Andy Warhol's Jewish Geniuses_Jewish Museum of Australia (c) Vicki Jones Photography

A special exhibition from the Jewish Museum of Vienna, “Andy Warhol’s Jewish Geniuses”, is currently on display at The Jewish Museum of Australia – Gandel Centre of Judaica in Melbourne at 26 Alma Road, St. Kilda. Featured in the exhibition are ten screen printed portraits of famous Jewish personalities of the 20th century and it is the first time that this body of work is being exhibited in Australia.

From a list of almost 100 names, Warhol chose ten personalities, who reveal the depth and breadth of Jewish contribution to 20th century cultural life. The exhibition explores Warhol’s creation of the celebrity image and his selection process behind his Jewish geniuses.

Curated by the Jewish Museum of Vienna, the exhibition features portraits of psychologist Sigmund Freud, Vienna’s most famous Jewish personality, Viennese-born philosopher Martin Buber, writer Franz Kafka, physicist Albert Einstein, composer George Gershwin, The Marx Brothers actors, writer Gertrude Stein, judge Louis Brandeis, actress Sarah Bernhardt and Golda Meir, first female Prime Minister of Israel.

Original works have been borrowed from international lenders from New York, Israel and Vienna and thanks to the National Gallery of Victoria and other private lenders, the Jewish Museum of Australia has been able to include some of Warhol’s rarely before seen artworks, which gives an Australian flavour to the exhibition.

On display until 26 May 2015, “Andy Warhol’s Jewish Geniuses” also includes photographs of Andy Warhol, a copy of the list of 100 names, as well as a short documentary film.

In conjunction with the exhibition, the Jewish Museum of Australia in co-operation with The Shalom Institute in Sydney is hosting a special educational Study Tour of Jewish Vienna from 1 to 9 June 2015. Led by Dr Paul Forgasz, Director of Jewish Studies at the Monash University in Melbourne, the program highlights the contribution of the Jewish community to Vienna’s past and present.

This tour coincides with the 150th anniversary of the Ringstrasse Boulevard, the world’s most beautiful boulevard around Vienna’s city centre featuring imperial palaces, museums, public buildings and splendid private residences.

Few European cities have a history as closely connected with Jewish history as Vienna. Participants of this study tour will experience the dark days of Jewish Vienna as well as the revival of the small but vibrant Jewish community. During the past three decades, the city has stepped up efforts to face up to the history of Jews in Vienna, including both positive and negative aspects, and to re-examine Vienna’s Jewish heritage. In addition to the Jewish institutions that have sprung up over the last few years, with the support of the City of Vienna, a number of museums and memorials evoke the city’s Jewish heritage, including the Jewish Museum of the City of Vienna, the Judenplatz Museum, the Sigmund Freud Museum, the Arnold Schoenberg Center, the Memorial against War and Fascism on Albertinaplatz and the Shoah Memorial on Judenplatz.

Sandra Tiltman


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: