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Showing posts from March, 2014

Spring Exhibition Preview from Executive Director Lori Starr

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Spring is a time of renewal. Here at The Contemporary Jewish Museum (CJM) we renew our passion for making the diversity of Jewish life relevant for a twenty-first century audience through our exhibitions and programs. In our beautiful jewel of a building—a former power station that broadcasts big ideas—we’ll be celebrating Passover with free admission all eight days of the holiday—as we reflect on the age old story told in the Haggadah of the Jewish exodus from Egypt.  Freedom is hard won and never guaranteed even in a democracy. Our exhibition of all forty-eight original pages of the most famous Haggadah in the world—The Szyk Haggadah, is a reminder. The glorious retelling of the story through magnificent, complex illuminations and hand-painted calligraphy also sounds a warning to the world of 1940 when Szyk’s masterpiece was first published about the growing threat of Nazism to the world. Did the world hear? At this time of year let’s open our ears and eyes to celebrate hard won fr…

A Herpetologist Takes On Frog and Toad

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Our current exhibition, Frog and Toad and the World of Arnold Lobelinspired us to visit The California Academy of Sciences to observe real-life frogs and toads. We were fortunate to sit down and chat with David Blackburn, Assistant Curator of Herpetology, about the differences between the two, the anatomical accuracy of Lobel’s art, and address some recent rumors about Cal Academy's most famous resident, Claude the white alligator.

Have you read the Frog and Toad books?

I have read Frog and Toad, yes. I have a son who is 5 and a son who is 2.

What are the differences between frogs and toads?


Technically true toads are just one family of all frogs. Toads are a type of frog but not really vice versa. The archetype of a toad is a grumpy warty thing that is on the ground but there are toads that breed only in tree holes. There are more than 6,200 frogs including toads, so for reference that's more frogs than [there are kinds of] mammals. There are probably slightly less than 500 …