As a non-collecting institution, the Contemporary Jewish Museum’s ever-changing exhibition program embraces a range of artistic disciplines. From Andy Warhol’s pantheon of Jewish portraits to a retrospective of Where the Wild Things Are author Maurice Sendak’s career, each presentation is timely and relevant, fostering a dialogue between museum-goers of all faiths. Partnering with national and international cultural institutions, the Museum showcases contemporary art, historical objects, film and music, literary readings, and other live performances that pertain to Judaism as both a religion and culture.
Founded in 1984, the Contemporary Jewish Museum opened its doors as the “Jewish Community Museum” in San Francisco’s Financial District with a goal of introducing audiences of all backgrounds to contemporary perspectives on Jewish culture, history, art and ideas. After much success, ten years later, the Museum hired acclaimed Polish-American architect Daniel Libeskind — who won the competition to reconstruct Manhattan’s World Trade Center site — to re-envision a 1907 landmark in SoMa as its new home. Reopened in 2008 with a vibrant blue metallic steel roof surging from a Beaux Arts brick façade, the dynamic 63,000-square-foot structure marries historical and contemporary architecture.
Steps away from the SFMOMA and the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, it’s a can’t-miss for culture vultures.