The Philly Jewish History Museum has opened

On the second floor of the museum, Horowitz’s sinister sculpture “Untitled” is a massive and mysterious presence of black, which is an act of covering up racism and anti-Semitism, rather than removing them. Horowitz called him Darth Vader.

“I was amazed that the shape … was similar ready answer what to do with these racist monuments from the past, ”Horowitz said in an audio tour. “I decided to remake the sculpture in such a way as to freeze this moment in time.”

Garautiz also installed a series of large stickers on the second floor wall representing a raised fist of emoji in different skin tones. The original emoji with a raised fist was first presented in 2015 in a relatively neutral yellow color. It was later offered as a pop-up menu for different skin tonesin shades from white to black.

Artist Jonathan Horowitz has installed on the second floor of the National Museum of the History of American Weizmann Jews giant stickers with raised fists of emoji, which are presented in different skin tones. (Peter Crimins / WHY)

A raised fist, often used to express disobedience, acquired the meanings of Black Power and Black Lives Matter when offered in black. Horowitz believes that a pop-up menu of skin tones involuntarily gives equal confidence to the power of whites.

“I think one of the hallmarks of the moment we live in is the study of America’s ideas and ideals more deeply than ever before,” Perelman said. “As a museum located in the Independence Mall, our mission is not only to celebrate these ideals, but also to unpack them and understand where they have been successful, and have been beacons of opportunity, and where we have fallen.”

Perelman said such an approach to the contents of the historical museum, presenting it in a contemporary context, would set the standard for future programs at Weitzman.

“Historical museums had problems,” Halperin said. pointing to the recently closed Philadelphia History Museum in Etheter Kent and the transfer of materials to the University of Drexel. “We have rethought our historical museum. We believe that history, including the history of American Jews, is relevant to the present. ”

As part of the post-bankruptcy recovery, the Jewish Museum will be free to visit. Halperin says the museum has in the past experimented with free admission, resulting in a fourfold increase in attendance.

Even with free admission, Halperin is confident that the future of a museum with a larger fund will be financially solvent. He also said the museum is ready for a nationwide exhibit, expanding its board to accept members from San Francisco and Washington, D.C., and take the lead in the Jewish Heritage Month, is happening right now, coordinating programs among 125 partner organizations across the country.

“We are not only a museum of the history of American Jewry located in the Independence Mall, but what we have to say and what we have to share is important and relevant today,” he said. “These are some thoughts on how to move forward.”


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