; 16″ x 16″; Courtesy of Mary Ryan Gallery

Education: Skidmore College, Queens College.
Selected Exhibitions: Mercer Gallery, NY; National Academy Museum, NY; George Billis Gallery, Los Angeles, CA

Combining ink, acrylic, and collage on top of antique maps pre-dating 1940, with textbook images in the form of pre-photographic diagrams of engravings, Dorman creates fantastical universes that explore the connectedness of all things.


Susan Erony

Map, 1992.
Copy photos, acrylic, carborundum, framed in lead; 22″ x 26″ Collection of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion Museum

Education: University for Humanistic Studies, Utrecht, Holland; M.A., Lesley University, Cambridge, MA; M.A., B.F.A., Massachusetts College of Art, Boston, MA; Rhode Island School of Design, Providence, RI.
Selected Collections: Cape Ann Historical Museum, MA; DeCordova Museum, MA; Florida Holocaust Museum, Tampa, FL; Hamilton College Gallery, NY; University Art Museum, Albany, NY

“I shot the photographs for this piece at the Buchenwald concentration camp during a trip to Germany in 1991 to photograph steel plants and research genocide. Included in the work is a letter written in 1938 by Baron von Thyssen (the head of the largest steel trust in Germany who joined the Nazi Party in 1931) to other German industrialists in support of Hitler and his promises of criminalizing strikes and making abundant slave labor available. Also included are images of a large map of all levels of German prison, concentration, and slave labor camps.”


Ayana Friedman

Archaeology, 1980.
Paper, felt, found plastic shards; 26″ x 12″

Education: M.A., B.A., Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
Selected Collections: Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion Museum, NY; Hebrew University, Mount Scopus, Jerusalem; Museum of Contemporary Art, Ramat Gan, Israel

“This work includes fragments of a map of Israel and plates (inscribed in Hebrew with statements including “Now is the time to be happy,” and “It’s good to work” taken from the American series “Holly Hobbie” and documentation from the meeting between Begin and Sadat that preceded the peace accord with Egypt) that are attached to a window screen with embroidery thread. The map, which appears as an empty frame, expresses the fear of Israel’s gradual disappearance from the world map, like the disappearance of Tel Hai (where the residents of this Jewish community in the Galilee were murdered by Arabs in 1920). The plate shards are like bits of archaeological data that are supposed to provide information on what transpired here to future generations.”


Janet Goldner

Land of My Grandparents, 2004.
Metal (steel) book; Five panels, each 13 1/2″ x 17″

Education: M.A., New York University, New York; B.A., Antioch College, Yellow Springs, OH.
Selected Collections: Europos Parkas, Vilnius, Lithuania; Islip Museum, East Islip, NY; Borough of Manhattan Community College, NY

“I create works that bring together art and poetry by cutting images and texts into formed steel sculptures using a welding torch as a drawing instrument. I combine the tactile, spatial forms of sculpture with succinct comments on contemporary social issues.”


Leslie Golomb

6045, 2006.
Paper-plate lithograph with chine-collé; 22″ x 30″

Education: M.F.A., School of the Art Institute of Chicago; B.F.A., Carnegie-Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA.
Selected Exhibitions: International Print Center, NY; The Boston Printmaker’s 60th Anniversary North American Print Biennial, MA; The Print Center, Philadelphia, PA

“6045, part of the series Unbreakable, explores discriminating practices based on legislating race. My inspiration was the discovery of hundreds of broken German-made dolls, circa World War II, on eBay. Historians note that the doll factories were shut down to produce war machines, but they also speculate that the Nazis objected, on ethnic grounds, to the character of the dolls and contemplated halting the manufactured goods. Unbreakable allowed me to use my artistic license to de-criminalize the broken dolls of Germany as a metaphor for race as social construct.”


Melissa Gould

Neu-York, 2000.
Lithograph; 44″ x 28 1/2″; The Sigmund R. Balka Collection at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion Museum

Education: B.F.A., Rhode Island School of Design, Providence, RI.
Selected Collections: Museum of Modern Art, NY; Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum, Poland; RISD Design Museum, Providence, RI

Neu-York is a cautionary meditation suggesting what the local geographical reality might have been like had victorious Nazis succeeded in bringing the Third Reich across the Atlantic Ocean in 1945. At the same time, it is an exploration of psychological displacement and memory. This reimagining of the city plays with comparison and misrecognition and explores the coexistence of past and present, fiction and reality.


