Now – May 15. A Fascinating Exhibition at the Jewish Museum

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As a family portrait, or a look at how collections evolve over generations, the museum version of “The Hare With Amber Eyes” is deeply moving. At a time of so much loss, isolation and separation, it’s heartening to see the Ephrussis reunited, with one another and with their art. ~ The New York Times

The Hare with Amber Eyes, a fascinating exhibition now at the Jewish Museum,  is a timely story of the Ephrussi family—who originally hailed from Odessa Ukraine and lost their fortune and much of their art collection to Nazi looting in WWII.  The family story of the same name is celebrated in the 2010 New York Times bestseller memoir by Edmund de Waal.  They eventually retrieved many pieces from their collection and the exhibition showcases the breadth and depth of their illustrious collection.

The exhibition brings together pieces from the Ephrussi’s collections to examine the ways in which objects can function as storytellers, symbols of resilience, and monuments of a family legacy, including artworks by Jean-Honoré Fragonard, Berthe Morisot, Claude Monet, Gustave Moreau, and Auguste Renoir, among others; decorative objects; and family photos and ephemera from their lives across four continents.

At the exhibition’s centerpiece is the extraordinary collection of Japanese netsuke, miniature carved sculptures of the Edo Period (17th-19th centuries), hidden by a maid from German officials in her mattress during World War II, and later returned to the family after the war. The collection of netsuke has since been handed down to subsequent generations, serving as a connection between the past and the present. The most recent member of the family to inherit the collection, author and ceramicist Edmund de Waal, drew from them the inspiration for his memoir The Hare with Amber Eyes, continuing the family’s storied legacy of artistic and cultural pursuits.  GET THE DETAILS.


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