With today’s sale by Christies of Amedeo Modigliani’s “Nu Couché” for over $170 million, my thoughts turned from art and red coffee cups to Fall art exhibits of Jewish interest

(Modigliani, an early 20th Century Italian Jewish artist completed this work in 1917-18; it was a sexual, hedonistic response to the carnage of WWI. He died a few years later of poverty and TB; and his pregnant longtime girlfriend jumped to her death soon after, distraught over his death)

The Fall highlight at New York City’s Jewish Museum is a show of Andy Warhol’s representations of Liz Taylor and Marylyn Monroe, two celebrity converts to the Jewish religion. The public personas of Elizabeth Taylor and Marilyn Monroe were constructed, but when they converted to Judaism, the change for both women was personal and profound. Becoming Jewish: Warhol’s Liz and Marilyn draws parallels between the actresses’ identities as Jewish women and Warhol’s exploration of their celebrity through his image-making.

Also at The Jewish Museum is a show of photographs of Steerage immigrants by Alfred Stieglitz

Last week, a show titled UNORTHODOX opened at The Jewish Museum. a large-scale group exhibition featuring over 50 contemporary artists from around the world whose practices mix forms and genres without concern for artistic conventions. Though the artists in Unorthodox come from a wide variety of backgrounds and generations, they are united in their spirit of independence and individuality. Through over 200 works, the exhibition will highlight the importance of iconoclasm and art’s key role in breaking rules and traditions. Numerous works that examine social and political values, religion and humanism, trauma, and identity explore the relationship between the human figure and the modern creative process.

NYC’s Museum of Jewish Heritage: A Living Memorial to the Holocaust features Yellow Stars, Pink Triangles: Nazi Persecution of Homosexuals: 1933-1945 and Designing Home: Jews and Midcentury Modernism. Also, next week, the museum hosts “Eating Jewish in Canada” with Anthony Rose of Toronto’s Fat Pasha and Schmaltz Appetizing; Ruthie Ladovsky of United Bakers Dairy Restaurant; and food writers Michael Wex and Bonnie Stern; moderated by Jayne Cohen, Jewish Holiday Cooking From schmaltz-fried rice to Nutella babka bread pudding with maple syrup to classic gefilte fish.

The Center for Jewish History in Manhattan, which contains five museums in one building is highlighting the Autumn with Baghdadis & the Bene Israel in Bollywood & Beyond and Jewface: “Yiddish” Dialect Songs of Tin Pan Alley

At the Contemporary Jewish Museum in San Francisco the Fall show is NEAT: New Experiments in Art and Technology, which acknowledges an earlier E.A.T. show and brings digital innovation into the fine arts. NEAT features nine Bay Area artists, representing three generations of practitioners. Each artist has been commissioned to make a new piece, or update an older artwork, that demonstrates how digital programming is a central, yet just the latest, tool for artist creativity. Another show, In That Case: Havruta in Contemporary Art — David Wilson and Francesco Spagnolo, is based on the Talmudic study principle of havruta—the study of religious texts by people in pairs— “In That Case” at The CJM encourages learning through fellowship for Bay Area artists, established professionals, museum staff, and the entire CJM community.

The Brooklyn Jewish Children’s Museum of Crown Heights features a show by Maurice Nseiri. It is titled “The Lost Art of Damascus” and focuses on Nseiri, who is among the greatest of Syrian-Jewish metalworkers. Nseiri’s work adorns the palace of the murderous Syrian dictator and President Bashar al-Assad, as well as the entrances to several prominent synagogues and mosques. He also designed the trophies presented at the Arabian TV awards.

At the New Center in Boston, The making of Hamsas is on the agenda for November.

The National Museum of Jewish Heritage in Philadelphia will host Dr. Ruth Westheimer next week. Among its special Fall exhibits are The Pursuit of Happiness: Jewish Voices for LGBT Rights; Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile and Friends: The Art of Bernard Waber; and Dreams of Freedom: 1880 – 1945.

NYC’s Museum of Modern Art presents “Endless House: Intersections of Art and Architecture” with the highlight of a series of drawings and photographs by Frederick Kiesler, the Austrian-American polymath whose Endless House — never completed — fused fine art, architecture, furniture and lighting design into a bulbous, unstable whole. he designed the Shrine of the Book for Jerusalem’s Israel Museum.

At The Museum of the City of New York, “Folk City: New York and the Folk Music Revival” features several Jewish musicians; handwritten Bob Dylan lyrics; well-strummed guitars from Lead Belly, Judy Collins and Odetta; concert posters; Sing Out! magazines; video from a raucous protest over banning folk singers from Washington Square, and more. While the Neue Galerie on Manhattan’s Upper East Side has “Berlin Metropolis: 1918-1933” which shows the the rich cultural ferment of the fragile Weimar Republic.

Through January 2016, The National Academy has “GLOBAL CITIZEN: THE ARCHITECTURE OF MOSHE SAFDIE.” This touring survey features the work of the architect whose career was kicked off by his landmark Habitat 67 at the 1967 World’s Fair in Montreal.

