Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett to lecture in NYC on May 6th about Museum of the History of Polish Jews
by Samuel D. Gruber
(ISJM) New York University Professor Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett will speak at Temple Emanuel in New York City at 6:30 pm on May 6th about "Creating the Museum of the History of Polish Jews: A Work in Progress " Barbara is head of the international core exhibition planning team the long-awaited Warsaw Museum, where groundbreaking took place in 2007 and which is expected to open in 2011. She will discuss the challenges and methods for creating a narrative for this important museum.
I had the opportunity to hear Barbara speak twice about the new museum at conferences last fall, and to share a seven-hour car ride with her (and Sergey Kravtsov) from
The museum site is in the area of the former Warsaw Ghetto, immediately across from the
Amazingly, that grand, simple and now iconic monument continues to be the most visible and expressive source of information and misrepresentation about Jewish history in Poland’s capital (I say this in no way to denigrate the position and thoughtful efforts of the Jewish Historical Institute, but only to recognize that public role of the Uprising Monument).
The stated purpose of the museum is to preserve "the lasting legacy of Jewish life in
One of the intended installations in which I am most interested is the plan for one gallery to be surmounted by an 80% scaled replica – or recollection – of the panted wooden ceiling of Gwodziec (Ukraine), now well know from Thomas Hubka's book Resplendent Synagogue. This ceiling is to be hand-built in eight sections, each to be crafted and assembled in a different region of
Most difficult, The Museum must combat the combination of still profound ignorance and misconception about Polish-Jewish history within
Kirshenblatt-Gimblett is professor of performance studies at the
The program is free. Temple Emanu-El is located at