NEW YORK, NY.- In an announcement made yesterday at the annual meeting held in Denver, Colorado, Daring to Resist: Jewish Defiance in the Holocaust and Noah’s Ark were named as two of the four national honorees of the Excellence in Exhibition Competition organized by the American Association of Museums. Citing the exhibition’s content, the judges felt that the Daring to Resist told a difficult and important story. The judges were very impressed with the innovative and interactive design of Noah’s Ark.
This is the second time the Museum of Jewish Heritage has entered the competition and the second award for the Museum. The Museum’s first award was for Ours to Fight For: American Jews in the Second World War in 2005. A traveling version of Ours to Fight For is on view at the Jewish Museum of Maryland through July 27.
“Visitors, survivors, and critics alike have had a strong and gratifying response to Daring to Resist. We have succeeded in changing the way the public views the conduct of Jews during the Holocaust, and we are honored that a jury of museum professionals has recognized this accomplishment,” Museum of Jewish Heritage Director Dr. David G. Marwell said.
The competition recognizes outstanding achievement across all types of museums, zoos, aquariums, botanical gardens, and any other type of non-commercial institutions offering exhibitions to the public. This year 33 museums entered the competition — more than ever before. The other winners include the Science Museum of Minnesota for Race: Are We So Different?; and the Mariners’ Museum in Virginia for Iron Clad Revolution in the U.S.S. Monitor Center.
The Museum of Jewish Heritage and the Skirball are both members of the Council of American Jewish Museums. Through training of museum staff and volunteers, information exchange, and advocacy on behalf of Jewish museums, CAJM assists its institutional and individual members as they educate and inspire diverse audiences on all aspects of Jewish culture and history.
Joanne Marks Kauvar, Executive Director of The Council of American Jewish Museums (CAJM), states, “CAJM proudly congratulates the Museum of Jewish Heritage and the Skirball Cultural Center for their well-deserved recognition by the American Association of Museums. That two of the four AAM awardees are CAJM members is a reflection of the significant role Jewish museums have assumed in American cultural life. CAJM’s 80 institutional members are deeply inspired by the accomplishments of these two preeminent peers.”
“We’re honored that the American Association of Museums has recognized Noah’s Ark at the Skirball,” comments Dr. Uri D. Herscher, Founding President and CEO of the Skirball Cultural Center. “In developing this new interactive destination, we were intent on further fulfilling our inclusive mission to provide a tent of welcome where visitors of all generations and from all walks of life feel at home and part of a community.” Herscher continues, “The exhibition’s whimsical design helps engage children and families in the timely and universal lessons of the ancient flood story: that we must collaborate to survive and thrive, learn from the past, and appreciate the gift of new beginnings.”
The Excellence in Exhibition competition is a joint project of the following AAM Standing Professional Committees: Curators Committee (CURCOM), the Committee on Audience Research and Evaluation (CARE), the Education Committee (EDCOM) and the National Association of Museum Exhibitions (NAME).