Once Upon a Time…03.14.2014

Posted on November 18th, 2014 by

The Baltimore Jewish Times publishes unidentified photographs from the collection of Jewish Museum of Maryland each week. If you can identify anyone in these photos and more information about them, contact Joanna Church at 410.732.6400 x236 or email jchurch@jewishmuseummd.org


1995189636Date run in Baltimore Jewish Times:  March 14, 2014


PastPerfect Accession #:  1995.189.636


Status: Partially Identified!  Associated Super Phone Day Steering Committee. Front (L-R): 1. Paula M. Singer 2. Jay Lenro 3. Esta Alliker 4. Joel Wohl Back (L-R): 1. unidentified 2. unidentified  3. Susan Grilli  4. Geoff Kroll 5. Besty Narrow  6. unidentified 7. Lee Mintz (?) 8. Toni Greenberg 9.  Steven Summer 10. unidentified


Special Thanks To: Fritizi Hallock, Michelle Gordon, Betsy Narrow


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Hutzler family porcelain dishes, circa 1878

Posted on November 17th, 2014 by

Today we have two pieces from a larger set of porcelain dinnerware, owned by the Hutzler family of Baltimore.

Sauce boat (JMM 1995.137.001) and dessert plate (JMM 1993.161.001), circa 1878.

Sauce boat (JMM 1995.137.001) and dessert plate (JMM 1993.161.001), circa 1878.

We have a sauce boat, with molded (attached) underplate, 9 inches long; and a dessert plate, 8.5 inches in diameter.  The decoration manages to be both elaborate and – at least compared to some other examples of late 19th century French porcelain – fairly restrained: the pink is bright and the morning glories are plentiful, but the gilding is kept to a minimum, and the entwined initials (off to the side on the plate, and on one end of the boat) are relatively subtle.  Both pieces are marked on the reverse with the cartouche of Adolphe Hache & Pepin LeHalleur of Vierzon and Paris, France. Hache & LeHalleur, a porcelain decorating firm, exhibited at the 1876 Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia, and won a Gold Medal at the 1878 Paris Exposition. (That 1878 award was proudly added to the maker’s mark, as you can see from the photo below.)

The reverse of the dessert plate: “1878 Méd.e D’or [Médaille D’or (Gold Medal)] Paris / Ad. Hache & Pepin LeHalleur / Vierzon [and] Paris”

The reverse of the dessert plate: “1878 Méd.e D’or [Médaille D’or (Gold Medal)] Paris / Ad. Hache & Pepin LeHalleur / Vierzon [and] Paris”

The custom initials on each piece, an H flanked by a D and an E, stand for David and Ella Hutzler, the original owners of the full dinnerware set. In 1874, David Hutzler (1843-1915), one of the three brothers who founded Baltimore’s Hutzler Bros. high-end department store, married Ella Joline Gutman (1855-1942), daughter of Joel Gutman, who owned a neighboring high-end shop.

According to family stories, “Grandfather Hutzler” (David) commissioned the full dinnerware set “at the Paris Exposition.”  But which Paris Exposition? The maker’s mark dates from between 1878, when Hache & LeHalleur won their award, to 1889, when the firm’s name (and mark) changed.  That gives us the 1878 and 1889 options to choose from, and I lean toward the 1878 Paris World’s Fair or Exposition as the origin of our dinnerware set.  Something sold directly at the Exposition would not have that “We won an award!” mark on it already (unless the firm was very confident, I suppose), but it makes sense that porcelain custom-ordered at the fair, then manufactured afterward, would include mention of the maker’s just-awarded Gold Medal.

A close-up view of the decorations on each piece, including the elaborately entwined initials.

A close-up view of the decorations on each piece, including the elaborately entwined initials.

A side note on the color: Today, we tend to associate pink so closely with femininity and girlishness that it’s easy to apply those same attributes to antique pink… but we shouldn’t necessarily do so.  Not only was pink an entirely appropriate color for boys until the early 20th century, but this particular shade of “French pink,” introduced by Sevres in the mid-18th century, was a very popular ground color for china and porcelain. The Hutzlers showed good taste in acquiring a fashionable, expensive, and custom-made set, and no doubt they enjoyed serving family and friends from their French porcelain.

After Ella died in 1942, her children made an inventory of the family home on Eutaw Place in order to appropriately distribute their parents’ belongings. A “pink Limoges set of china” – almost certainly the set from which these pieces originated – was listed next to son Albert’s name; the set was likely divided up further and given to the younger generations as time passed.  Our dessert plate was donated by Albert’s daughter, Caroline Hutzler Bernstein; the gravy boat came to us from Patsy Perlman, one of David and Ella’s great-granddaughters through their daughter Cora.

Though we don’t have the full set (no pink-china dinner party vignettes for our museum, alas!) these two pieces help us illustrate a variety of stories, from Baltimore residents’ access to European fine goods, to a well-to-do couple’s use and display of said goods, to the way a family deals with a deceased parent’s estate.  When browsing my “blog post potential” list today the dessert plate caught my eye, thanks to its charming decorations; but when you look closer, there’s much more to it than just what’s on the surface.

JoannaA blog post by Collections Manager Joanna Church. To read more posts from Joanna click HERE. To read even more posts about our collections click HERE.

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Performance Counts: November 2014

Posted on November 14th, 2014 by

Reflections on Finance

susanThis week’s edition of Performance Counts has been written by Susan Press, our Vice President for Administration and Finance. After seven years of working at the JMM, where she has headed up all finance-related duties in addition to oversight of development, marketing, gift shop, facilities maintenance and human resources, Susan will be leaving us at the end of the month. She is taking a new position at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine at the Department of Biomedical Engineering as Senior Administrative Manager. Thanks to Susan’s impressive efforts these past seven years, she leaves the Museum with a solid infrastructure of financial and accounting systems, not to mention several years of clean audits. She has provided leadership in many areas and she will be missed by everyone. We wish Susan all the best in her new position.


The finance department here at the Jewish Museum of Maryland is responsible for all the budgeting, accounting and financial reporting of the institution. We record all accounts payable and receivable, payroll and all other financial elements. We then review the results of the organization by department and as a whole, compare results to our budgeted goals to determine our financial position. This allows management to make informed business decisions and run the organization effectively.

Every year brings with it a new set of challenges and goals. Last year we were able to plan for a balanced budget and we were pleased to report that we met all our goals. This year we have also planned for a balanced budget but the challenges ahead are even greater than in the last cycle. We have been working hard on growing attendance and thereby increasing both our program and shop income. This year’s budget includes a very aggressive development goal on top of the generous allocation and subsidized services provided to us by the Associated.

A review of our first quarter financials shows that we are currently running close to budget. We have currently raised approximately 60% of our development goal for the year (when funds carried forward are put into the mix). However, the remaining 40% will be a much tougher road, since much of our annual sources of revenue, including the Board Leadership Campaign, is heavily weighted towards the first quarter.

Expenses to date contain two small anomalies.   Due to employee and benefits changes, our salary and benefits line is currently $20,000 under budget projection. However, the A-Mazing Mendes Cohen exhibit ran over budget by approximately $10,000.

We know that our donors and members want their investments in JMM to be spent wisely and so we will continue to monitor our income and expenses throughout the year, making adjustments as necessary to achieve our program and financial objectives.


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