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.

Emigre Musicians and Composers in LBI Collections

Score to "J’Accuse" by Otto Klemperer, 1933, with corrections by the composer

As LBI presented the 2010 Leo Baeck Medal to Maestro Kurt Masur, who left such an enduring imprint on cultural and political life in both Leipzig and New York, it was fitting to shine a light on the generation of German and Austrian musicians before him that blazed a parallel trail across the Atlantic and transformed musical culture in America.

Exhibition: The Art of the Book, Illustration and Design

George Salter's cover for "Berlin Alexanderplatz" by Alfred Döblin

This exhibition features a number of recently acquired books designed by George Salter, who revolutionized the art of book design over a career that spanned decades in Berlin and New York, lending iconic images to works by Kafka, Mann, and Faulkner. It also showcases a wide and diverse range of other books from the LBI collections.

Paving the Way for All Women – Exhibit Traces Paths of Jewish Women in Germany

Margarete Berent

The second installment in a collaboration with the German Ambassador in Washington, DC, this exhibit showcases the everyday lives and extraordinary accomplishments of Jewish women in Germany. It combines portraits of luminaries like the brilliant salonnière Rahel Varnhagen with seemingly profane objects like a “Jewish Cookbook” from the turn of the 20th century.

Exhibit: Goldscheider – A World Brand from Vienna: Commerce and Art in an Age of Transformation


This exhibit features decorative ceramics by the legendary Goldscheider Manufactory focusing on the beauty of the 1920’s Art Deco Woman. The objects are presented within the post-1848 historical context of Vienna, a time marked by the decline of the Habsburg monarchy and profound innovations in the arts, the sciences, industry and commerce.