20120315_192608Emmanuel Witzthum, a Jewish artist, went from embassy to embassy trying to get in touch with different artists from different cultural backgrounds. When he reached the American embassy he was told “Sorry, we don’t support culture.” Oh god, our cowboy hats and spurs are showing as some old kranky guy yells from a bar, “We don’t take too kindly to your type…” Luckily, this image faded, or dissolved really, through Witzthum’s artistry.

On a Thursday night at the Magnes museum, another barrier was broken: the barrier between young students and old Jewish art enthusiasts. Everyone turned out for a chance to hear from the great Emmanuel Witzthum. He is a famous composer, violist, curator and lecturer, who is the artist behind the piece Dissolving Localities (details here). It is a mix of sounds, and sites from Berkeley and Jerusalem that is a pleasure for the senses. This night was particuarly special because we got to see how this masterpiece was created. read more »


5731102289_5c25ee9523We went to the famous Magnes exhibit put on by the Bancroft library knowing very little about Jewish art. For some reason we imagined we would find Old Testament scrolls, archaic headdresses, clay jars ready to crumble and other ancient pricey pieces of biblical proportions, but nothing that would be relevant to today’s fast-paced, iphone based, ADD lifestyle. However, we are guilty of blaspheme because this exhibit would pique the interest of even the 10 statuses daily Facebook addict.

At the back of the exhibition room is a lonely door and once we entered it, our ears were the first to transition into a strange world. read more »


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This is a story for insatiable museum fanatics (in case our campus didn’t have enough museums already). About 10,000 “objects and documents” that lived in the Judah L Magnes Museum are now migrating to the UC Berkeley campus. These objects will set up shop in downtown Berkeley “adjacent to the campus” and join the UC Berkeley Jewish Studies program in the new building. read more »