Eva Jünger, © Jüdisches Museum München

Picture Stories. Portraits of Munich Jews

A boy in a sailor suit, a lady in a beret and with huge puffed sleeves, a rabbi with an open prayer book. In its exhibition entitled “Picture Stories,” the Jewish Museum Munich shows portraits from the 19th and early 20th century and asks: Who had their portrait painted by whom? How did they want to be seen? What kind of person did they want to represent?

Visits to studios formed part of the self-image of Munich’s bourgeoisie to which
Jews also belonged from the middle of the 19th century onward. Their portraits tell of their contribution to municipal society as well as of the long path to emancipation and their struggle to be seen. The exhibition traces the stories behind some 40 portraits and shows the multiplicity of Jewish identities.
After 1933, the situation of Jewish artists and their clients changed abruptly. Munich Jews were systematically deprived of their rights and persecuted. Many of the portraits shown survived with family members in exile and had long been forgotten in Munich.



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