Free admission to exhibitions, programs, and 15,000 objects from around the world.
The Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life

Summer is around the corner, which means the spring season at the Magnes is wrapping up. The last week of April features our final PopUp exhibition, on Ancient Egyptian and Jewish Magic, and we will be hosting the City of Berkeley's 14th annual Holocaust Remembrance Day on Sunday, May 1.  

The highlight of the spring season was the Mendelssohn Project, a series of lectures and musical performances centered on our exhibition, From Mendelssohn To Mendelssohn, showcasing the private and public lives of the Mendelssohn family and its role in German Jewish history. The exhibition will remain on view through the Fall semester. 

We are grateful to all the visiting scholars and artists who made the Mendelssohn Project so successful, and especially to our campus partners, the Dean of Arts and Humanities and the Departments of History and Music at UC Berkeley, and the many friends, patrons, and supporters who attended the programs. 

All programs and exhibitions of The Magnes are free and open to the public, and are presented at 2121 Allston Way, in downtown Berkeley. 

Rita Lucarelli on Ancient Egyptian and Jewish Magic
Wednesday, April 27, Noon-1 p.m.

Pharaonic magic has broadly influenced magic in Antiquity; in particular, ancient Jewish magical texts and practices reveal interesting points of contact with earlier Egyptian sources. During this talk, a few issues concerning a comparative study of magic in Antiquity will be discussed by bringing as a casestudy the comparison between ancient Egyptian and Jewish magic. Rita Lucarelli is an assistant professor of Egyptology at UC Berkeley whose research interests include magic and demonology in ancient Egypt and the Near East, and ancient Egyptian religious and mortuary iconography.
Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra | Hymns of Praise: Beethoven & Mendelssohn
April 30, 8 p.m., & May 1, 7:30 p.m.

Concluding event of The Mendelssohn Project
Held at the First Congregational Church, Berkeley
More information at 

City of Berkeley 14th Annual Holocaust Remembrance Day
Sunday, May 1, 11:30 a.m.–1 p.m.

Honoring Marika and Laszlo Somogyi, Distinguished Survivors


David Chernyavsky, violinist & Markus Pawlik, Pianist

Tomasz Koncewicz, Fulbright Visiting Professor, UC Berkeley Law

George Csicsery, Filmmaker, Angel of Mercy

Mark Donig, UC Berkeley Law Student

Enrique Lopez, Berkeley High Student

UC Berkeley Armenian Choir

Watch The Magnes on YouTube.

Moritz D. Oppenheim, Lavater and Lessing Visit Moses Mendelssohn (1856)


One exhibition, two historic pianos, and fourteen lectures & performances

January 26 - April 12, 2016
The Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life, UC Berkeley

A collaboration of
the Office of the Dean of Arts and Humanities
the Departments of History and Music
and The Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life
University of California, Berkeley

Program Committee
Anthony J. Cascardi, Thomas Laqueur, Nicholas Mathew, Francesco Spagnolo

From Mendelssohn To Mendelssohn
German Jewish Encounters in Art, Music, and Material Culture
curated by Francesco Spagnolo

Roger Moseley (Cornell), Michael Steinberg (Brown), Adrian Daub (Stanford), Danish String Quartet, Ariana Strahl (Soprano), Celia Applegate (Vanderbilt), Left Coast Chamber Ensemble, Nicholas McGegan (Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra), Carla Shapreau (UC Berkeley), Brett Lockspeiser (Sefaria), Daniel Schifrin (Berkeley), Lauren Cooper (UC Berkeley), UC Berkeley Symphony Orchestra, Professors Nicholas Mathew  and James Davies with students & instructors from the Pianism seminar (UC Berkeley)

Performances on historic pianos on loan from the Department of Music


Join Us


Exhibition Galleries
are open 
11 a.m.-4 p.m.,
& during public programs

The Helzel Collection Study is open for research
11 a.m.-3 p.m.,
& Thursday 11 a.m.-2 p.m.

Spring Exhibitions 2016

From Mendelssohn To Mendelssohn: German Jewish Encounters in Art, Music, and Material Culture

The exhibition and its programs reveals the private and public lives of the Mendelssohn family and German Jewish history. Read more...

Stages of Identity: Theater Posters from The Magnes Collection (1903-1994)

Cruelest of All—The King. Habimah_75.236.jpgThe poster exhibit showcases a variety of theatrical and other cultural events on Jewish themes, presented over the past century in various venues and contexts. Read more 

Living by The Book: The Jewish Bible and the Everyday Power of Text

Jonah and the Whale at the Port of Haifa.jpg

Can one study the Jewish Bible without opening a book? Scrolls, ritual objects, clothing, furniture, and tourist memorabilia from The Magnes Collection express culture in biblical terms with remarkable diversity and creativity, showcasing the ways text can serve as an archive of possibilities and a powerful platform for shaping everyday life. Read more…

The Jewish World A Book Installation

Select pages from The Jewish World: 100 Treasures of Art and Culture, the first comprehensive catalog featuring the holdings of The Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life, populate an installation in the Auditorium of The Magnes. Buy The Jewish World.


About The Magnes 
The Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life provides unprecedented access for scholars and the general public to special collections, exhibitions and public programs. The aim of The Magnes is to blend the rich Jewish tradition of creative discovery with programs that offer a profound collection of knowledge to all people. Combining scholarly programming, special access to artifacts, art exhibitions, installations and music, The Magnes is a hub for thoughtful, joyful and creative exploration of Jewish art and life.