Archie Granot

Ketubah of Rebecca Schaeffer and Michael Moldovan, 1999.
24 layers of paper, inlayed 23.5k gold leaf; 28 1/2″ x 24 1/2″ Moldovan-Schaeffer Collection

Education: M. Phil., University of Glasgow, Scotland; B.A., Hebrew University, Jerusalem.
Selected Collections: Jewish Museum, NY; Philadelphia Museum of Judaica, PA; Israel Museum, Jerusalem

“This ketubah was inspired by the famous H. Bunting clover-leaf-shaped woodcut map dating back to 1581 in which Jerusalem is placed at the center of the world. My works usually contain Hebrew texts – biblical, rabbinic, or Talmudic. I start with a sketch and cut each layer individually using a scalpel.”


Barbara Green

My Father’s Odyssey, 2008.
Oil painting and collage of family photos and maps; Triptych, each is 35″ x 26 1/2″

Education: B.S., New York University, New York; M.F.A., Institute Allende, San Miguel de Allende, Mexico.
Selected Exhibitions: Monarch Gallery, NY; Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion Museum, NY; Pergola Gallery, San Miguel de Allende, Mexico; Kaaterskill Gallery, NY

“Basically, I do ‘the figure.’ In this instance, the figure is an environment that is equally critical to the composition as a whole. I chose to depict a man en route to the synagogue, as a statement of normalcy and everyday life. This man is looking at you and saying: ‘I’m practicing my religion; you can do the same.’ To me, the figure always speaks to the heart.”


Maty Grünberg

Aging: The State of Israel, 2003.
Ink on paper; 20″ x 61″

Education: Bezalel Academy of Art, Jerusalem; Central School of Art, London.
Selected Collections: Victoria and Albert Museum, London; British Museum, London; Jewish Museum, NY; New York Public Library, NY

This portrayal of the map of Israel from 1947 until today is drawn from memory; the various lines in different colors represent the borders as they have evolved, much like the wrinkles we develop with age.


Karen Gunderson

Constellation 4: Copenhagen, N, 10.01.1943, 2004.
Oil on linen, 61 1/2″ x 52 1/4″

Education: M.F.A., The University of Iowa, Iowa City; B.S.Ed., Wiscon- sin State University, Whitewater.
Selected Collections: Dow Jones, NY; Metropolitan Life Insurance Company, NY; General Electric Company, Bridgeport, CT

On the night of October 1, 1943, the Jews of Denmark were to be rounded up and sent to concentration camps in Europe, but the news leaked to the Danish population. Ordinary citizens all over the country offered refuge in churches, attics, homes, and hospitals. After a month, 95% of the Jewish population of Denmark had been transported to safety in Sweden in secret boat transports. The depiction of the arrangement of these stars is as they were on October 1, 1943 if you were in Copenhagen, Denmark, looking north toward Sweden.


Jane Hammond

The Wonderfulness of Downtown, 1997.
Lithograph, screenprint, and collage on paper, Edition of 50; 59 1/2″ x 62″; Published by Universal Limited Art Editions;
Courtesy of Jim Kempner Fine Art

Education: M.F.A., University of Wisconsin, Madison; B.A., Mount Holyoke College, South Hadley, MA.
Selected Exhibitions: Exit Art Gallery, NY; Galerie Lelong, NY; Galerie Senda, Barcelona, Spain

“All cartographers and all map users, with rare exceptions, were men, and maps were of the unfamiliar, made for sailors and explorers for conquest or trade. My map is made by a woman and shows a woman explorer. It depicts the familiar (my home, lower Manhattan) and it depicts it ‘by feel;’ streets are not named, and the drawing isn’t precise. The photographs, taken roughly where they are located on the map, depict incidental, particular, everyday things: a reliquary for a dead bird at Tompkins Square Park; three Dominican men outside a funeral home; a colorful, hand-painted dragon boat that was moored in the Hudson for awhile; a cat sitting on my front steps. The things of which the world is really made.”


