Collecting Images [07]

From a Judaica Collection in Munich

Exhibition: Collecting Images [07] – From a Judaica Collection in Munich

Collecting Images [07]

From a Judaica Collection in Munich

Collecting Images [07]
From a Judaica Collection in Munich

In the penultimate exhibition in the “Collecting Images” series, the Jewish Museum Munich presents Jewish ritual objects from an important private collection. Different approaches to collecting are investigated, starting with the origins of a collection, collecting within a regional context, the change in meaning between ritual objects to those in a showcase, right up to unanswered questions that some of the items in the collection pose.

When, in 1878, a private collection of Jewish ritual objects was exhibited to the public in Paris, for the first time anywhere in the world, the…

Collecting Images [07]
From a Judaica Collection in Munich

In the penultimate exhibition in the “Collecting Images” series, the Jewish Museum Munich presents Jewish ritual objects from an important private collection. Different approaches to collecting are investigated, starting with the origins of a collection, collecting within a regional context, the change in meaning between ritual objects to those in a showcase, right up to unanswered questions that some of the items in the collection pose.

When, in 1878, a private collection of Jewish ritual objects was exhibited to the public in Paris, for the first time anywhere in the world, the student David Kaufmann (1852–99)—later to become professor in Budapest—noted in his diary: “This is a victory for culture over religious ritual.” The first steps toward collecting Judaica do indeed mark a paradigm shift brought about by a growing secularization: Ritual objects were no longer seen solely as tools necessary to Judaism but as crafted artifacts, which make it possible to identify more closely with Jewish history and tradition.

Since the Shoah, many collectors have also regarded Judaica as a medium for keeping memories alive—not only of religious life prior to 1933 but also of destruction, exile, and annihilation. Collecting is therefore also a means to save and preserve the traces left by six million murdered Jews.

Today, major private Judaica collections are to be found predominantly in the USA and Israel. The items shown here are from a private collection in Munich—one of the few such collections in Germany—and due to its extent and quality it may well be considered the most important. The focus on objects both from eastern Europe and southern Germany equally reflect the history of the collector and his family, which—being of Polish origin—survived persecution in the Soviet Union before settling in Munich after 1945.

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Duration of exhibition

May 7 - September 7, 2008

Curator

Bernhard Purin

Architecture

Architect Martin Kohlbauer, Vienna

Ein Museum der Landeshauptstadt München