contemporary jewish museum

Growing Up Absurd:

Before there was Art Spiegelman or Marjane Satrapi, there was Charlotte Salomon, the Berlin-born artist who created the genre-bending “Life? or Theatre?” The work, created in France between 1940-1942, blends not only life and theater but graphic novel and operetta; comedy and tragedy; and text, image and song in a stunning, innovative, autobiographical masterpiece that is necessarily colored by her fate. Don’t miss it at the Contemporary Jewish Museum in San Francisco.

Collection Jewish Historical Museum, Amsterdam. Copyright Charlotte Salomon Foundation

Shahzia Sikander, Sinxay: Narrative as Dissolution #1, 2008. Ink and gouache on prepared paper. 81.5 x 51.125 inches

This Thursday at the Contemporary Jewish Museum in San Francisco, Shahzia Sikander will be in conversation with art historian John Zarobell. Sikander will be discussing her work included in the exhibition, Beyond Belief: 100 Years of the Spiritual in Modern Art - a joint program by the Contemporary Jewish Museum and SFMOMA

The talk is free with gallery admission, but advanced tickets are highly encouraged. More information and tickets are available here. The talk will begin at 6:30pm. 


  • When SFMOMA’s building temporarily closes for expansion construction this summer, the museum will begin an exciting phase of off-site programming, including a series of  collaborative exhibitions shown at partner museums throughout the Bay Area. 
  • Beyond Belief: 100 Years of the Spiritual in Modern Art will be the first museum partnership, organized with the Contemporary Jewish Museum, on view from June 28 through October 27, 2013.
  • Spanning a century, this expansive exhibition was conceived as a journey into the connections between spirituality and modern and contemporary art.
  • Beyond Belief features more than sixty works on loan to the CJM from SFMOMA’s internationally acclaimed collection.
  • Exhibition artists represent a wide variety of cultural backgrounds and interests, ranging from Paul Klee and Piet Mondrian, to Alberto Giacometti and Mark Rothko, to Agnes Martin, Nam June Paik, and Teresita Fernández.

Image: Teresita Fernández, Fire, 2005; silk yarn, steel armature, and epoxy; 96 x 144 in. (243.84 x 365.76 cm); Collection SFMOMA, Accessions Committee Fund purchase; © Teresita Fernández

And, although our building is closed, you can still experience SFMOMA at locations around the Bay Area! Come see iconic works from our collection at the nearby Contemporary Jewish Museum in Beyond Belief: 100 Years of the Spiritual in Modern Art, a collaborative exhibition that journeys into the far-reaching connections between spirituality and modern and contemporary art.

Looking for more information about our temporary website redirect, or about our current or upcoming exhibitions and programs? Please click here.


Daniel Libeskind let the shape of Hebrew letters inspire the shape of the Contemporary Jewish Museum in San Francisco. It’s a detail you wouldn’t notice right away, not without looking hard or being told.

But on approach, the Contemporary Jewish Museum’s towering metal geometric “Yud” structure commands the small plaza around it and somehow feels light and delicate for its size and form, tilted on end.

Inside, natural light, open space, and clever lines make exploring the museum feel like just that–an exploration. Sharp staircases bring you to new vantage points and nooks, while gleaming hallways and a grand lobby quiet the atmosphere for reflection.

Everything seems light, clean, and airy, the exhbitions alone lend the space its richness.