Burt Hasen

A Pathway to a Clearing in the Desert, 1992-1994
Oil on canvas; 40″ x 28″

Education: Art Students League of New York; Hans Hofmann School of Fine Arts, NY; L’Académie de la Grande Chaumière, Paris; Accademia delle Belle Arti, Rome; Lacouriere Etching Workshop, Paris.
Selected Collections: Bibliothèque Nationale de France, Paris; Brooklyn Museum, NY; New York Public Library, NY

During the Second World War, Burt Hasen did not qualify to become a pilot in the U.S. Air Force. For the rest of his life, he imagined himself flying high above the landscape and looking down through a shattered windscreen. His strong attachment to the state of Israel and his imagined protection in the guise of a pilot is apparent in this painting.


Tamar Hirschl

Exodus II, 2000.
Mixed media mural on vinyl; 94″ x 33 1/2″

Education: M.F.A., Lesley College, Boston, MA.; The State College of Art, Tel Aviv, Israel; Tel Aviv Kalisher School of Art, Israel; Bezalel Academy of Art, Jerusalem.
Selected Exhibitions: Philadelphia Art Alliance, PA; 51st Venice Biennale, Venice; 9th International Istanbul Biennial, Istanbul; Queens Museum of Art, NY

“I have looked to art as a filtering mechanism on the lens of life, which allows me to visualize, from a distance, the pain, destruction and suffering of my childhood. I use the act of painting and drawing as a means to build both imaginary and real bridges between my memories of the past and my hopes for the future. My artistic concerns and consciousness, therefore, are always informed by the forces that disrupt, destroy, and disunite people, cultures and religions. It is this consciousness that I want to make visible in my work; I believe it is fitting in our turbulent times.”


Gillie Holme

The Disappeared, 2001.
Tracing paper, pencil, vintage photographs; 11″ x 13 1/2″

Education: The Central School of Art & Design, London.
Selected Collections: University of Massachusetts

The preoccupation with small, altered, photographic objects continues as does the artist’s surrealist obsession with works in, on, or of paper.


Mike Howard

Leon Trotsky: Murder Scene in Mexico City, 2006.
Acrylic on canvas; 8’10” x 14′

Education: M.F.A., Rutgers University, NJ; B.F.A., University of Georgia, Athens, GA.
Selected Exhibitions: Baby Doll Lounge, NY; Gracie Mansion Gallery, NY; Whitney Museum Art Resource Center, NY; New Museum, NY; The Queens Museum of Art, NY

“As a painter, it is the circumstances in which a painting is developed and its formal terms that make up its presence. These concerns intrigue me. The optical/visual image imports a whole field of thought existing outside the work. The painting, as a physical object, exports various circumstances, conditions to be taken into the field of discourse surrounding contemporary painting. Simply said, the real dynamic exists in the relationship between the outside and the inside, the object and the subject.”


William Kentridge

Waldsee 1944: Budapest/Soweto, 2003.
Charcoal, ink on paper; 5 1/2″ x 6″
Collection of Laura and Lewis Kruger

Education: University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg Art Foundation.
Selected Collections: National Gallery of Canada; Art Institute of Chicago; Museum of Modern Art, NY

Created to commemorate the deportation of Hungarian Jewry during the Holocaust, Kentridge’s work evokes the persecution of European Jewry by the Nazis and relates it to the rigorous restrictions imposed by the Afrikaaners on South Africa’s non-white citizens.


Iris Levinson

Israel, 2008.
Acrylic on canvas; 35″ x 41″

Education: Art Students League, NY; M.A., New York University; B.A., SUNY-Binghamton.
Selection Exhibitions: Art Students League, NY; Royal Bank of Canada, NY; Numero Uno Art, NY

“The painting Israel is a metaphor of itself in constant flux, awash in milk and honey.”


David Newman

Mutual Analysis, 1989.
Oil and graphite on board; 22″ x 29″

Education: M.S.W., Hunter College, NY; B.A., Columbia University, NY.
Selected Exhibition: Joseph Slifka Center for Jewish Life, Yale University; Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion Museum, NY; Benjamin Cardozo School of Law, Yeshiva University, NY

Two human-animals battle and embrace on fragments of text and terrain adrift in dangerous waters. The title refers to Sandor Ferenczi’s failed experiment of having psychoanalysts and patients analyze each other.


