Posted on April 16th, 2014 by Rachel
Part of my role at the museum is to handle the reservations of one of our travelling exhibits, Jews on the Move: Baltimore and the Suburban Exodus, 1945 – 1968. The exhibit has been in storage for several months but is currently on display until April 14th at Beth Israel Synagogue.
In addition to displaying Jews on the Move, we also had an evening lecture there last week about some of the themes it highlights. The lecture, titled Jews on the move: A Conversation, was led by Dean Krimmel, a museum consultant who was a member of the team that developed the exhibit. The talk gathered a great audience and created a huge amount of conversation.
Dean Krimmel at Beth Israel
Dean started the lecture by asking a few questions, and he asked those who answered “yes” to stand. We were asked:
- Were you part of the suburban exodus?
- Were you born here in Baltimore?
- Have you lived here for your adult life?
- Are you a newcomer?
Getting some exercise at Beth Israel!
Unsurprisingly, the first two questions had a huge response, with most of the room standing. The final question, received a much smaller response, but it was interesting to see what people considered a newcomer to be. I knew I certainly would fit within this category, having only been here for a year. What surprised me was that people who had lived here their entire adult life still considered themselves newcomers! However, I quickly learned that, unless you went to high school in Baltimore, some will consider you a lifelong newcomer. This also led to another interesting point: this city is unique in that, when asked “what school did you attend?” you are not being asked about college but rather about high school.
The high point of the evening was hearing all of the conversations that were inspired by the program, both during the lecture and after, around the exhibit. People discussed their memories of moving to the suburbs, the reasons for doing so and some of the restrictions that they faced. Many people had similar experiences with regards to their suburban exodus, especially relating to their experiences with real estate agents.
We were also treated to a little of the history of Beth Israel and its movements by Bernie Raynor.
There was also plenty of reminiscing prompted by images in the exhibit, especially regarding schools and shopping centers.
We also looked at some of the original advertisements for the newly built homes during the suburban exodus.
Overall, everyone had a lovely evening. The chatting continued for an hour after the lecture finished. Everyone shared memories and even remembered some things thought long forgotten.
Blog post by Program Manager Trillion Attwood. To read more posts from Trillion, click here.
Posted on October 2nd, 2013 by Rachel
September 22, 2013
The evening was very relaxed. In addition to the performance, there was plenty of tea, cake and conversation. It seems to have been enjoyed by everyone who was able to attend, and it even brought in a generous donation to the museum.While most things here at the museum are becoming increasingly all about the upcoming exhibit, Passages through the Fire, yesterday, we held one of our premium members events. In addition to the usual benefits, premium members receive invitations to more exclusive events. For this event we planned a salon and tea with a performance of our most recent living history character, Bessie Bluefeld. Bessie was a well known Baltimore figure who, for many years, ran Baltimore’s premium kosher catering company.
The most special thing about the evening was the presence of a number of Bessie’s descendants, from grandchildren to great-great-. There was a wonderful moment after the performance when the family and the museum members discussed their memories of Bessie. Unfortunately, Bessie’s daughter who lives in the area was unable to attend, but we recorded the event on video, so she will be able to share in the experience.
Everyone present had some yummy cake or strudel, one of Bessie’s signature dishes.
There was also a tasty selection of teas.
Some of Bessie’s descendants, grandchildren and great grandchildren.
After the performance: Bessie, performed by Terry Nicholetti and the museum’s director Marvin Pinkert.
A blog post by Program Manager Trillion Attwood. For more posts by Trillion, click here.
Posted on July 19th, 2013 by Rachel
A blog post by Education Intern Trillion Attwood. To read more posts by Trillion and other JMM interns, click here.
One of the really fun things about being an intern is the field trips that we take. Before the internship started we were asked to select from a list the places we would most like to visit, as soon as I saw The Holocaust Memorial Museum’s stores, I knew this would be the one I would look forward to most. We finally got our chance yesterday.
There is a statistic that museums only show ten percent of there collection, ninety percent of the time, so I knew that this would be an opportunity to see some amazing objects that I would never see otherwise. As I expected it was a very unassuming building, you would drive past without a second glance, inside though it opened up to be something like the most organized Aladdin’s cave I have ever seen.
Heather Kajic, the Chief of Collections Management, took the time to show us around and see some of the highlights, but also some of the ways that they have tackled some of the common issues faced by museums. For example, the collection was arranged in such a way that it was possible to remove any object from it’s storage location easily and without ever physically touching the object, meaning the collection is protected but accessible.
For me one of the most memorable moments was seeing a collection of paintings that were created in a labor camp, but cannot be put on display due to copyright issues. This can be a common issue in museums, so it was a privilege to have a chance to see them up close. We also saw a selection of clothes worn in concentration camps. One particular pair of pants still had the stains acquired though hard physical labor, which for me made them even more emotive.
On the same day we also had a chance to visit Bonsai Fine Arts, where the one of the owners Scott Pittman and his colleague John Eaton, took the time to show us around. Here we had a chance to learn about some of the practical elements regarding moving artworks. This was a fascinating experience, as an intern this is not something that had come up previously, and was never been mentioned throughout my education.
Me with one of Bonsai’s crates, with a bonsai tree design.
As we walked around we could see the care that goes into creating these creates, they were some of the most beautiful creates I have ever seen, not something I thought I would ever hear myself saying. One of the fun things that we learnt was that certain art galleries have all their creates painted a certain color for easy recognition, for example we saw the specific shades that The Whitney and The National Gallery use.
Bonsai’s exceptionally clean workshop.
Learning from Scott about creating the inside of a crate.
Overall it was another fantastic experience and I know I learnt lots, I really appreciate the time that people took out of their days to enable this opportunity. I am already looking forward to the next trip and getting to use some of what I learnt.
Bonsai’s pretty crates.