Release Date: January 30, 2017

February 2017 Programs at the Jewish Museum Focus on Pierre Chareau: Modern Architecture and Design

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New York, NY - The Jewish Museum’s 2017 slate of lectures, discussions, and events continues in February with a lecture by guest curator Esther da Costa Meyer on Pierre Chareau: Modern Architecture and Design, and a concert by the low string quartet Bonjour.  Other highlights include a symposium on the Jews of Venice and gallery discussions on specific themes and topics related to current exhibitions.

Further program and ticket information is available by calling 212.423.3337 or online at  All programs are at the Jewish Museum, Fifth Avenue and 92nd Street, Manhattan, unless otherwise indicated.


Lecture: Esther da Costa Meyer|
Thursday, February 9, 6:30pm
Salo W. Baron Program

Esther da Costa Meyer, guest curator of Pierre Chareau: Modern Architecture and Design, and Professor, History of Modern Architecture, Princeton University, will speak about Chareau’s cultural Franco-Jewish milieu.

Professor Esther da Costa Meyer specializes in issues of cultural translation involving architecture, focusing on buildings erected by colonial powers in the Global South, as well as the emerging cultures of resistance that were themselves highly hybrid, transnational, and diasporic. Interested in issues pertaining to gender and design, she has published on architects Lilly Reich, Charlotte Perriand, and Lina Bo Bardi. Her curatorial work includes the exhibition and catalogue Schoenberg, Kandinsky and the Blue Rider, co-curated with Fred Wasserman (The Jewish Museum, New York) and an exhibition of the drawings of Frank Gehry, Frank Gehry: On Line (Princeton University Art Museum). Professor da Costa Meyer holds associate faculty appointments in the School of Architecture, the Department of French and Italian, Princeton Environmental Institute, the Program in Urban Studies, and the Program in Latin American Studies, and is an affiliate faculty member in the Center for African American Studies.

The Jewish Museum is presenting the first U.S. exhibition focused on Pierre Chareau (1883-1950) through March 26, 2017.  Showcasing rare furniture, lighting fixtures, and interiors, as well as designs for the extraordinary Maison de Verre, the glass house completed in Paris in 1932, Pierre Chareau: Modern Architecture and Design brings together over 180 rarely-seen works from major public and private collections in Europe and the United States. It also addresses Chareau’s life and work in the New York area, after he left Paris during the German occupation of the city, including the house he designed for Robert Motherwell in 1947 in East Hampton, Long Island.

Tickets: $15 General; $12 Students and Seniors; $10 Members

Bang on a Can: Performance by Bonjour
Thursday, February 16, 7:30pm

Bang on a Can and the Jewish Museum present the third concert of their 2016-2017 concert season featuring Bonjour, a low string quartet with drums/percussion founded in 2012 by bassist and composer Florent Ghys. Bonjour features Ghys as composer and double bassist, as well as Eleonore Oppenheim (double bass), Ashley Bathgate (cello), James Moore (guitars), and Owen Weaver (percussion). Accompanying the exhibition, Pierre Chareau: Modern Architecture and Design, the concert will feature Bonjour in works from their self-titled album, which was released in August 2016 on Cantaloupe Music. Chareau, originally from Bordeaux, rose to become one of Paris’s most fashionable designers of the early 20th Century. Ghys, also originally from Bordeaux, is one of New York’s most creative composer-performers of the early 21st century. 

Combining basses, cello, guitars, percussion, and voices, Ghys creates an unusual sound world that’s equal parts groove, melody and meditation. In Ghys's words, Bonjour is comprised of musical snapshots. Performed in no particular order, each one represents a day of the week and its associated mood - with some, like "Friday 3PM," conjuring multiple emotions in a gradually building mosaic of rhythm and sound. The players' voices are alternately treated as additional melodic instruments or as dictaphones spewing nonsensical parallel quotes from a variety of literary, news, and other sources (as in "Monday Morning"). From the jazz-laced, indie-pop lilt of "Thursday Afternoon" to the woozy, off-kilter mood of "Tuesday Noon Around 12:21," the album shimmers with influences that push it beyond the safety net of "new classical" music to something altogether edgy, adventurous, and even slightly art-damaged. Ghys cites his connections to New York's Bang on a Can organization as integral to the formation of Bonjour. "When I moved to New York City at the end of 2011, I knew I'd stay for at least a couple of years," he says. "So I decided to play the same kind of music as in my solo work, but with real human beings. And at the time, I was surrounded by amazing musicians that I met through Bang on a Can."

