The Jewish Museum is an art museum and repository of cultural artifacts, housed at 1109 Fifth Avenue, in the former Felix M. Warburg House, along the Museum Mile in the Upper East Side of Manhattan, New York City. The first Jewish museum in the United States, as well as the oldest existing Jewish museum in the world, it contains the largest collection of art and Jewish culture excluding Israeli museums, more than 30,000 objects. While its collection was established in 1904 at the Jewish Theological Seminary of America, the museum did not open to the public until 1947 when Felix Warburg’s widow sold the property to the Seminary. It focuses both on artifacts of Jewish history and on modern and contemporary art.
A newly created series of five hanging sculptures by Brazilian artist Beatriz Milhazes is on view in the lobby of the museum creating a vibrant, colorful canopy overhead. Titled GamboaII (2016) the installation is composed of candy-colored materials including plastic shapes, paper flowers, and other shiny trinkets. Inspired by the celebration of Carnival the work also recalls the social and political issues that underpins those festivities and the repressive years of dictatorship in the country. The architect Roberto Burle Marx strongly influenced the artist Beatriz Milhazes.
Roberto Burle Marx (1909–1994) was one of the most influential landscape architects of the twentieth century, yet he is not a familiar figure outside of his native Brazil. He is best known for his iconic seaside pavements on Rio de Janeiro’s Copacabana Beach, and for his abstract, geometric garden designs. But his work encompasses an enormous range of artistic forms and styles: Burle Marx was a painter and sculptor; a designer of textiles, jewelry, theater sets, and costumes; a ceramicist and stained-glass artist. He was an avid art collector, a talented baritone, a consummate cook, and a visionary self-taught botanist and ecologist. For him, all these endeavors were equally important, facets of one another.
In the Press
It’s a lovely and eye-opening show.
…creates a dazzling zone of pleasure.