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Exhibitions & Collections

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Special Exhibitions

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Leonard Bernstein: The Power of Music

March 16 – September 2, 2018

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Leonard Bernstein: The Power of Music, organized by NMAJH, celebrates the centennial birthday of one of the 20th century’s most influential cultural figures, who personified classical music and produced a rich repertoire of original compositions for orchestra and the theater. Audiences may be familiar with many of Bernstein’s works, notably West Side Story, but not necessarily how he grappled with his own religious, political, and sexual identity, or how he responded to the political and social crises of his day. Visitors will find an individual who expressed the restlessness, anxiety, fear, and hope of an American Jew living through World War II and the Holocaust, Vietnam, and turbulent social change – what Bernstein referred to as his “search for a solution to the 20th‐century crisis of faith.” The exhibition will feature one‐of‐a‐kind historic artifacts, all brought to life through immersive film, sound installations, and interactive media.

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Leonard Bernstein: The Power of Music has been made possible in part by major grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities: Exploring the human endeavor. Key support provided by The Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation. Major support provided by: Cheryl and Philip Milstein; The Leslie Miller and Richard Worley Family Foundation; and Lindy Communities; Additional support provided by Judith Creed and Robert Schwartz; Robert and Marjie Kargman; David G. and Sandra G. Marshall; Robin and Mark Rubenstein; The Savitz Family Foundation; Norma z”l and Abe z”l Shanzer; and the Arronson Foundation. Special thanks to The Leonard Bernstein Office, the Bernstein Family, Jacobs Music, and the Milken Archive of Jewish Music.

The Art of Rube Goldberg
October 12, 2018 through January 21, 2019

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The Art of Rube Goldberg
is the first comprehensive retrospective exhibition of Rube Goldberg’s work since the Smithsonian’s 1970 celebration of the artist, explores his varied career—from his earliest published works and iconic Rube Goldberg machine invention drawings, to his Pulitzer Prize-winning political cartoons. And more.

Throughout his long career, Rube Goldberg (1883–1970) chronicled almost every salient aspect of modern American life. His work touched on everything from fashion and sports to gender, politics, and international affairs. This exhibition explores the artistry and wit that made Rube Goldberg one of the twentieth century’s most celebrated and enduring cartoonists—and a household name.

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The Art of Rube Goldberg 
was conceived by Creighton Michael; developed in cooperation with Heirs of Rube Goldberg, LLC, NY, NY; and curated by Max Weintraub. Tour organized by International Arts & Artists, Washington, DC.


Sara Berman's ClosetSBC_SpecialExhibitions
April 5 - September 1, 2019

Sara Berman’s Closet (SBC) is a powerful and intimate exploration of independence, identity, feminism, family, time, immigration, memory, joy, and courage. It speaks to the universal pursuit of meaning and beauty, from the monumental to the mundane. Sara’s daughter and grandson, celebrated artist Maira Kalman and curator Alex Kalman, have re-created Sara’s meticulous and quirky closet as an homage to stories everyday belongings carry. NMAJH has invited the Kalmans, who have been featured at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and The New Yorker, to create an outdoor installation of Sara’s closet, positioned across from Independence Mall, where it puts Sara’s story on par with the surrounding moments to our country’s founding fathers. Additionally, the Kalmans blend art, history, and memory to chronicle Sara’s journey from Belarus to Tel Aviv to NYC in NAMJH’s 5th floor gallery through original paintings, text, and ephemera.

This exhibition will include an installation on the Museum’s Kimmel Plaza outdoors, and inside on the Museum’s 5th floor special exhibition gallery.

Excerpt from upcoming publication. Harper Collins, 2018