Life of a Collections Intern

Posted on August 6th, 2013 by

Clare RobbinsA blog post by Collections Intern Clare Robbins. Clare works under the supervision of Senior Collections Manager Jobi Zink. To read more posts by Clare and other JMM interns, click here.

I cannot believe that this is my last week here at the Jewish Museum of Maryland.  The summer has gone by so quickly!  I’ve learned so much, and am incredibly grateful for the experience.  One of my primary tasks for the summer was to process the objects from the 2012-2013 collections.  So for my last blog post, I decided to highlight some of the interesting new additions to the museum’s collection.

One of the first objects I catalogued was a thin brown rope. This rope was worn around Susie Williams Gaumer’s waist when she was a nursing student at Sinai in the 1950s.  The Sinai nursing students spent three months at Sheppard Pratt Hospital for their psychiatric training where all of the doors were locked and needed keys for entry. They wore this rope with the keys around our waist under their uniform. The rope came out of a designated space in their uniform at the waist. By keeping the keys inside their uniforms the nurses could ensure that the patients did not get the keys

Rope used by Sinai nursing students to keep the hospital keys safe, 2012.117.1

Rope used by Sinai nursing students to keep the hospital keys safe, 2012.117.1

Edmart, a Jewish Deli in the Baltimore area, also donated several items this past year, including this cigar box wrapped in red tin foil.  The cigar box came from the cigar shop across the street from Edmart.  Marty Lev wrapped the cigar box in red foil to be used as a display stand

Cigar box used as a display case at Edmart, 2012.121.2

Cigar box used as a display case at Edmart, 2012.121.2

Edmart also donated several signs like this one that advertises Edmart sandwiches at Camden Yards

Edmart sign, 2012.121.11

Edmart sign, 2012.121.11

Another fun item is this t-shirt worn by our very own Deborah Cardin when her father, Ben Cardin, ran for Maryland House of Delegates in 1974

Cardin’s t-shirt, 2013.5.1

Cardin’s t-shirt, 2013.5.1

We also received a set of six Mah Jong button covers  that was purchased at a Senior Expo in Montgomery County

Mah Jong button covers, 2012.127.1

Mah Jong button covers, 2012.127.1

And in anticipation for the upcoming football season, I leave you with this Baltimore Ravens t-shirt that says “Wacko for Flacco” in Hebrew

Go Ravens! 2013.24.1

Go Ravens! 2013.24.1

 

Posted in jewish museum of maryland




Mah Jongg Madness!

Posted on December 22nd, 2011 by

A blog post by Senior Collections Manager Jobi Zink.

I’ve long been fascinated by the beautiful tiles of the MahJongg set, but I’ve never had the patience to sit down and learn the rules. Will 2012 be the year that I learn how to play?

A few months ago I was catching up with my hometown friend Vivian. With the last names Ng and Okin, we were together in alphabetical homeroom throughout high school, and there was plenty to catch up on at our reunion. I asked about her family and she mentioned that her mother was playing MahJongg. Excitedly I asked, “Is your mother Jewish?” Vivian looked at me like I had lost my mind—or hadn’t ever met her mom—and said “She’s Chinese.” Right! I knew that. Somehow I had forgotten that MahJongg is a traditional Chinese game and not a specifically Jewish game.  Since it’s about a 4 hour drive back to Ringwood, I decided NOT to ask Vivian if her mother would teach me how to play the game.

Jobi and her high school friends Tim, Vivian and Heather.

A few years ago former JMM Curator Melissa Martens curated “Project Mah Jongg” at the Museum of Jewish Heritage. Her exhibition text explained that May Jongg was “introduced to American audiences by Joseph P. Babcock who began importing sets en masse around 1922, the game delighted players with its beautifully adorned tiles, associations with other lands, and mysterious rules…. In the post-war years, the game was embraced enthusiastically throughout circles of Eastern European Jewish women and became a favorite activity of bungalow colonies of the Catskills. Mahjongg became an entertainment ritual in suburban Jewish homes—where it has been lovingly transfixed in the memories of the contemporary generation. Today, hundreds of thousands of people play mahjongg, and it continues to be a vital part of communal, personal, and cultural life.” [http:///projectmahjongg.com/about.html]

The exhibition was beautiful and delightful, but I didn’t have enough time to sit down and learn the rules. Check out this slide show of others playing MahJongg.

Then last week at our Collections Committee meeting Board Member Irene Russel mentioned that she plays MahJongg with her girlfriends every Tuesday night. I practically invited myself over to play!

Barbara Marlin, Sheila Derman, Myra Gershon, Irene Russel play a regular game of Mah Jongg.

Instead, I think I will come to the JMM on Christmas Day for our event Chanukah, Christmas, and all things Chinese and learn the basics. I hope to see you there.

Posted in jewish museum of maryland