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Exhibitions & Collections

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Special Exhibitions:

1917: How One Year Changed the WorldUncle Sam poster 2
March 17 – July 16, 2017

NMAJH will debut the special exhibition 1917: How One Year Changed the World, co-organized by the American Jewish Historical Society (AJHS) in New York. The exhibition looks back 100 years to explore how three key events of 1917—America’s entry into World War I, the Bolshevik Revolution, and the issuing of the Balfour Declaration, in which Great Britain indicated support for a Jewish homeland in Palestine—brought about political, cultural, and social changes that dramatically reshaped the United States’ role in the world and provoked its most stringent immigration quotas to date. The exhibition examines this consequential year through the eyes of American Jews, who experienced these events both as Americans and as part of an international diaspora community. Following its run at NMAJH, 1917 will be on view at AJHS, September 1 - December 29, 2017. For more information, visit

1917 and AJHS credit
This exhibition has been made possible in part by a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities: Exploring the human endeavor. Major support provided by Anonymous; David Berg Foundation; and Tawani Foundation. Additional support provided by: Linda and Michael Jesselson, Bryna and Joshua Landes.

Coming soon...

Light and Noir image smaller

Light & Noir: Exiles and Emigres in Hollywood, 1933 – 1950
September 15, 2017 – January 15, 2018

Light & Noir: Exiles and Emigres in Hollywood, 1933 – 1950, organized by the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles, explores how theexperiences of German-speaking exiles and émigrés who fled Nazi Europe—many of them Jews—influenced the classic films of Hollywood’s Golden Age. Visitors will learn how beloved movies such as Sunset Boulevard, Casablanca, Double Indemnity, and Ninotchka were shaped by the light and dark experiences of these pioneering film artists. Through a selection of film footage, drawings, props, costumes, posters, photographs, and memorabilia, Light & Noir tells the story of Hollywood’s formative era through the lens of the émigré experience, focusing on genres in which the exiles and émigrés were especially productive: the exile film, the anti-Nazi film, film noir, and comedy.  

Light & Noir: Exiles and Émigrés in Hollywood, 1933-1950 is organized and circulated by the Skirball Cultural Center, Los Angeles, California. It is co-presented with the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

Leonard Bernstein: The Power of Music
March 16 – September 2, 2018Young Bernstein image

Leonard Bernstein: The Power of Music, organized by NMAJH, will celebrate the centennial birthday of one of the 20th century’s most influential cultural figures, who personified classical music and produced a rich repertoire of original compositions for orchestra and the theater. Audiences may be familiar with many of Bernstein’s works, notably West Side Story, but not necessarily how he grappled with his own religious, political, and sexual identity, or how he responded to the political and social crises of his day. Visitors will find an individual who expressed the restlessness, anxiety, fear, and hope of an American Jew living through World War II and the Holocaust, Vietnam, and turbulent social change – what Bernstein referred to as his “search for a solution to the 20th‐century crisis of faith.” The exhibition will feature one‐of‐a‐kind historic artifacts, all brought to life through immersive film, sound installations, and interactive media.

Leonard Bernstein: The Power of Music has been made possible in part by the National Endowment for the Humanities: Exploring the human endeavor.