Marc Petrovic

Luck of the Draw, 2003.
Glass, mixed media; 17 1/2″ x 13″ x 4″ Courtesy of Heller Gallery

Education: B.F.A., Cleveland Institute of Art.
Selected Collections: Niijima Museum of Glass, Tokyo, Japan; Mint Museum, Charlotte, NC; Tucson Museum of Art, AZ; Racine Art Museum, WI

Petrovic creates box constructions in the tradition of Joseph Cornell, using maps as background and contrasting the found with fabricated, blown glass elements. Birds migrate during regular seasonal journeys, traveling far distances in response to changes in food availability, habitat, and weather. But most of all, what birds are doing is returning home.


Mark Podwal

The Letters of Gershom Scholem, 2002.
Etching on paper, #3/35;
6 1/2″ x 6 1/2″; Courtesy of Forum Gallery

Education: M.D., New York University; B.A. Queens College, NY.
Selected Collections: Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Victoria and Albert Museum, London; Library of Congress, Washington, DC; Jewish Museum, New York; National Gallery, Prague

“After my mother died earlier this year, I read and re-read the words of Ecclesiastes, which declares that ‘there is nothing better for man than to rejoice in his own works, since that is his portion. For who can enable him to see what will be after him?’ As an artist, I am able to rejoice in the creative process. Of course, I would be dishonest if I did not admit to trying to cheat death through my work.”


Archie Rand

Painting for the cover of “Zionism: The Sequel,” published by Hadassah, 1998.
Acrylic on canvas; 19 1/2″ x 15 1/2″

Education: B.F.A., Pratt Institute; Art Student League; City College of New York.
Selected Collections: Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY; Museum of Modern Art, NY; Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris; Israel Museum, Jerusalem; Victoria and Albert Museum, London


Irit Rosenberg

Boxed Fence, 2008.
Ceramic/mixed media box slab; 10″x10″x2″

Education: M.A., Fordham University, NY; B.A., Hunter College, NY.
Selected Collections: American Embassy, Israel; Collection of Wachovia Bank; Duff and Phelps Investment Collection.

“All over the world, maps speak volumes and paint real pictures of the complex history of a land, as they demarcate, separate, enclose, and divide. Israel, in particular, is awash in maps – political maps, territorial maps, and biblical maps. In our current society, maps evoke extreme emotions from both Arabs and Israelis. Inspired by the need to explore this universal phenomenon creatively, I use images of maps, walls, and fences as metaphors of man’s futile attempt to rule over the land and dictate the fate of its inhabitants. I work with clay, a material that comes from the earth, the very land itself. Just as maps are constantly being altered and manipulated, my individual pieces are reworked and altered to attain their organic nature. The textural landscapes of my vessels and wall forms are achieved by a combination of glazes, oxides, and multiple firings, together with silk screen.”


Ben Schachter

Venice Eruv, 2007.”
Paint, Graphite, and thread on paper; 20″ x 30″

Education: M.F.A., M.S., Pratt Institute, NY; B.A., Wesleyan University, CT.
Selected Exhibitions: Jewish Museum, NY; Carnegie Mellon University, PA; Westmoreland County Community College, Youngwood, OH; Pittsburgh Center for the Arts, PA; Center on Contemporary Art, Seattle, WA; Attleboro Museum, MA; University of Maryland, MD

Eruvim are symbolic Jewish enclosures, extending private space into the public sphere. As a contemporary artist, I see these structures as drawing in space. In other words, the wires and borders created with urban stuff are lines that run through the environment, suggesting the


Paula Scher

Israel, 2007.
Acrylic on canvas; 92″ x 65″
Courtesy of Maya Stendhal Gallery

Education: M.F.A, Corcoran College of Art and Design, Washington, DC; B.F.A., Tyler School of Art, Elkins Park, PA
Selected Collections: Museum of Modern Art, NY; Biblio- thèque Nationale de France, Paris; Israel Museum, Jerusalem; Library of Congress, Washington, DC

Scher’s work is not meant to be reliable as a map, but to convey a sense of place that is mediated and mangled by the artist’s imagination and by the overload of media-generated information that feeds it.


