The Jewish Museum is one of the most important institutions devoted to Jewish identity and culture in New York. Founded in 1904, the organization is currently undergoing a transformation under the helm of their Director, Claudia Gould, who joined the institution in November, 2011. I met Claudia when I was a Student Board Member at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia, and she’s been a special mentor to me. Her renewed vision for the museum includes revamping the way in which the collection is shown and mixing up the programming.
The 2012 Kehinde Wiley show is a great example of this - it presents a selection of papercuts and other works of ceremonial art from the museum’s collection chosen by Wiley, alongside his portraits of contemporary men in Israel. Another is the current exhibition in which artist Barbara Bloom recontextualizes the museum’s holdings and reimagines them within the space. Accessing their younger demographic, they recently had “Girls” breakout star Lena Dunham speak at their Purim Ball.