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Ongoing Exhibit

With generous support from the Spitz Foundation, highlights from Spertus Institute's world-class collections of Jewish art and artifacts can now be viewed online, from your computer, tablet, or phone. Enjoy high-resolution photos, informative videos, and rich information for further study.
With generous support from the Spitz Foundation, highlights from Spertus Institute's world-class collections of Jewish art and artifacts can now be viewed online, from your computer, tablet, or phone. Enjoy high-resolution photos, informative videos, interactive maps, and rich information for further study.

Online Exhibit

In 1934, a Jewish autonomous region was established in Birobidzhan, Siberia. This Jewish region emerged from a Soviet policy that encouraged each ethnic group to contribute to the building of socialism by settling its own territory.
In 1934, a Jewish autonomous region was established in Birobidzhan (sometimes spelled Biro-Bidjan), Siberia. This Jewish region emerged from a Soviet policy that encouraged each ethnic group to contribute to the building of socialism by settling its own territory (or oblast) and developing its own language and culture. Yiddish was declared the official language of the Jewish Oblast and a proletariat secular culture was bolstered. The area boasted Yiddish newspapers, schools, a library, and a theater. In 1937, a group of progressive Jewish artists from Chicago created a portfolio of prints in support of the project. The participating artists were active in the Works Progress Administration (WPA), a New Deal government program that carried out public works projects during the Great Depression.

On Display

While we prepare for the Midwest Jewish Artists Lab show coming this fall, a selection of art from the Spertus collection is on display throughout our building. When you visit for programs, classes, or events, pick up to explore.
While we prepare for the Midwest Jewish Artists Lab show coming this fall, a selection of art from the Spertus collection is on display in locations throughout our building. When you visit for programs, classes, or research, pick up a free self-guided tour to learn about the unique architecture of the Spertus building and about the artwork on view.

Online Exhibit

We are proud to present a selection from Spertus Institute's Muriel Yale Collection of Antique Maps of the Holy Land and the Ottoman Empire. Please note that there is no corresponding physical exhibit currently on display.
In History of Cartography, authors Harley and Woodward define maps as “graphic representations that facilitate a spatial understanding of things, concepts, conditions, processes or events in the human world.” Maps mesh artistic representation and scientific reality, and this commingling is seen nowhere better than in maps of the Holy Land, which often portray vivid biblical scenes literally on top of geographical territory (see, for example, Thomas Fuller’s Issachar).