Skip To Content

Fall Exhibition Preview from Executive Director Lori Starr

Elisheva Biernoff, The Tools Are in Your Hands, proposal drawing, 2013. Courtesy of the artist and Eli Ridgway.


This fall, The Contemporary Jewish Museum (The CJM) presents a wide range of perspectives on contemporary and twentieth-century art and ideas—ensuring that The CJM thrives as a place of intellectual excellence and welcomes all people to engage in salient conversations and experiences.

In Work in Progress: Considering Utopia (Oct 3, 2013–Jan 20, 2014), The Museum has invited three contemporary artists to reflect on the concept of utopia through a range of participatory works of art that encourage rich dialogue. Oded Hirsch (b. 1976) and Ohad Meromi (b. 1967) were both born on kibbutzim and came of age in Israel during the 1990s; and Elisheva Biernoff (b. 1980), a well-established Bay Area artist, provides a fascinating contrast to both the possibilities and challenges of utopian ideals.

Kibbutz Yagur, Israel, 1950–1959.


Then, in an historic exhibition, To Build & Be Built: Kibbutz History (Oct 3, 2013–Jul 1, 2014)
The CJM highlights one of the most interesting social experiments of the twentieth century—telling the story of the Israeli kibbutz as an expression of Jewish peoplehood and national identity.

In both Work in Progress and To Build & Be Built, we look forward to engaging with artists and our visitors in substantive Jewish conversations and learning. As well, our related public programs (see pages 10–12) celebrate the utopian ideals of the kibbutz and their influence on American and Bay Area culture.

Jason Lazarus. United States Naval Station Guantanamo Bay, Cuba (Afterimage Study), 2013. Archival pigment print, 7 x 9 inches. Courtesy of the artist and Andrew Rafacz Gallery, Chicago.


We also welcome Chicago-born artist Jason Lazarus for his first West Coast museum exhibition. Live Archive (Nov 21, 2013–Mar 23, 2014) is a tour-de-force of community participatory art-making around the notions of collective memory and social justice which engage Jewish concepts and celebrates community activism.

Arnold Lobel, Study for cover of Step Lively, Frog and Toad (possibly becomes Days with Frog and Toad), 1979.  Graphite, ink, and watercolor on paper pasted on illustration board, 19 15/16 x 15 15/16 in. Courtesy of the estate of Arnold Lobel. Copyright © estate of Arnold Lobel. Frog and Toad and the World of Arnold Lobel is organized by the Contemporary Jewish Museum, San Francisco, in collaboration with The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art, Amherst, Massachusetts.

Frog and Toad and the World of Arnold Lobel (Nov 21, 2013–Mar 23, 2014) presents one hundred original illustrations by this beloved artist (1933–1987). The friendship of Frog and Toad, warts and all, touches upon universal themes for our youngest visitors and their families. Through these animal friends and their adventures and misadventures, we see so much of ourselves. I’m also pleased to announce that this winter, The CJM will debut its new Zim Zoom Family Room where we will celebrate creativity and the art of story-telling all year long.

We give thanks to our supporters for helping us evolve our mission of making Jewish life vibrant and transformative for a twenty-first century audience.

I look forward to seeing you at The CJM!


About the Author
Lori Starr is the Executive Director of the Contemporary Jewish Museum (CJM) in San Francisco. Starr came to the CJM from the Koffler Centre of the Arts, Canada's only multidisciplinary, contemporary Jewish cultural institution offering cutting edge contemporary art exhibitions, music, dance, film, literary, theater, and other programs. Starr also served as Vice President for Culture for the UJA Federation of Greater Toronto. Prior to her time at the Koffler, Starr served as Senior Vice President and Museum Director of the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles; Director of Communications and Public Affairs for the J. Paul Getty Trust and J. Paul Getty Museum; and has held key management and education positions in the School of Fine Arts, University of Southern California and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. She was also a Rockefeller Fellow in Museum Education and Community Arts at the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco.

No comments: