Friday Frenzy!

Posted on January 14th, 2013 by

A blog post by Senior Collections Manager Jobi Zink.

Now that the Jewish Museum of Maryland is open to the public 10-5 Sunday-Thursday, staff has a lot less time to get the behind-the-scenes work-in-public-spaces done. Here’s what we accomplished today –all before 2 PM!

Jobi, Darrell, and the Ravens-loving installation crew were unhappy that a Mayflower truck came to pick up the Chosen Food exhibition. (And if you don’t know why there was resentment scroll down to the March 24, 1984 entry http:///  Heck, now I’m inspired to see the Almost Religion: Baltimores Colts exhibit at the Sports Legends Museum at Camden Yards before Saturday’s playoff game!)

There was a moment of cheering when the truck drove away a few minutes later. The driver returned with a new truck, fully equipped with a proper lift gate.

The crew was quick to start loading the truck.

Rachel and Jennifer de-install the Hutzler’s lobby display…

… and spackle all of the holes…

… and tape the walls before re-painting!

Downtown Coordinator Kim Jacobsohn spent the morning with a half dozen children at Tot Shabbat.

It’s the 2nd Friday of the month. Time for our regularly scheduled visit from the exterminator.

Karen gives the crew instructions for handling a mount.

Jobi moves objects onto a cart.

Sue went to the gift shop to straighten things up… and ended up ringing a sale!

Karen tests her balance skills while tracing the arch above the gallery for a new sign. Good thing she does yoga!

Intern Molly might not know how busy it is up front, but she’s busy copying all of our recent press coverage—proving how busy we’ve been!

Victory! After a brief hiatus, we've got our first call identifying the "once upon a time" photo from our Snapshots column in the Jewish Times.

Marvin is eagerly awaiting the arrival of Zap! Pow! Bam!

Be sure to come to the Museum January 27-August 18, 2013 to see the amazing new exhibition about comic book super heroes.


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From Cookbooks to Comic Books

Posted on October 31st, 2012 by

A blog post by Curator Karen Falk.

We are getting ready to say farewell to our exhibition, Chosen Food: Cuisine, Culture, and American Jewish Identity. After 14 months on display in the Feldman Gallery, it will be moving in January to The William Breman Jewish Heritage and Holocaust Museum in Atlanta. You have two more months to get in that visit you planned—make sure to see it before it goes!

In its place, we will be displaying Zap! Pow! Bam! The Superhero: The Golden Age of Comic Books, 1938-1950, a wonderful look at Superman’s and Batman’s Jewish roots in an exhibition created by the Breman Museum.

Zap! Pow! Bam! will open at the JMM on January 27 and remain on display through August 18. With it, this curator will have to turn her attention from food to a different kind of fun. And just as I began the Chosen Food project with little knowledge of culinary history (other than the ability to cook a Jewish holiday meal for my family—received wisdom I used to take for granted), I begin this new project by studying whole new subject. As a kid, I didn’t pay much attention to the superheroes (I liked the social dramas of Archie, Jughead, Betty, and Veronica), didn’t need to hide them from my parents, didn’t know Marvel from DC, wasn’t spending my allowance on the newest issue. So now I’m catching up, and I don’t mind it one bit!

What have I learned so far? First, that most of the writers, artists, and publishers of the early superhero comics were Jewish. Actually, Michael Chabon introduced most of us to that idea years ago in his novel The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay (Picador, 2000). I’ve also learned that many writers on the topic, and the Zap! Pow! Bam! exhibit, take as given that these Jewish artists and writers couldn’t help but inject their Jewish concerns into their stories: fighting for the downtrodden, helping the cause of justice, seeking an America where they could feel at home. Finally, I’ve read that many of these same writers and artists denied that they deliberately populated their stories with crypto-Jews. Most simply wanted to tell a great story.

Detective Comics #71. Cover art by Jerry Robinson. © 1942 DC Comics. Batman, Robin & The Joker ™ and © DC Comics. All rights Reserved. Used with Permission. From the collection of Jerry Robinson.

At the JMM, we hope that the story told by Zap! Pow! Bam! —which was curated by the late Jerry Robinson, who conceived and drew Batman’s nemesis, The Joker, and the artist after whom Batman’s sidekick, Robin was named—will surprise you. But even if you are an educated aficionado of Golden Age comics, it is sure to entertain you and your family, with a drawing studio where you can try your hand at cartooning, take a ride in a child-sized Batmobile, and watch clips of superhero TV and movies. We look forward to seeing you at the museum!

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“No leaven may be seen within all your borders” (Exodus 13:7)

Posted on April 4th, 2012 by

The Torah throws many challenges our way, phrased as commands. The prohibition of chametz (leavened wheat, oats, rye, barley and spelt) may not be the most difficult to follow, or the most incomprehensible, but Passover is almost upon us, and it is the one we are thinking about right now. So it might be a good time to ask: How are we to really rid ourselves of ALL the chametz within the borders we control (our homes)? To find out more, head over to the Chosen Food blog!

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