The Judah L. Magnes Museum
Following the gift of the collections of the Judah L. Magnes Museum to the University of California, Berkeley, The Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life is established as a Research Unit of The Bancroft Library, with support from the late Warren Hellman, Tad Taube and the Taube Family Foundation, and the Koret Foundation.
The Magnes Museum, founded in 1961, built a 10,000-piece collection of precious music, art, rare books and historical archives; it is the 3rd largest Judaica collection in the U.S. The collaboration with Bancroft Library partners a world-class collection with a world-class university, complementing the school's academic offerings, raising the profile of the Magnes collection, and making it more accessible to scholars.
The transfer was made possible by gifts totaling $2.5 million over five years from philanthropists Warren Hellman, z"l, Tad Taube, and the Koret Foundation. These gifts will ensure that the acquisition is built on a solid and self-sustaining financial model.
Tad Taube, Chairman of Taube Philanthropies and President of the Koret Foundation, said the following of the Magnes: "It is my honor to support this new partnership between the University and the Magnes; it ensures that the collection will receive increased viewership in the academic setting that this fundamental collection deserves."
Support from other Magnes Museum donors has financed the renovation of a building at 2121 Allston Way, in the heart of the city of Berkeley's arts and commerce district. The 25,000-square-foot space contains a lecture room, seminar rooms and a state-of-the art space to exhibit the Magnes' prints, paintings, photographs, costumes and Jewish ceremonial objects.
"We are excited to acquire, steward and grow this precious cultural asset and ensure that it contributes to a much broader vision for our already robust Jewish studies programs at UC Berkeley," said UC Berkeley Chancellor Robert J. Birgeneau. "We thank the late Warren Hellman, the Taube Family, and the Koret Foundation, who have stepped forward to help make this vision possible."
The Magnes Collection – considered among the world's finest holdings of Jewish history and culture – features Hanukkah lamps, Torah ornaments, musical recordings, portraits, modern paintings and sculpture that date as far back as the 15th century. In some cases, long-separated papers of Jewish families will be reunited under one roof at The Bancroft Library.
For more information, please see the Magnes Collection's website: www.magnes.org