A Collage of Customs, Iconic Jewish Woodcuts by Mark Podwal on View at The Museum at Eldridge Street




Image courtesy of the artist and Museum at Eldridge Street

The Museum at Eldridge Street is proud to present A Collage of Customs, Iconic Jewish Woodcuts Revised for the TwentyFirst Century, an exhibition featuring the work of acclaimed artist and writer Mark Podwal. The exhibition will open on Thursday, May 11 and run through November 19, 2023.

A Collage of Customs features Podwal’s inventive interpretations of woodcuts from the 16th-century Sefer Minhagim (Book of Customs). The works combine lighthearted, imaginative whimsy with insightful commentary on Jewish customs and history. His work not only injects a sense of playfulness into religious objects and practices, but also invites deeper contemplation and appreciation of their significance. Through his art and accompanying text, Podwal offers a nuanced and thought-provoking exploration of Jewish culture. The exhibition is on loan from the Skirball Museum at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Image courtesy of the artist and Museum at Eldridge Street

“We are delighted to be showcasing this stunning exhibition by the renowned artist, Mark Podwal,” said Bonnie Dimun, Executive Director of the Museum at Eldridge Street. “This is his second exhibition at the Museum at Eldridge Street. His work is a testament to the enduring power and beauty of Jewish culture, and we are honored to be able to share it with our visitors.”

Baking Matzoh. Image courtesy of the artist and Museum at Eldridge Street

Mark Podwal has written and illustrated more than a dozen books and has illustrated more than two dozen works by such authors as Elie Wiesel, Heinrich Heine, Harold Bloom, and Francine Prose. He is represented in the collections of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Victoria and Albert Museum, National Gallery Prague, the Bodleian Libraries at the University of Oxford, and Jewish museums in Berlin, Vienna, Prague, and New York, among others. He has received honors including being named Officer of the Order of Arts and Letters by the French Ministry of Culture, and the Gratias Agit Prize from the Czech Ministry of Foreign Affairs. His book, A Collage of Customs, prepared to accompany this exhibition, offers in-depth commentary on each image in the series. Podwal is represented by Forum Gallery, New York and has exhibited there since 1977.

Collage of Customs. Image courtesy of the artist and Museum at Eldridge Street

During the run of the exhibition, the Museum at Eldridge Street will offer a series of related public programs. There will be an exhibition opening reception on Thursday, May 11 from 6PM – 8PM. Visit the Museum’s website for updates and information on additional programs and events.

A Collage of Customs and related programs at the Museum at Eldridge Street are made possible, in part, by the City of New York Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, and New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature.

Lag B’Omer Haircut. Image courtesy of the artist and Museum at Eldridge Street

Museum at Eldridge Street is housed in the Eldridge Street Synagogue, a magnificent National Historic Landmark that has been meticulously restored. Opened in 1887, the synagogue is the first great house of worship built in America by Jewish immigrants from Eastern Europe. Today, it is the only remaining marker of the great wave of Jewish migration to the Lower East Side that is open to a broad public who wish to visit Jewish New York.

Exhibits, tours, public programs and education tell the story of Jewish immigrant life, explore architecture and historic preservation, inspire reflection on cultural continuity, and foster collaboration and exchange between people of all faiths, heritages, and interests.

Museum at Eldridge Street is located at 12 Eldridge Street between Canal and Division Streets, NYC.

  • Admission on Monday & Friday is pay what you wish