Peter Sis

The Whale, 2004.
Etching, aquatint with hand coloring; 11″ x 38 1/2″
Courtesy of Mary Ryan Gallery

Education: Royal College of Art, London; Academy of Applied Arts, Prague.
Selected Exhibitions: Art Institute of Chicago; Embassy of Czech Republic, Washington DC; New York Public Library, NY

Sis explores the micro and macro through maps and mazes, creating intricate worlds that exist somewhere between reality and fantasy.


Ann Sperry

Lamentations: Continental Drift, 2007.
Milled steel, stainless steel, glass; 19 1/2″ diameter

Education: Sarah Lawrence College, NY.
Selected Collections: Storm King Art Center, NY; Neuberger Museum, CT; Tel Aviv Museum, Israel; Skirball Museum, Cincinnati and Los Angeles; Getty Collection, CA; Library of Congress, Washington, DC; Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris; Rose Art Museum, Brandeis University, Waltham, MA

Working in recycled industrial metal, Sperry’s abstract sculptural vocabulary frequently includes spheres and concave shapes. This work suggests floating land masses, the seas and continents contained within a shallow hemisphere. A glass vial of tears is a commentary on the fragile state of the planet.


Mel Watkin

Waterworks: Red Seas, 2006.
Acrylic, ink, colored pencil on map; 20 1/8″ x 31″

Education: M.F.A., University of Montana, Missoula, MT; B.A., Bennington College, VT.
Selected Collections: New York Public Library, NY; Museum of Modern Art Library, NY; Fogg Art Museum, Cambridge, MA

“My recent works-on-paper are ongoing series of drawings on roadmaps. The works in this exhibition are from the Waterworks series. The original maps have been significantly altered; in some, the roads are replaced with rivers or clogged with flowering vines, in others, coastlines are flooded and inland seas rehydrated. In all of the work, erosion, water, overgrown plant life, and fungi have replaced humanity as the determining force on the land.”


Paul Weissman

26 April 86 + 17, 2005.
Woodcut on paper, jute, and wood; 48″ diameter

Education: M.A.. B.A., Southern California Institute of Architecture, Los Angeles; B.A., Yale University, New Haven, CT.
Selected Exhibitions: Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion Museum, NY; University of Hawaii, Manoa, Honolulu

This work depicts a satellite photograph of the dust cloud from the explosion at the Chornobyl Nuclear Power Plant in Pripyat, Ukraine. The image, taken seventeen days after the disaster, shows the drift of the fallout over the Western Soviet Union, Europe, and Eastern North America and is formatted as an infinite circle without boundaries. The palette relates to its subject, Uranium, the core component of nuclear energy, while its hoop formation resembles the ‘dream-catchers’ of the Ojibwa (Chippewa) people that filter a person’s dreams and allow only the positive ones to come through.


Hebrew Union College- Jewish Institute of Religion Museum Advisory Committee

Laura Kruger, Chair
Suzette Acar
Catherine Behrend
Judy Becker
Sherry Berz
Semmes Brightman
Phyllis Cohen
Elaine Corwin
Robin Cramer
Gail Davidson
Gloria Dobbs
Cynthia Greener Edelman
Vicki Reikes Fox
Ruth O. Freedlander
Susan K. Freedman
Phyllis Friedman
Betty Golomb
Joy G. Greenberg
Barbara Gross
Peggy Heller
Frances Hess
Ann Holland
Susan Malloy
Nancy Mantell
Claire G. Miller
Fran Putnoi
Richard J. Scheuer
Pierre Schoenheimer
Helene Spring
Livia Straus
Mildred Weissman

Founded in 1875, Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion is the nation’s oldest institution of higher Jewish education and the academic, spiritual, and professional leadership development center of Reform Judaism. HUC-JIR educates men and women for service to American and world Jewry as rabbis, cantors, educators, and communal service professionals, and offers graduate and post-graduate programs to scholars of all faiths. With centers of learning in Cincinnati, Jerusalem, Los Angeles, and New York, HUC-JIR’s scholarly resources comprise renowned library and museum collections, the American Jewish Archives, biblical archaeology excavations, research institutes and centers, and academic publications. HUC-JIR invites the community to an array of cultural and educational programs which illuminate Jewish history, identity, and contemporary creativity and which foster interfaith and multiethnic understanding.

