A “Just Married!: Extra: A Little Chuppah History

Posted on June 23rd, 2017 by

Curators have to make choices: not everything can make it into an exhibit, and there’s seldom enough space to share every interesting fact about the things that are on display. That’s where social media comes in! Here’s a closer look at another “Just Married” story. ~Joanna

The oldest of the three chuppahs on display in the exhibit is this burgundy velvet canopy, trimmed with gold braid and large green sequins. In addition to the “Mazel Tov” inscription in the center, it reads in Hebrew: “From the hands of the ladies auxiliary of Mogen Abraham.” (“Ladies Auxiliary” is transliterated from English.)

Gift of Isaac Kinek. JMM 1990.50.1

Gift of Isaac Kinek. JMM 1990.50.1

Gold embroidery and green sequins!

Gold embroidery and green sequins!

The Mogen Abraham, or First Galician, Congregation was founded in 1891, and existed at various East Baltimore addresses until it merged with Adath Yeshurun in 1974.  During the time this chuppah was in use, around the 1920s, this Orthodox congregation met at 402-404 S. Bond Street.

A storefront at 402-404 S. Bond Street, circa 1960. It’s not clear if this is the same building as that used by the synagogue. Photo by Menasha Katz. JMM 1987.137.58

A storefront at 402-404 S. Bond Street, circa 1960. It’s not clear if this is the same building as that used by the synagogue. Photo by Menasha Katz. JMM 1987.137.58

Despite its long history, this is one of those congregations for which we have very little material; in fact, right now a Vice President badge, the synagogue’s cornerstone from the S. Bond Street building, and this chuppah are the only artifacts in our collection.  The  Adath Yeshurun-Mogen Abraham Congregation closed sometime in the past few years.

Marble cornerstone from Congregation Mogen Abraham at 404 South Bond Street, 1902-1917. JMM 1992.76.1

Marble cornerstone from Congregation Mogen Abraham at 404 South Bond Street, 1902-1917. JMM 1992.76.1 This cornerstone has a story of its own – check it out here!

To read more posts from Collections Manager Joanna Church, click HERE!

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A Closer Look

Posted on May 25th, 2017 by

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

 

Our collections database – which I love, don’t get me wrong – is set up to present the user with a main screen for each catalog record, containing an overview and thumbnail image of the particular object, photo, book, or archival item.  The image can be enlarged somewhat, but in either case it mostly serves as a quick reference during a search, providing enough of a visual that the user (i.e., me) can decide if it’s worth a closer look.  Frequently, pulling up the larger image file is quite rewarding.

Gift of Earl Pruce. JMM 1985.90.21

Gift of Earl Pruce. JMM 1985.90.21

For example, here is a street view that caught my eye recently as I scrolled past: the 1910s block of Madison Avenue, Baltimore, in December of 1912.  It is cataloged in our database as a photo of the Clover Club (previously known as the Concordia Club), occupying the middle of the block. In the small version, you can just barely make out that there are a few figures in the image. I decided to zoom in on the higher-resolution file, and voila! More than a static street scene, the photo shows several people at work.

window washing

At the far left, there’s a woman standing on a ladder washing the windows of No. 1910.  Either she didn’t know the photo was being taken, or she didn’t care; she’s just going about her business.

To her right is the Carroll Apartments, as identified by a small sign next to the door; a uniformed doorman, or someone else in an official capacity (he has keys hanging from his belt), is standing on the stoop, looking toward the photographer. It’s not clear if he’s deliberately posing, or if he was just pausing on his way to get some work done.

To her right is the Carroll Apartments, as identified by a small sign next to the door; a uniformed doorman, or someone else in an official capacity (he has keys hanging from his belt), is standing on the stoop, looking toward the photographer. It’s not clear if he’s deliberately posing, or if he was just pausing on his way to get some work done.

Next is a double-front building, with a central stoop. This is the Clover Club, handily identified with clovers in the window coverings (perhaps crochet lace curtains).  There might be a woman in a white dress or uniform (perhaps a maid?) turning away in the open doorway…?  What do you think?

Next is a double-front building, with a central stoop. This is the Clover Club, handily identified with clovers in the window coverings (perhaps crochet lace curtains). There might be a woman in a white dress or uniform (perhaps a maid?) turning away in the open doorway…? What do you think?

The Clover Club was a Jewish businessmen’s social club, organized in 1896 as the successor to the Concordia Club. It moved around a bit, but by the early 1900s it was located at the pictured address, 1914-1916 Madison Avenue; in 1920 the club moved to 2249 Eutaw Place.  Later, the Madison Avenue building (and adjacent sites) were owned by Baltimore Hebrew Congregation, and later still it served as the home of the Young Woman’s Christian Association. Some of the block has been torn down, but a quick check of Google maps shows the Clover Club’s doorway and stoop still attached to the front of what is now 1912 Madison Avenue.

 

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An Historic Tour, 1984

Posted on April 27th, 2017 by

It isn’t only our historical collections that contain intriguing images. These three come from our institutional photo archives, showing a group of young students in costume at the Lloyd Street Synagogue in 1984.

IA 1.0873

IA 1.0873

IA 1.0874

IA 1.0874

They’re identified simply as “children from School #139 at the Lloyd Street Synagogue for Historic Baltimore Day, May 6, 1984.” A little research into City history shows that Historic Baltimore Day was held in May for about ten years, starting in 1980, with local students serving as tour guides at historic sites around Baltimore. According to the Sun, May 6, 1984 was the fourth annual event, sponsored by Baltimore Council of Historic Sites (later years were sponsored by the Peale Museum), with seventeen sites participating.

IA 1.0875

IA 1.0875

Public School #139 was also known as Charles Carroll of Carrollton Elementary School, located a few blocks away from us at Central and Lexington.  It closed at some point recently; I haven’t pinpointed exactly when.  Alas, our files don’t contain any further information about the event, the student participants, or their work. They clearly prepared themselves well, for they’re wearing name badges and carrying booklets, and look more than ready to tell visitors about our historic synagogue. Do any of our readers remember attending this event, as a visitor or a guide? Can anyone identify any of the young docents shown here?

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

Posted in jewish museum of maryland




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