Skirball Museum begins to open "Ten Treasures" collection to the public

Ten Treasures, a new collection of Jewish art and artifacts, is on display at the Skirball Museum at Hebrew Union College in Clifton. The museum acquired the collection in May and plans to gradually introduce more items to the public as they’re unpacked, inspected and cataloged; the collection contains more than 1,500 pieces in total.

Most of the collection had been in storage since 2002 when the Klutznick National Jewish Museum closed and B’nai B’rith International, which was in the same building at the time, moved its headquarters. B’nai B’rith started looking for a new home for the collection and eventually decided Skirball would be the perfect place.

“We had an existing relationship and thought that if all the documentation and information was here it would only make sense to also consider having the art collection here as well,” says Skirball Curator Abby Schwartz. “The arrival of this new collection has more than quadrupled our existing holding. … This is a transformational acquisition for us.”

Skirball plans to reveal 10-15 pieces of the collection at a time, giving visitors a sneak peek at Jewish culture and history. Some of the pieces from this rotation include an oil painting, a silver kiddush cup for synagogue, a torah case made of deerskin, silver and velvet from India and Sabbath candlesticks made in the late 1600s.

“These are a great starting point for conversation about Jewish art,” Schwartz says. “We made a specific effort to try to give visitors a breadth of material ranging from fairly antique ritual art to contemporary.”

The current rotation is on display until January 2016.

Do Good:

• See Ten Treasures by visiting the Skirball Museum, 3101 Clifton Ave., Clifton. The museum is open to the public 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays, 1-5 p.m. Sundays or by appointment.

• “Like” Skirball on Facebook to stay up to date on the collection rotation. 

• To learn more about the collection, contact Abby Schwartz. 
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