Rabbi David Ellenson, Ph.D., President
Dr. Alfred Gottschalk, Chancellor Emeritus
Dr. Norman J. Cohen, Provost
Gary Bockelman, Chief Operating Officer; Vice President for Administration
Erica S. Frederick, Executive Vice President for Development
Dr. Aaron Panken, Vice President for Strategic Initiatives
Rabbi Charles A. Kroloff, Vice President for Special Projects
Sylvia Posner, Assistant to the President; Administrative Executive to the Board of Governors
Jean Bloch Rosensaft, Senior National Director for Public Affairs and Institutional Planning; Director, HUC-JIR Museum
Shirley Idelson, Dean, HUC-JIR/New York
Renni Altman, Associate Dean, HUC-JIR/New York


Lynne Avadenka (1955, Pontiac, MI)
The Distance between Monuments XI, 2006
Mixed media
16 1/2” x 11 3/4”

The Distance between Monuments XIV,
Mixed media
16 1/2” x 11 3/4”

Tony Berlant (1941, New York, NY)
The Caspian Sea, 1995
Found tin, meteorite, gold, silver

Harriete Estel Berman
(1952, Harrisburg, PA)
And There Was Light, 2004
Seven panel book with removable spice box;
Recycled tin containers and spice tins, vintage steel dollhouses,
10k. gold rivets, aluminum rivets, stainless steel screws
Each panel: 14 1/4” x 9”
Entire book: 14 1/4” x 46” width open
Removable spice box: 4 1/4” high x
2 5/8” width x 2” deep

Doug Beube (Hamilton, Ontario)
Strike Anywhere, 2007
Globe, matches

Legend, 1992
Globe, gouache

Erosion #4, 2003
Collage of layered maps
17” x 21”

Erosion #12, 2005
Collage of layered maps
17” x 29”

Josh Dorman (1966, Baltimore, MD)
The Visitors, 2007
Mixed media
Courtesy of Mary Ryan Gallery

Melange, 2007
Mixed media
16” x 16”
Courtesy of Mary Ryan Gallery

Susan Erony (1949, Boston, MA)
Map, 1992
Copy photos, acrylic, carborundum;
framed in lead.
22” x 26”
Collection of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion Museum

Ayana Friedman (1950, Haifa, Israel)
Archaeology, 1980
Paper, felt, found plastic shards
26” x 12”

Janet Goldner (1952, Washington, DC)
Land of My Grandparents, 2004
Metal (steel) book, five panels,
each 13 1/2” x 17”

Leslie Golomb (1953, Pittsburgh, PA)
6045, 2006
Paper-plate lithograph with chine-collé
22” x 30”

Melissa Gould (New York)
Neu-York, 2000
44” x 28 1/2”
The Sigmund R. Balka Collection at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion Museum

Archie Granot (1946, London, England)
Ketubah of Rebecca Schaeffer and Michael Moldovan, 1999
24 layers of paper, inlayed 23.5k gold leaf
28 1/2” x 24 1/2”
Moldovan-Schaeffer Collection

Barbara Green (1942, Brooklyn, NY)
My Father’s Odyssey, 2008
Oil painting and collage of old family photos and maps
Triptych, each is 35” x 26 1/2”

Maty Grünberg (1943, Skopje, Yugoslavia)
Aging: The State of Israel, 2003
Ink on paper
20” x 61”

Karen Gunderson (1943, Racine, WI)
Constellation 4: Copenhagen, N, 10, 01. 1943, 2004
Oil on linen
61 1/2” x 52 1/4”

Jane Hammond (1950, Bridgeport, CT)
The Wonderfulness of Downtown, 1997
Lithograph, screenprint, and collage on paper
Edition of 50
59 1/2” x 62”
Published by Universal Limited Art Editions Courtesy of Jim Kempner Fine Art

Burt Hasen (1921-2007, New York, NY)
A Pathway to a Clearing in the Desert, 1992-1994
Oil on canvas

Tamar Hirschl (1939, Zagreb, Croatia)
Exodus II, 2000
Mixed media mural on vinyl 94” x 33 1/2”

Gillie Holme (Bombay, India)
The Disappeared, 2001
Tracing paper, pencil, vintage photographs 11” x 13 1/2”

