How can museums best confront the stereotypes that feed antisemitism? Join our panel to explore the challenges of exhibiting difficult histories and shaping the stories objects tell.
Coinciding with the major exhibition Jews, Money, Myth, currently showing at the Jewish Museum and developed in collaboration with Birkbeck’s Pears Institute for the study of Antisemitism, Anthony Bale and Marc Volovici, academic advisors to the exhibition, and its curator, Joanne Rosenthal discuss their approach. Chair: Sarah Thomas, Director of the Centre for Museum Cultures.
Jews, Money, Myth runs at the Jewish Museum until 7 July and explores the role of money in Jewish life and its vexed place in relations between Jews and non-Jews, from the time of Jesus to the 21st century. It examines the origins of some of the longest running and deeply entrenched antisemitic stereotypes: the theological roots of the association of Jews with money; the myths and reality of the medieval Jewish moneylender; and the place of Jews – real and imagined – in commerce, capitalism and finance up to the present day. “Next time I’m asked how antisemitism started, I’ll say: ‘go to this exhibition’” Daniel Finkelstein, The Times.
Anthony Bale is Executive Dean of Arts and Professor of Medieval Studies at Birkbeck. His research interests include the histories and theories of ‘antisemitism’, late medieval English literature, culture and popular religion. He served as an academic advisor for Jews, Money, Myth.
Joanne Rosenthal is a freelance curator based in Sheffield. She was formerly Chief Curator and Head of Exhibitions at the Jewish Museum London and served on the board of the Association of European Jewish Museums. Her exhibitions for the Jewish Museum include Jews, Money, Myth and Blood: Uniting and Dividing. Her curatorial interests lie in the representation of difficult histories and explorations of collective memory and identity.
Marc Volovici is a Research Fellow at the Pears Institute. He served as an academic advisor for Jews, Money, Myth and co-edited the exhibition catalogue. He is completing a book on the language politics of Jewish nationalism.