Tickets: $18 General; $15 Students and Seniors; $12 Jewish Museum and Bang on a Can List Members

Symposium: The Ghetto, Venice, and the Jews: A Historical Journey|
Sunday, February 19, 2pm-6pm

Founded in 1516, Venice’s Jewish ghetto marked the first instance of urban segregation in Western history and has since emerged as a universal metaphor of oppression and resilience. This roundtable of prominent scholars invites the public to look at the Venetian Republic through the eyes of its Jewish minority, and to imagine a time when the concepts of nation-state, citizenship, and identity were yet unformed. After the panel, Rav Elia Richetti, renowned cantor and connoisseur of Italian Jewish traditions, will perform examples of Venetian Jewish liturgy.

Speakers include: Cristiana Facchini (University of Bologna), Evelien Chayes (University of Amsterdam and the Sorbonne Nouvelle Paris III), Martina Massaro (Università Iuav, Venezia), Giuseppe Veltri (University of Hamburg), and Francesco Spagnolo (University of Berkeley, California).

For more information the public may visit

Presented by the Jewish Museum and the Centro Primo Levi in partnership with New York University, Casa Italiana Zerilli-Marimò as part of La Serenissima: Music and Arts from the Venetian Republic, organized by Carnegie Hall. This program is made possible through the generous contributions of the Embassy of Italy in Washington DC, Peter S. Kalikow, the Cahnman Foundation with additional support from the David Berg Foundation.

Tickets: $12 General; $8 Seniors and Jewish Museum, Centro Primo Levi, and Casa Italiana Zerilli-Marimò Members; Free for students with ID

AM at the JM: Ken Okiishi
Tuesday, February 21, 8am at Think Coffee, Union Square, 123 Fourth Ave, NYC

Artist Ken Okiishi will discuss his recent projects with Jens Hoffmann, Director of Special Exhibitions and Public Programs, The Jewish Museum.

Ken Okiishi is an artist based in New York. His exhibition at Reena Spaulings Fine Art (NY) opens on January 29 and will be on view until March 5. Recent solo exhibitions were at the Museum Ludwig, Cologne; MIT List Visual Arts Center, Cambridge, Massachusetts; Arbeiterkammer Wien; Pilar Corrias, London;  Fundació Gaspar, Barcelona; Mathew, Berlin; Take Ninagawa, Tokyo; Mehringdamm 72, Berlin; and Alex Zachary, New York. Recent group exhibitions include The Centre Pompidou, Paris; The Museum of Modern Art, New York; The Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Fridericianum, Kassel; Serralves Museum, Porto; Arnolfini, Bristol; White Columns, NY; Frieze Projects, London; and Artists Space, New York. His writing has appeared in Artforum, May, Bidoun, Triple Canopy, and The Brooklyn Rail; and The Very Quick of the Word, a book on his work, was published by Sternberg Press in 2014.

Jens Hoffmann joined the Jewish Museum in November 2012. Formerly Director of the CCA-Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts in San Francisco from 2007 to 2012 and Director of Exhibitions and Chief Curator at the Institute of Contemporary Art in London from 2003 to 2007, Hoffmann has organized more than 50 shows internationally including major biennials like the 12th Istanbul Biennial (2011) and the 9th Shanghai Biennial (2012).  Shows curated at the Jewish Museum include Other Primary Structures (2014), Repetition and Difference (2015), Unorthodox (2015), Roberto Burle Marx: Brazilian Modernist (2016), and Take Me (I'm Yours) (2016).


