Past Exhibitions

Transcending Tradition: Jewish Mathematicians in German-Speaking Academic Culture

Meyer Elkan Fürth
Sefer yir’at shamayim [The Book of Fear of Heaven] Dessau, 1820

Before the emancipation, learned Jews used mathematics primarily as a tool for calculating the Jewish calendar.  As opportunities opened for Jews in German academia, Jewish mathematicians became leaders in the field.

A wealth of pictures and documents trace many moving lives: young researchers who helped shape modern mathematics and physics, scholars who went beyond mathematics and made their mark in literature or philosophy, and the story of the most important female mathematician of the 20th century.

LBI Focuses on Mendelssohn Family in Exhibit at German Ambassador’s Residence

A panel from the exhibition shows some descendants of Moses Mendelssohn

German Ambassador Peter Ammon hosted the opening of a new Leo Baeck Institute exhibition at his residence. “The Mendelssohns: A German Family of Scholars, Bankers, and Artists” was curated by the Leo Baeck Institute (LBI) from its extensive collection of personal papers, books and other artifacts.

Beer, Art and Revolution: Jewish Life in Munich, 1806 – the present

Julius W. Schülein, "Main Synagogue and Frauenkirche", water color, c. 1920

This exhibit shows how Jews were instrumental in shaping the traditions and character of Germany’s third largest city, from Löwenbräu beer to the city’s champion soccer club.

Destination Shanghai: The Jewish Community of Shanghai, 1936-1949

David L. Bloch, Self Portrait in a Rickshaw, watercolor, 1943

On view through April 14, 2013 at the Kunstsammlungen Chemnitz
Between 1936 and 1949 Shanghai was the last refuge to 20,000 German and Austrian Jews, who flocked to the only place in the world that didn’t require a visa.

Moses Mendelssohn: Conversation and the Legacy of the Enlightenment

Moses Mendelssohn Title Panel

The towering figure of the Jewish Enlightenment was a short, humpbacked son of a Torah scribe from the rural German hamlet of Dessau, who rose to become an internationally renowned Enlightenment philosopher while remaining an observant Jew who defended Judaism and advocated for Jewish civil rights. Explore his life and work through images and links to digitized books.

Leo Baeck Salon Explores the Logistics of Memory in Berlin

Luca Vanello's "Memory Pill" consists of a single photograph, disintegrated and compressed into a gelatin capsule, offering to bring the observer back to a specific moment and memory.

At the 9th Leo Baeck Salon, seventeen young artists transformed shipping containers in an industrial Berlin neighborhood into art spaces with sculptures inspired by LBI collections. The artists, all students in Gregor Schneider’s sculpture class at the Berlin University of the Arts, engaged with LBI archives at the Jewish Musuem in Berlin.

Exhibit: Radical Departures – The Modernist Experiment

Georg Stahl, Without Title, oil on masonite, 1961

Many Jewish and non-Jewish German artists alike had their work branded “degenerate” by the Nazis and were forced to flee Germany. Georg Stahl responded to the political turmoil of the Weimar Republic, and later World War II, with work that moved from a modernist style in the 1920′s to pure abstraction in the 1950′s.

“The Art of the Book” at the German Ambassador’s Residence

Levin Kipnis  Alef-bet  Drawings by Ze’ev Raban  Berlin, 1923

The LBI exhibit “The Art of the Book” covers centuries of contributions by German Jews to literary culture.  The “people of the book” have shaped the culture of the written word not just as authors, but also as collectors, designers, and illustrators.  Although the exhibit is at the German Ambassador’s residence and not currently open…

“We have to find ways to make history personal.” An Interview with the Curators of “Final Sale”

A Berlin dairy in 1930.

LBI spoke to Christoph Kreutzmüller, one of the historians behind the new exhibition, “Final Sale. The End of Jewish Owned Businesses in Berlin” about why such a project was so long in coming, why Berlin was considered a safe haven by many Jewish entrepreneurs, and why it is important to make history personal.

Exhibition: Final Sale, The End of Jewish Owned Businesses in Nazi Berlin

Final Sale: The End of Jewish Owned Business in Berlin

The exhibition “Final Sale. The End of Jewish Owned Businesses in Nazi Berlin” documents the process by which Jews in Germany were expropriated through the examples of 16 Berlin businesses, but that is only half the story. It also demonstrates the flourishing of Jewish entrepreneurship in Berlin before 1933, when the city was a center of Jewish life.