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The Chosen: Selected Works from Florida Jewish Art Collectors



The Jewish Museum of Florida is located in two restored historic buildings that were formerly synagogues, at 301 & 311 Washington Ave., in Miami Beach, Florida. (Photo Credit: Wikipedia)

The Jewish Museum of Florida-FIU (JMOF-FIU) has enlisted the curatorial prowess of the pioneer gallerist Bernice Steinbaum for a fantastic selection of Florida Jewish art collectors to be featured in the upcoming exhibition, The Chosen: Selected Works from Florida Jewish Art Collectors. The exhibition will be on view November 4, 2014- March 8, 2015 with a Members’ Preview on November 3rd.

This groundbreaking exhibit will showcase a prominent work chosen from a cadre of preeminent Jewish art collectors. Twenty collectors with strong ties to South Florida are generously loaning pieces for this unprecedented exhibit, representing varied passions from their prized collections. Many are pioneers of the local art scene, instrumental in bringing Art Basel to Miami and foremost collectors of contemporary art, with such recognizable names as: Palley, Margulies, Robins, Rubell, and Wolfson, to list a few.

JMOF-FIU’s mission is to collect, preserve and interpret the Jewish experience in Florida. The exhibits the Museum features are usually on topics of Jewish history, traditions, art and culture. This is the first time JMOF-FIU will be displaying world-renowned art from such internationally acclaimed artists including George Segal, Louise Nevelson, Alexander Calder, Nick Cave, Julian Opie and Hung Liu.

Guest Curator Bernice Steinbaum uses her creative and innovative talents in selecting the works for this show, noting, “We have never looked at what our community collects. We suspected there was not a connective tissue, other than our own Jewish DNA, but we found connectivity in the diversity of the works.” She goes on to say, “The Jewish people historically have been considered ‘other’ in each of the countries from which they have fled and they understand, in a visceral way, about inclusiveness.” The artists selected by Steinbaum are global: from Argentina, Brazil, China, Cuba, Germany, Haiti, India, Japan, Russia, South Africa and the U.S.

Just as the Jewish people traditionally focus on the importance of remembering the past to pass down for future generations, art is also a vehicle for linking the past and looking towards the future. Each collection tells its own story about the collectors: why and how they started collecting, how they chose the pieces they have acquired, how their collections enhance their lives, as well as their depth, commitment, passion, vision and philosophy. This exhibition will also give some insights into these collectors’ own stories, to add a bit of history as a backdrop for the center stage of these dynamic contemporary pieces.

The Museum will feature a selection of programs related to themes of the exhibition, including a “Tuesdays With…” series of conversations with movers and shakers of the local art scene and a special “Basel, Lox and Cream Cheese Brunch” during Art Basel.

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