Welcome to the Magnes!

Exhibitions, Programs, and 15,000 Objects from Around the World

The Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life was established in 2010 following the transfer of the Judah L. Magnes Museum to the University of California, Berkeley. Its remarkably diverse archive, library and museum holdings include art, objects, texts, music, and historical documents about the Jews in the Global Diaspora and the American West. As one of the world's preeminent Jewish collections in a university setting, it provides highly innovative and accessible resources to both researchers and the general public

PopUp Exhibition: Agnieszka Ilwicka on Love in the Ruins: Jewish Life in Lower Silesia 1945-1968 in the voice of the oral history

When: 
Wed, May 03, 2017 12:00pm to 1:00pm

Polish-born Yiddishist and oral historian Agnieszka Ilwicka will talk about her research project "Love in the Ruins: Jewish Life in Lower Silesia 1945-1968." After World War II, Lower Silesia was the largest Jewish settlement in Europe.

I-Tal-Yah: An Island of Divine Dew. Italian Crossroads in Jewish Culture

On View: 
Aug 30, 2016 to Dec 16, 2016
Jan 24, 2017 to Jun 23, 2017

Never before the creation of the State of Israel did Jews of so many origins live together, and in such a stimulating environment, as they did in the land they soon started calling in Hebrew i-tal-yah, an “Island of Divine Dew”.   

PopUp Exhibition Series: Spring 2017 Program

Each week, UC Berkeley faculty and graduate students, visiting artists and other notable guests will present brief lectures focused on selected treasures from the The Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life. One speaker and one object at a time, these “flash” exhibitions will include the opportunity to view the art and artifacts discussed intimately and up close.

The Power of Attention: Magic & Meditation in Hebrew "shiviti" Manuscript Art

On View: 
Jan 24, 2017 to Jun 23, 2017

Created from the early-modern period and into the present, shiviti manuscripts are found in Hebrew prayer books, ritual textiles, and on the walls of synagogues and homes throughout the Jewish diaspora. Wrestling with ways to externalize the presence of God in Jewish life, these documents center upon the graphic representation of God's ineffable four-letter Hebrew name, the Tetragrammaton, and associate it with words and imageries that evoke mystical powers, protective energy, and angels, as well as key places and characters in Biblical and Jewish history.