In Los Angeles, the LACMA features: FRANK GEHRY. Co-organized by the Pompidou Center in Paris, the exhibition looks at the career of Canadian-born Jewish starchitect Frank Gehry, who set up shop in Los Angeles in 1962. Across LA at the new Broad Museum, OPENING OF THE BROAD M– USEUM, collectors Eli and Edythe Broad open their museum, designed by Diller Scofidio + Renfro in collaboration with Gensler, in downtown Los Angeles. The inaugural installation includes about 250 artworks dating from the 1950s to the present. Also back at LACMA is “NEW OBJECTIVITY: MODERN GERMAN ART IN THE WEIMAR REPUBLIC, 1919-1933” featuring crippled war veterans, prostitutes and the rise of mass media as some of the subjects addressed by Neue Sachlichkeit artists.

Through March 2016 in Washington DC, the Smithsonian Americna Art Museum shows IRVING PENN: BEYOND BEAUTY; this exhibition surveys Penn’s career from 1930s street photography to celebrity portraits.

In Miami at the Jewish Museum of Florida, a show of the works of Dr. Mark Podwal features Podwal’s drawings and paintings of historical threats of antisemitism, combined with verses from the Book of Psalms. With so many recent incidents of antisemitic acts throughout Europe and the U.S., and even right here in Florida, the topic has never been so relevant.

The Dallas Museum of Art will show over fifty works of art in Art SPIRIT AND MATTER: MASTERPIECES FROM THE KEIR COLLECTION OF ISLAMIC ART, as well as INTERNATIONAL POP, which hosts the show from the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, an exhibition of Pop Art that splintered into international movements like Nouveau Réalisme in France, Concretism and Neo-Concretism in Brazil and Capitalist Realism in Germany. Down in Houston, the Museum of Fine Arts will give a retrospective to MARK ROTHKO. It is the first major retrospective of Rothko’s work since 1998, featuring his luminous Color Field canvases divided into hovering rectangles.

In Detroit at the DIA, 30 AMERICANS draws from the Rubell Family Collection in Miami; it features 70 works by 30 contemporary African-American artists.

The Graham Foundation in Chicago features BARBARA KASTEN: STAGES. The Institute of Contemporary Art on Penn’s campus in Philadelphia organized this major survey of the Chicago artist Barbara Kasten, whose photographs and videos are based on architectural models she builds and photographs in her studio.

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  • Another Upcoming show is an exhibit of new works by artist Emily Stern. “Jew in the City” is hosting a night of art, Torah, great food and wine as they celebrate the opening of Emily Stern’s “WELLS OF MIRIAM” photography exhibit at the HADAS GALLERY at Pratt College in Brooklyn.

    Emily Stern serves the evolving Jewish world with poetry, theater, visual arts, and song. She graduated from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. She wrote and preformed plays while a DRISHA Arts Fellow and at Nishmat, The Center for Advanced Torah Study for Women. A member of the Jewish Art Salon, and a blogger for the Jewish Journal, her latest project is called Wells of Miriam, combining a revolutionary model of natural rainwater retention with ancient waters of spiritual transformation and rebirth used in Jewish ritual, called Mikvah. This project is an enactment of the potential for global renewal and reveals the possibility of deepening our understanding of G-d. Her first album, Birth Day, is a lyrically complex expose on the divine feminine, orchestrated with natural sounds. Emily is the oldest daughter of Howard Stern. Her website is emilystern.org

    All proceeds will go towards funding an upcoming video about Orthodox Jewish artists who have found room for creativity and personal expression within the boundaries of Jewish law

  • The Israel Museum in Jerusalem presents


    New Types: Three Pioneers of Hebrew Graphic Design
    The artists featured are Moshe Spitzer, Franzisca Baruch, and Henri Friedlaender. The curator is Ada Wardi

    Moshe Spitzer, Franzisca Baruch, and Henri Friedlaender studied and worked in pre-World War II Germany before immigrating to Israel, where they continued to be active for decades. Their works include the emblem of the City of Jerusalem, the Hadassah typeface, and books published by Tarshish. The exhibition explores the work processes of each one of these groundbreaking designers and presents a selection of their key works.

    Another show is

    Gold from the Sea. New discoveries from Caesaria

  • The Tel Aviv Museum of Art features


    Naama Arad: Table Mountain

    The works of Naama Arad (b. 1985), recipient of the 2015 Ingeborg Bachmann Scholarship Established by Anselm Kiefer, construct systems of arbitrary order that are based on converting the function of familiar objects. The installation was created specifically for the gallery. In its space, a domestic site comprised of cheap, everyday items, is being set. The viewers are invited to wander in a “reality,” whose various dimensions exist along a sequence reminiscent of a Möbius strip.

  • The Sydney Jewish Museum in Australia

    features a photo exhibit celebrating 120 years The Australian Jewish News. For 120 years The Australian Jewish News has reflected the passions, joys, humour and heartache of Australia’s Jewish Community. This exhibition features front covers of the newspaper which capture and reflect the changing face of Australian Jewry.

    The London Jewish Museum is having a BLOODY affair and focusing on the theme of blood… Jewish blood.


    In “Blood Fractions: The Octoroon and Other Fantasies” – In the eyes of the Victorians, the octoroon – a person with one-eighth black blood – was a focus of anxiety about detecting the taint of ‘bad’ blood. In the 20th century, the Nazis sought to protect ‘pure’ German blood from becoming tainted by the blood of Jews. Professor Roger Luckhurst, Birkbeck, University of London, explores literary and cultural representations of mixed blood.