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Jewish Museum Milwaukee to show Chagall Bible etchings

January 30th, 2011

Marc Chagall, Belorussian, 1887-1985. "The Vision of Isaiah," 1957. Etching, 24x18", 80.7.15. Gift from Mr. and Mrs. Patrick Haggerty. Collection of the Haggerty Museum of Art, Marquette University.

Marc Chagall, Belorussian, 1887-1985. "The Vision of Isaiah," 1957. Etching, 24x18", 80.7.15. Gift from Mr. and Mrs. Patrick Haggerty. Collection of the Haggerty Museum of Art, Marquette University.

Since 1980, the Haggerty Museum of Art at Marquette University has owned a complete set of the 105 etchings that the renowned Jewish artists Marc Chagall made of scenes from the Jewish Bible. But they have not been part of the permanent display at the museum; they were last exhibited in 2004.

Beginning on March 6, 21 of these works will be displayed at the Jewish Museum Milwaukee in an area near the Milwaukee Jewish Federation’s Chagall tapestry, “The Prophet Jeremiah.”

Indeed, the loan of the etchings represents an exchange. The MJF loaned the tapestry to the Haggerty in 2004 to go with the etchings, and now the Haggerty is returning the favor, said Molly Dubin, JMM program coordintor.

Marc Chagall, Belorussian, 1887-1985."The Dance of Miriam; Sisters of Moses," 1957. Etching, 24x18", 80.7.44. Gift from Mr. and Mrs. Patrick Haggerty. Collection of the Haggerty Museum of Art, Marquette University.

Marc Chagall, Belorussian, 1887-1985."The Dance of Miriam; Sisters of Moses," 1957. Etching, 24x18", 80.7.44. Gift from Mr. and Mrs. Patrick Haggerty. Collection of the Haggerty Museum of Art, Marquette University.

But the loan is even more significant in that this is “the first time that we’re borrowing from an established museum,” said Kathie Bernstein, JMM executive director. “This shows that [Haggerty officials] have faith in our integrity as a museum.”

The 21 pieces follow “the arc of [some of] the stories,” including the story of Jacob, the Exodus, and the story of David. It also includes individual items from the Torah and the Prophets; and museum officials “wanted to make sure women were represented,” Dubin said.

The exhibit runs through June 6. The exhibit’s opening will be marked with a public event on Sunday, March 6, noon to 4 p.m. The event will include tours of the exhibit, refreshments, and a musical performance presented in collaboration with Jewish arts organization RUACH at 2 p.m. The event is open to the public and is free for museum members and $5 for non-members.

Marc Chagall, Belorussian, 1887-1985. "Jacob Wrestling with the Angel," 1957. Etching, 24x18", 80.7.26. Gift from Mr. and Mrs. Patrick Haggerty. Collection of the Haggerty Museum of Art, Marquette University.

Marc Chagall, Belorussian, 1887-1985. "Jacob Wrestling with the Angel," 1957. Etching, 24x18", 80.7.26. Gift from Mr. and Mrs. Patrick Haggerty. Collection of the Haggerty Museum of Art, Marquette University.

Other events are planned in conjunction with the exhibit; these will be announced later.

Jane Chernof chairs the museum’s program committee; Ethan Lasser its exhibits committee. Marianne Lubar is president of the museum’s board of trustees.

For more information, contact the museum, 414-390-5730 or visit the Web site, www.jewishmuseummilwaukee.org