Beyond Swastika and Jim Crow: Jewish Refugee Scholars at Black Colleges
January 15 - June 2, 2013
Beyond Swastika and Jim Crow: Jewish Refugee Scholars at Black Colleges tells the story of Jewish academics from Germany and Austria who came the U.S. after being dismissed from their teaching positions in the 1930s. Some found positions at historically black colleges and universities in the Jim Crow South. Through over 70 evocative artifacts and documents, this exhibition illustrates the empathy between two minority groups with a history of persecution who came together in search of freedom and opportunity, and shared the early years of struggle in the Civil Rights movement.
Beyond Swastika and Jim Crow: Jewish Refugee Scholars at Black Colleges was created and is circulated by the Museum of Jewish Heritage- A Living Memorial to the Holocaust.
This exhibition was made possible through major funding from the Leon Levy Foundation. Additional support provided by the Helen Bader Foundation; The Lupin Foundation; The Blanche and Irving Laurie Foundation; public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts, a state agency; the Alpern Family Foundation; and the Charles and Mildred Schnurmacher Foundation.
Image: Professor Ernst Borinski teaching in the Social Science Lat, Tugaloo College, MS, ca. 1960.
Courtesy of Mississippi Department of Archives and History
In Philadelphia, the exhibition is made possible through the generous support of:
Additional support from: Christian R. and Mary F. Lindback Foundation, Dolfinger-McMahon Foundation
Media sponsorship provided by:
Jewish Artists in America 1925-1945:
Selections from the Collection of Steven and Stephanie Wasser
January 29, 2013
From rural fields to city streets, American Jewish artists of the social realist movement depicted life in the United States without romanticizing the hardship and struggle they saw. They recognized that layoffs, food shortages, housing crises, dustbowls, and escalating antisemitism at home and abroad meant their American dreams might be farther off than expected. These passionate and political artists took advantage of the freedom their homeland offered to celebrate and critique America. Whether working independently or as part of the Works Progress Administration, a Depression-era program that supported artists and other workers in troubled times, they chronicled the city streets, labor conditions, and private moments that made up the realities of life in America.
The Snowy Day and the Art of Ezra Jack Keats
July 19 - October 20, 2013
The Snowy Day and the Art of Ezra Jack Keats is the first major exhibition in this country to pay tribute to award-winning author and illustrator Ezra Jack Keats (1916–1983), whose beloved children’s books include Whistle for Willie, Peter’s Chair, and The Snowy Day. The exhibition invites visitors to discover over 70 original works by this groundbreaking American Jewish artist, the first to feature an African-American protagonist in a modern full-color picture book. With works ranging from preliminary sketches to final paintings and collages, the exhibition also offers a reading area for visitors of all ages, drawn from Keats's art and stories.
The Snowy Day and the Art of Ezra Jack Keats is organized by The Jewish Museum, New York, from the collection of the de Grummond Children's Literature Collection, The University of Southern Mississippi. The exhibition was funded at The Jewish Museum through a generous grant from the Ezra Jack Keats Foundation. Additional support was provided by the Joseph Alexander Foundation, the Alfred J. Grunebaum Memorial Fund, and the Winnick Family Foundation.
Image Caption: Ezra Jack Keats, “Crunch, crunch, crunch, his feet sank into the snow.” Final illustration for The Snowy Day, 1962. Collage and paint on board. Ezra Jack Keats Papers, de Grummond Children’s Literature Collection, McCain Library and Archives, The University of Southern Mississippi. Copyright Ezra Jack Keats Foundation.
Past Special Exhibitions
To Bigotry No Sanction: George Washington & Religious Freedom
George Washington’s historic letter to the Hebrew Congregation in Newport, Rhode Island was the remarkable centerpiece of the Museum’s first special exhibition, To Bigotry No Sanction: George Washington and Religious Freedom. Written in August 1790, and exhibited for the first time in a decade, it represents a courageous and historic statement by America’s first national leader, one which underscored the new nation’s commitment to religious liberty and equality for people of all faiths. His poetic and iconic address confirmed the new President’s commitment to a government that “gives to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance.”
Today, people of all faiths enjoy freedom of religion in the United States. But in early America, religious communities could not assume that this would be true. Between the signing of the Declaration of Independence and the ratification of the Bill of Rights, Americans engaged in an intense debate about the nature and limits of religious liberty. People of all faiths followed these discussions intently, seeking assurance that their own rights would be protected.
The exhibition included a stunning group of artifacts, including early printings of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, and Thomas Jefferson’s Act for Establishing Religious Freedom.