Grant Recipient Institution(s)
The Leo Baeck Institute received funding for two projects.
Description: The collection (18 reels of microfilm/20,000 frames), documents the professional activities of the art historian and architect Rachel Wischnitzer (1885-1989), including her research and publications, work as a curator and museum consultant, service on editorial and museum boards, lectures she gave, and her tenure as a professor of fine arts at Yeshiva University’s Stern College for Women. Also included in this series is a large amount of visual material—photographs, lantern slides, and negatives—compiled by Rachel Wischnitzer and used as reference materials, illustrations for her publications, and as visual aids for her lectures. Common topics include synagogues, book plates and illuminated manuscript pages, ceremonial and liturgical objects, and art.
Collection: The Gaby Glueckselig Collection
Description: This collection (44 reels of microfilm/44,000 frames) includes documents and papers from former German-Jewish emigrant Gaby Glueckselig. She was the hostess of New York’s longest running German-language Stammtisch. Founded in 1943 by Vienna-born artist George Harry Asher and Bavarian author Oskar Maria Graf, the weekly gathering became a cultural home for Jewish and non-Jewish émigrés who had fled the Nazi takeover of their beloved Heimat but did not want to leave their culture behind. The group met for years in cafes on the Upper East Side until Glueckselig began hosting the group in her Yorkville apartment – and many of the documents in the collection are connected to this Stammtisch.
Project Update: September 25, 2018
The Leo Baeck Institute recently completed a project to digitize the collection of architect and art historian Rachel Wischnitzer, courtesy of a METRO digitization (micro)grant which covered scanning of the materials by Internet Archive. Over 10,000 pages/scanned images from the collection are now publicly available online.
The Rachel Wischnitzer Collection contains correspondence, lecture notes, photographs, lantern slides, and negatives documenting Rachel Wischnitzer’s career as an art historian, curator, professor, consultant, and author. Also included are correspondence, records, and photographs pertaining to her husband Mark Wischnitzer’s work as a historian, editor, and Secretary General of the Hilfsverein der Deutschen Juden.
Rachel Bernstein Wischnitzer (1885-1989) was an architect and art historian. She was one of the most important Jewish art critics of the century. Her husband Mark Wischnitzer (1882-1955), was a sociologist and historian, who was one of the editors of the Russian-language edition of the Jewish Encyclopedia (Evreiskaia entsiklopediia). The couple moved to Berlin in the 1920s, where they together launched the Hebrew and Yiddish illustrated companion journals Rimon and Milgroym. During her time in Berlin Rachel Wischnitzer was also art and architecture editor of the Encyclopaedia Judaica, from 1928 to 1934, and worked with the Jewish Museum Berlin, in part as a curator, from 1928 to 1938.
Rachel and Mark Wischnitzer, together with their son, Leonard (born in 1924), fled Nazi Germany in 1938, emigrating at first to Paris. From there Rachel and Leonard left for the United States in 1940, with Mark joining them in the following year. In her fifties, Wischnitzer returned to formal academic study at the Institute of Fine Arts at New York University, where she earned a master’s degree in 1944. During that time she was a research fellow of the American Academy for Jewish Research. Later, she was a professor at Stern College for Women of Yeshiva University, from 1956 until she retired in 1968. Mark Wischnitzer was also on the faculty of Yeshiva University as professor of Jewish history in the graduate school.
Digitized items include correspondence between Rachel Wischnitzer and other individuals in her field, including historians, artists such as Marc Chagall, art historians, museum professionals, scholars, and rabbis. It also includes photographs of synagogues she loaned to the Rose Art Museum for the exhibit “Two Hundred Years of American Synagogue Architecture,” and lecture notes and other materials from her tenure at Yeshiva University’s Stern College for Women.
Finding Aid with links to the digitized materials: http://findingaids.cjh.org/?pID=3741534
Link to the collection at Internet Archive (archive.org): https://archive.org/details/rachelwischnitze00unsead