The museum began in 1904 as the library of the Jewish Theological Seminary of America. In 1944, it moved to its current location on 5th Avenue’s Museum Mile. A donation of 26 objects from Judge Mayer Sulzberger started its collection, which has grown exponentially since then to more than 26,000 objects including paintings, sculptures, works on paper, photographs, and ceremonial objects.
Collection highlights include an untitled Man Ray self portrait, a Sol LeWitt wall drawing, a marriage contract from 1776 Italy, a burial plaque from 3rd to 4th century Rome, and the Ilse Bing 1936 photograph New York—Me and the Elevated. The museum also puts on a number of special exhibitions that draw from its holdings. In the past they have included art of Curious George by Margret and H. A. Rey; showcases of art by Motherwell, Ferber and Gottlieb; and South African photographs by David Goldblatt.
Jewish Museum of New York Information
- Public Transportation: Very good (convenient to 4, 5, or 6 subway at 86th Street/Lexington Avenue; the M1–M4 bus to Fifth Avenue and 91st Street; the M86 bus to Madison Avenue and 86th Street; or the M96 bus to 96th Street and Fifth Avenue)
- Handicapped Accessibility: Good
- Hours: Saturday–Wednesday 11 a.m.–5:45 p.m., Thursday 11 a.m.–8 p.m., closed Friday
- Admission: $12, seniors $10, students $7.50
- Free Day: Saturday
- Tours: Free 45-minute tours, led by museum-trained docents, meet in the museum lobby at scheduled times listed on the museum website. Audio tours are also free
- Membership: Individual membership is $75 annually. Benefits include personalized membership card, unlimited free admission for one adult, invitations for two to special members-only previews of new exhibitions, and discounts at local restaurants and parking garages. Membership is 100% tax deductible. Discounted membership ($55/annual) available for students, seniors, and out-of-town patrons
- Other Benefits: A $250 membership entitles patrons to receive membership reciprocity at numerous other museums nationwide.