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March 20, 2019

Curator of Polish Jewish museum to speak at U-M

January 8, 2016

Curator of Polish Jewish museum to speak at U-M

When Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett walks into a museum, she sees more than a collection of exhibits.

Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett

“Museums can be agents of transformation that can move a whole society forward,” she says.

As chief curator of the core exhibition at the POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews, her goal is to accomplish that transformation. The museum pays homage to what was once the largest Jewish community in the world. Standing on land that was part of the Warsaw ghetto, POLIN has attracted more than 1 million visitors since opening in 2013.

The museum’s origin is the subject of Kirshenblatt-Gimblett’s talk, “Rising from the Rubble: Creating the Museum of the History of Polish Jews.” It is at 5:30 p.m. Jan. 13 at the U-M Museum of Art’s Stern Auditorium. The free lecture is sponsored by the University of Michigan’s Jean & Samuel Frankel Center for Judaic Studies and the Copernicus Program in Polish Studies.

Kirshenblatt-Gimblett is University Professor Emerita and Professor Emerita of Performance Studies at New York University. She is the author of several books, including “Destination Culture: Tourism, Museums, and Heritage; Image before My Eyes: A Photographic History of Jewish Life in Poland, 1864-1939.”

Honors for her work include a recent medal from the president of Poland for her contribution to the creation of POLIN.