Field Trip to Skirball Museum - Wednesday, June 6, 2018


We have planned an exciting excursion to one of LA’s least known but most important museums, The Skirball Cultural Center, on Wednesday, June 6. The Skirball Museum’s mission is to preserve and advance Jewish heritage in social and cultural contexts. Its collections of Judaica and Jewish material culture are among the world's largest. They include some 25,000 objects of art and history, including archaeological materials from biblical and later historical periods illuminating early Jewish life; Jewish ceremonial art and artifacts from ancient to modern times; items that document the everyday life during three centuries of American Jewish life; and graphics, paintings, sculptures, and other works in a variety of media.

Rothschild Hanukkah Lamp. Silver. Germany, c.1850

The Skirball Museum is one of the oldest repositories of Jewish cultural artifacts in the United States. The first stage in its development lasted for nearly a century, beginning when Hebrew Union College (HUC) opened in Cincinnati, Ohio, in 1875 and over time began accepting donations of Judaic objects and books. In 1913 the college's Union Museum was founded, becoming the first formally established Jewish museum in the United States. In 1950, HUC merged with the Jewish Institute of Religion (JIR), and in 1972—with the Skirball Foundation providing initial support—the collection relocated to Los Angeles. In its new home, the now-renamed Skirball Museum became this city's first Jewish museum. It reopened in 1996 as the central component of the new Skirball Cultural Center, where visitors of all ages and backgrounds experience its core exhibition, Visions and Values: Jewish Life from Antiquity to America, which chronicles the struggles and achievements of the Jewish people over a span of 4,000 years. A recent addition to the exhibition showcases a series of audiovisual excerpts from Holocaust survivors.

The Skirball will present a special exhibition, opening in April on the centennial of his birth: Leonard Bernstein at 100—a celebration of the life and work of Leonard Bernstein (1918–1990), the great American composer and conductor who dedicated his life to making classical music a vibrant part of American culture. Organized by the GRAMMY Museum®, Leonard Bernstein at 100 is the official exhibition of the Bernstein centennial celebrations, which will include events at numerous performing arts venues around the United States. Encompassing half a century of activity by the “Renaissance man of American music,” the exhibition is the most comprehensive retrospective of Bernstein’s life and career ever staged in a museum setting.

As a composer, Bernstein embodied the syncretism of the American musical tradition. Blending his Jewish roots with the Western classical canon, jazz, and popular music, he crossed genre lines and wrote landmark scores for musical theater (West Side Story, Candide) and film (On the Waterfront), as well as producing a large body of symphonic and choral works. As a conductor, Bernstein defined the profession for decades both at home and abroad. The first American-born principal conductor and music director of the New York Philharmonic, he dazzled the public with the passionate intensity of his performances.

As an educator, Bernstein pioneered the use of television as a medium that could offer an accessible yet sophisticated musical education to the widest possible audience. Through his Young People’s Concerts, he empowered thousands of children to find classical music relatable and exciting and influenced a generation of young musicians.

To explore the many facets of Bernstein’s life, this exhibition of over 150 objects will include photographs, personal items, papers, scores, correspondence, costumes, furniture, and audio and video recordings. Featured objects on display will include Bernstein’s conductor baton, his first childhood piano, the desk and handwritten score sheets for songs used to compose West Side Story, and Bernstein’s handwritten Harvard study notebook from 1939. In addition to the objects and multimedia presentations, the exhibition includes a number of interactive displays.

"Sabbath Afternoon" Oil on canvas. Oppenheim, 1866.

Leonard Bernstein

You will not want to miss this opportunity to explore the incredibly rich and varied, tragic and beautiful history of the Jewish people and their contributions to human culture around the world and throughout the ages.  Our deluxe motorcoach will depart Carpinteria at 9:00 am on Wednesday, June 6, 2018 and will return by 6:00 PM.  The cost for historical society members is just $49; non-members cost $59.  This price includes bus transportation, admission to all Skirball Museum exhibits, including the special Bernstein exhibition, and snacks & refreshments aboard the bus.  A no-host lunch is available at the museum’s elegant but reasonably-priced Zeidler’s Café (reservations recommended: 310-440-4515, see website, below, for menu), or from the café’s sandwich, salad and snack cart. 


Call David at 805-684-3112 to reserve or simply download the reservation form, fill in and return with your check.  Click here to download the flyer for this field trip. Visit the Skirball online to learn more:

Statue of Liberty Torch

956 Maple Ave, Carpinteria, CA 93013, USA  |  805.684.3112