Marc Chagall (1887 - 1985) is a perrenial favorite at the Jewish Museum. In addition to the museum's own collection of over 30 works by the Belarussian artist, it has hosted several Chagall-themed exhibits, including "chagall: Love, War, and Exile" in 2014 and an early retrospective in 1996. Chagall returns to the museum in Chagall, Lissitzky, Malevich, but in less of a starring role. This detailed exhibits highlights a small corner of art history, when ambitious and newly-optimistic Russian painters set their eyes on an artistic revolution following in the wake of the 1917 Russian Revolution. The exhibit focuses on a small school founded by Marc Chagall in 1918 dedicated to the art of the proletariat. The story of the school takes a dramatic turn as Chagall's partner, El Lissitzky invited Kazimir Maelvich, the founder of Suprematism to work at the school, eventually resulting in Chagall leaving it. The story of suprematism is compelling, though the resulting works have no where near the charisma of Chagall's own work.

Tell your children about it, and let your children tell theirs, and their children the next generation.
- Joel 1:3

What You Will See

The museum is careful not to specialize--not in a field, not in a topic, not in an era. It is not strictly art or history or culture or even Judaica. The permanent collection serves as in informative guide through the long history of the Jewish people, examining the fascinating struggle for cultural continuity in the diaspora. By contrast, the diversity of the Jewish experience is highlighted in the temporary exhibits, touching on art, literature, theater, politics, photography and almost any other creative field, examining historical triumphs and exploring contemporary ventures.

Why You Should Go

Just like Levy's, you don't have to be Jewish to enjoy the Jewish Museum. The Jewish experience is the lens through which art and history are examined at the museum, but it is not a lens that in any way obscures the creative genius of its subjects. The scope and influence of Jewish artists, writers and philosophers are so broad that few exhibits hosted at the Jewish Museum would be out of place at the Met, the MoMA or the Guggenheim, either in quality or content. A day at the museum is not spent in the esoterics of a minority culture but among the topics universal to humanity.