Mike Howard (1944, Columbus, GA)
Leon Trotsky: Murder Scene in Mexico City, 2006
Acrylic on canvas

William Kentridge (1955, Johannesburg, South Africa)
Der Sudliche Sternhimmel, 200
Lithograph, #107/220
29” x 30 1/2”
Collection of Marlene and Edward Shufro

Waldsee 1944: Budapest/Soweto, 2003
Charcoal, ink on paper
5 1.2” x 6”
Collection of Laura and Lewis Kruger

Joyce Kozloff (1942, Somerville, NJ)
American History: The Age of Discovery, 2004
Etching, collage, watercolor, pigment print, acrylic, and colored pencils on paper
32 3/4” x 47 7/8”
Courtesy of DC Moore Gallery

Iris Levinson (Fairfax, VA)
Israel, 2008
Acrylic on canvas with collage 35” x 41”

David Newman (1955, Bronx, NY)
Mutual Analysis, 1989
Oil and graphite on board
22” x 29”

Marc Petrovic (1967, Ohio)
Luck of the Draw, 2003
Glass and mixed media
Courtesy of Heller Gallery

Untitled I, 2003
Glass and mixed media
Courtesy of Heller Gallery

Mark Podwal (1945, Brooklyn, NY)
Baghdad Road Map, 2003
Ink on paper
12” x 8 1/2””
Courtesy of Forum Gallery

The Letters of Gershom Scholem, 2002
Etching on paper
Courtesy of Forum Gallery

Surrounded, 1988
Ink on paper
Courtesy of Forum Gallery

Archie Rand (1950, Brooklyn, NY)
Painting for the Cover of “Zionism: The Sequel”
Published by Hadassah, 1998
Acrylic on canvas

Irit Rosenberg (Israel)
Boxed Fence, 2008
Ceramic/mixed media box slab

Follow the Stream, 2008
Ceramic box slab

Ben Schachter (1974, New York, NY)
Squirrel Hill Eruv, 2007
Paint, graphite, and thread on paper
20” x 30”

Venice Eruv, 2007
Paint, graphite, and thread on paper
20” x 30”

Manhattan Eruv, 2007
Paint, graphite, and thread on paper
20” x 30”

Sharon Eruv, 2007
Paint, graphite, and thread on paper
20” x 30”

Paula Scher (1948, Washington, DC)
Israel, 2007
Acrylic on canvas
92” x 65”
Courtesy of Maya Stendhal Gallery

Peter Sis (1949, Brno, Czechoslovakia)
Mysteries Near at Hand
Mixed media
17 1/2” x 15 3/4” framed
Courtesy of Mary Ryan Gallery

The Whale, 2004
Etching, aquatint with hand coloring
11” x 38 1/2”
Courtesy of Mary Ryan Gallery

Ann Sperry (Bronx, NY)
Lamentations: Continental Drift, 2007
Milled steel, stainless steel, glass
19 1/2 diameter

Mel Watkin (1954, Washington, DC)
Waterworks: Negative Space, 2006
Acrylic, ink, colored pencil on map
20” x 32”

Waterworks: Red Seas, 2006
Acrylic, ink, colored pencil on map
20 1/8” x 31”

Paul Weissman (1948, New York, NY)
26 April 86 + 17, 2005
Woodcut, jute, and wood
48” diameter

Historical Maps and Collateral Material

Heinrich Bunting (1545-1606)
The Entire World in a Cloverleaf, 1581
12”x 15”
Moldovan Family Collection

A New and Correct Map of the Land of Promise, 1795
Published by Haines and Son, London
Moldovan Family Collection

Jacob Goldzweig
A New and Original Map of the Holy Land, 1903
33 1/2” x 21 1/2”
Moldovan Family Collection

World War II French Invasion Beaches Map, c. 1940
32” x 21”
Collection of Laura Kruger

Our Way, 1945
L. Dickstein
Game board, lithograph
11 3/4” x 19”
Collection of David Tartakover

Gathering of Israel, 1950
J. Zadek
Game board, lithograph
“13 1/4” x 13 3/4”
Collection of David Tartakover

Axis & Allies Control the Fate of the World
Game board, paper and plastic
Manufactured by Avalon HillTM in 2004
19” X 32”
Collection of Laura Kruger