The Jewish Book Council Presents Unpacking the Book
Jewish Writers in Conversation - Israel: A Tale of Love and Darkness?
Tuesday, February 28, 6:00pm
Sponsored by The Paul E. Singer Foundation

The Jewish return to political power in Israel is a modern miracle. But with great power comes great responsibility. Has Israel lived up to its promise? And what comes next for the Jewish state, as it navigates a deeply unstable region and a new American president? Daniel Gordis and Nir Baram, two celebrated authors writing from Israel, join for a provocative conversation.

Nir Baram was born into a political family in Jerusalem in 1976. His grandfather and father were both Israeli Labor Party ministers. He has worked as a journalist and editor, and began publishing fiction 22 years old. Between 1998 and 2006 Nir published three novels in Hebrew; his November 2016 novel Good People was the first to be released in English, and his forthcoming memoir A Land Without Borders: My Journey Around East Jerusalem and the West Bank publishes internationally April 2017.

Daniel Gordis is senior vice president and the Koret Distinguished Fellow at Shalem College in Jerusalem, Israel’s first liberal arts college, and former vice president of the Mandel Foundation. He writes regular columns for The Jerusalem Post and Bloomberg View. Israel: A Concise History of a Nation Reborn is his eleventh book to publish in English.

The Jewish Book Council, the Jewish Museum, and Tablet Magazine are presenting the third season of Unpacking the Book: Jewish Writers in Conversation, bringing together some of the finest writers of the day for conversations around contemporary Jewish life and identity. Each program in the series is free and includes refreshments, a book sale and signing, and the opportunity to visit a featured exhibition at in the Jewish Museum galleries.

Advance RSVP is required; early arrival is suggested as space is limited. Entry is not guaranteed. Reservations can be made at

Gallery Talks
Fridays, February 3, 10, 17, and 24, 2pm

45-minute gallery discussions on specific themes and topics in current exhibitions, led by members of the Education Department.

Friday, February 3
Take Me (I’m Yours): Framing and Reframing
Jenna Weiss, Manager of Public Programs

Friday, February 10 and 24
Pierre Chareau: Interior Innovations
Chris Gartrell, Assistant Manager of Adult Programs

Friday, February 17
Pierre Chareau: Collecting Modern Art
Jenna Weiss, Manager of Public Programs

Free with Museum Admission – RSVP Recommended


Public programs are made possible by endowment support from the William Petschek Family, the Trustees of the Salo W. and Jeannette M. Baron Foundation, Barbara and Benjamin Zucker, the late William W. Hallo, the late Susanne Hallo Kalem, the late Ruth Hallo Landman, the Marshall M. Weinberg Fund, with additional support from Marshall M. Weinberg, the Rita J. and Stanley H. Kaplan Foundation, the Saul and Harriet M. Rothkopf Family Foundation, and Ellen Liman. Additional support is provided by Lorraine and Martin Beitler and through public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs.

About the Jewish Museum

Located on Museum Mile at Fifth Avenue and 92nd Street, the Jewish Museum is one of the world's preeminent institutions devoted to exploring art and Jewish culture from ancient to contemporary, offering intellectually engaging, educational, and provocative exhibitions and programs for people of all ages and backgrounds. The Museum was established in 1904, when Judge Mayer Sulzberger donated 26 ceremonial objects to The Jewish Theological Seminary as the core of a museum collection. Today, the Museum maintains a collection of over 30,000 works of art, artifacts, and broadcast media reflecting global Jewish identity, and presents a diverse schedule of internationally acclaimed temporary exhibitions.   Visitors can now also enjoy Russ & Daughters at the Jewish Museum, a kosher sit-down restaurant and take-out appetizing counter on the Museum's lower level.

The Jewish Museum is located at 1109 Fifth Avenue at 92nd Street, New York City. Museum hours are Saturday, Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday, 11am to 5:45pm; Thursday, 11am to 8pm; and Friday, 11am to 4pm.  Museum admission is $15.00 for adults, $12.00 for senior citizens, $7.50 for students, free for visitors 18 and under and Jewish Museum members.  Admission is Pay What You Wish on Thursdays from 5pm to 8pm and free on Saturdays.  For information on the Jewish Museum, the public may call 212.423.3200 or visit the website at

Press contacts

Anne Scher and Alex Wittenberg
The Jewish Museum
212.423.3271 (general inquiries)