Beyond Chicken Soup Travels Beyond Baltimore

Posted on October 19th, 2017 by

A blog post by Deputy Director Deborah Cardin. To read more posts from Deborah click HERE.

I was delighted to have the opportunity to travel to Cleveland for the opening of the JMM exhibit, Beyond Chicken Soup: Jews and Medicine in America at the Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage on October 8. As part of my visit, I gave a talk at the members’ opening, trained their corps of docents on leading tours and then gave another talk at an event sponsored by Cleveland’s Jewish Federation.

It is always fun to see how our exhibits get translated into different spaces. Walking into the gallery’s first section, I was delighted to see Dr. Harry Friedenwald’s collection of manuscripts documenting Jewish contributions to medicine going back hundreds of years.

Even though I knew that the books on display were facsimiles, I was so impressed by the quality of the reproduction and had to make sure that the docents were aware of the fact that what is on display are not the actual books that Harry owned.

Even though I knew that the books on display were facsimiles, I was so impressed by the quality of the reproduction and had to make sure that the docents were aware of the fact that what is on display are not the actual books that Harry owned.

It was also reassuring to see the contents of our good friend, Dr. Morris Abramovitz, reassembled so beautifully.

It was also reassuring to see the contents of our good friend, Dr. Morris Abramovitz, reassembled so beautifully.

I also enjoyed seeing how the staff at the Maltz Museum had incorporated new text panels, photos and artifacts that tell the local experience of Cleveland’s Jewish community.

I also enjoyed seeing how the staff at the Maltz Museum had incorporated new text panels, photos and artifacts that tell the local experience of Cleveland’s Jewish community.

The museum assembled an impressive collection of materials telling the story of Cleveland’s Mt. Sinai hospital which have been preserved thanks to the Mt. Sinai Foundation. One of the speakers at the Federation event shared a detail history of the hospital which closed in 1996.

The museum assembled an impressive collection of materials telling the story of Cleveland’s Mt. Sinai hospital which have been preserved thanks to the Mt. Sinai Foundation. One of the speakers at the Federation event shared a detail history of the hospital which closed in 1996.

The Maltz display also features a section devoted to its own home health care heroes.

The Maltz display also features a section devoted to its own home health care heroes.

The best part of participating in the opening events was hearing new visitors laugh at the opening joke, point out interesting things that they noticed in the exhibit, share their own recollections triggered by objects and stories on display and share such positive feedback with me about how much they loved the exhibit.

The opening of "Beyond Chicken Soup" at the Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage.

The opening of “Beyond Chicken Soup” at the Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage.

Maltz Museum members enjoying the exhibit.

Maltz Museum members enjoying the exhibit.

I greatly appreciated how at home the staff at the Maltz made me feel and I was struck by the many similarities between our two institutions in terms of size and audience.

Beyond Chicken Soup remains on view in Cleveland until April 8. Be sure to tell your friends and family in the Midwest to visit.

Posted in jewish museum of maryland




Traveling the Exhibit

Posted on October 18th, 2017 by

A blog post by Collections Manager Joanna Church. To read more posts by Joanna click HERE.

On October 10th, our landmark exhibition “Beyond Chicken Soup: Jews and Medicine in America” opened at the Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage in Cleveland.  Getting an exhibit of nearly 300 objects packed, moved, and unpacked again is quite a process, though one that is hopefully invisible and seamless to the visitors … and to the objects themselves.  We want it to look like everything was magically teleported to the new spot with minimal effort and impact, but of course it’s a bit more complicated than that.

Joelle and Amy with the all-powerful traveling exhibit binder!

Joelle and Amy with the all-powerful traveling exhibit binder!

Our summer interns, Joelle and Amy, were a fantastic help in packing the wide variety of artifacts and documents – from a one-inch package of scalpel blades to a full-size doctor’s examining table, from fragile blown-glass show globes to a sturdy vintage basketball – taking photos, writing condition reports, and typing up box lists to make sure everything would travel in good order.  Lorie, our Archivist, and our wonderful team from Precision Plastics were also crucial to the preparations and the actual move. Once the truck arrived at the Maltz, I had the lucky task of traveling to Cleveland to spend four days unpacking it all, checking it once again, and putting it in place.

Not only the artifacts need to travel. In addition to the panels and graphics, we sent the exhibit’s display cases, artifact mounts, and props.

Here’s the Gymnasium case nearly set up, with a bubble-wrapped textile form waiting to be unwrapped and dressed.

Here’s the Gymnasium case nearly set up, with a bubble-wrapped textile form waiting to be unwrapped and dressed.

My visual memory is pretty good, but it isn’t wise to rely upon it entirely.  A few judicious photos of the original exhibit help make sure we don’t have to reinvent the wheel or, in this case, the pharmacy window.

Good reference photos are a must!

Good reference photos are a must!

Lindsay Miller, Assistant Curator at the Maltz, was my partner all week as we installed the exhibit.  Their gallery is shaped differently than ours, and the Maltz had their own content to add; it was not simply a matter of recreating our exhibition exactly, and Lindsay knew what needed to be changed or adapted.  Plus, many artifacts require at least two pairs of hands for installation.

Here, Lindsay adds a few drops of food coloring to the water in one of the pharmacy show globes (yes, installing an exhibit can involve many unexpected, “other duties as assigned” tasks).

Here, Lindsay adds a few drops of food coloring to the water in one of the pharmacy show globes (yes, installing an exhibit can involve many unexpected, “other duties as assigned” tasks).

The Maltz has their own crew for the heavy lifting, just as we do.

Here, one of their team carefully moves a furniture crate to the “doctor’s office” vignette for unpacking.

Here, one of their team carefully moves a furniture crate to the “doctor’s office” vignette for unpacking.

A partial view of Dr. Abramowitz’s Office, with furniture unpacked.

A partial view of Dr. Abramowitz’s Office, with furniture unpacked.

Dr. Aaron Friedenwald smiles gently upon his new temporary home, waiting for visitors.

Dr. Aaron Friedenwald smiles gently upon his new temporary home, waiting for visitors.

“Beyond Chicken Soup” will be on display at the Maltz through April 8, 2018. If you’re traveling to Cleveland, we hope you’ll visit!

Posted in jewish museum of maryland




Once Upon a Time…01.20.2017

Posted on October 17th, 2017 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 by email at jchurch@jewishmuseummd.org

JMM 1989.211.6.27

JMM 1989.211.6.27

Date run in Baltimore Jewish Times: January 20, 2017

PastPerfect Accession #: 1989.211.6.27

Status: Uncertain identification – can you confirm if this is Leah Bernstein standing with an unknown gentleman, c.1930?

 

Posted in jewish museum of maryland




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