In 1895 the first Jewish museum in the world was founded in Vienna. In 1899 it commissioned Isidor Kaufmann, an artist famous for his Jewish genre scenes, to construct a Shabbat room for the museum. Kaufmann had undertaken several study trips to the eastern crown lands. His "Gute Stube" offered the mostly assimilated Jewish visitors a place of contemplation in the heart of the city in which they could recall the “good old days.” The idea of a reconstruction arose for this exhibition. The "Shabbat Room" by the artist Maya Zack, who was born in Israel in 1976, is the result of intensive artistic research. With the aid of photos of the "Gute Stube" and knowledge of Kaufmann’s work, she reinterprets the museum installation, which was destroyed by the Nazis in 1938. The work is a journey in time. The artist uses computergenerated visualizations to allow the different manifestations to interact – from the conception phase in the artist’s studio and the various sites of the old Jewish Museum to the few surviving objects from the "Gute Stube" in the Visual Display area of the present-day Jewish Museum Vienna. The project was made possible thanks to the generous financial support of the Association of FRIENDS, Sotheby’s Kunstauktionen GesmbH, and the Frey familiy.

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  • Title: Maya Zack, The Shabbat Room
  • Creator: JMW collection, Maya Zack
  • Date Created: 2013
  • Location: Vienna
  • Rights: JMW / Maya Zack / Foto: Klaus Pichler