Here’s to Life! A sneak peak behind the scenes of exhibition development

Posted on June 17, 2011 by

The JMM has partnered with Levindale Hebrew Geriatric Hospital on an exciting exhibition project, Here’s to Life! When Levindale opens its expansion in December 2011 the new “town center” model will have a gallery space.  The inaugural exhibition, Here’s to Life will depict how Levindale’s core mission and values have shaped and enriched the lives of its elders, the “soul” of the institution.

There is no doubt that construction is well under way!

Chuck and Dorothy figure out the square footage of the gallery space.

Anita Kassof and I have been working with Dean Krimmel, Chuck Mack and Paula Bogart to curate and design the exhibition. We’ve dug through our own archives and collections and have picked up quite a bit of material from within Levindale’s offices. Of course, if you have some amazing material to lend to the show please let me know! [add e-mail] Our conversations have been lively and spirited—and the sprawl on our board room table proves it!


Intern Carrie helps organize the cart of Levindale collections materials. It’s not as crazy as it looks, we promise.

On May 23 the curatorial team met with the exhibition team at Levindale: President Aric Spitulnik, project manager Dorothy Hellman, PR manager Helene King, Myron Gelsinger from Therapeutic Services and Linda Kurland from Admissions. Everyone agrees that the exhibition should serve as a conservation starter—among residents, visitors, and the staff.

You can see the excitement in the conversation by everyone’s big hand gestures!

The exhibition will have six thematic sections, The Creative Life emphasizing art projects and music; Learning Life looking at lifelong learning; The Valued Life will have reflective storytelling and memoirs; The Spiritual Life will examine the Torah and Bible study programs at Levindale; The Nurturing Life will illustrate how children, pets, and plants are an everyday part of life at Levindale; and The Helping Life will demonstrate how volunteers, the auxiliary, and board have dedicated their time and energies to making Levindale a truly remarkable place.

Here’s just one of many possible photographs to use demonstrating the Helping Life theme.

And of course we haven’t forgotten about the time line that the Ladies Auxiliary created in 1990. The new space will have an expanded timeline highlighting major decisions and accomplishments; the impact made by new buildings and facilities, the launching of new programs, and changes in care delivery; and the contributions of Levindale’s leadership, funders, staff, Women’s Auxiliary, and other volunteers.

It doesn’t look like much, but here’s the floor plan.

Behind the scenes, I have volunteer Chuck Patch and exhibitions intern Carrie Coviello working hard at transcribing oral histories and interviews that I have conducted for the project. The interviews provide background information and some wonderful quotations that will be included in the final exhibition.

Chuck is hard at work transcribing Anita’s interview with Aric.


A blog post by Senior Collections Manager Jobi Zink.

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