You are here

Who Represents Us?

Who Represents Us?

October 17, 2021
Past Exhibition

Who Represents Us?

Andy Warhol’s Ten Portraits of Jews of the 20th Century and other highlights from the Spertus collection

Ground Level Arts Lab Exhibition

Please note that our facility is currently closed to the public due to the flare up in the pandemic.

In 1980, Andy Warhol memorialized luminaries of modern Jewish culture: Sarah Bernhardt, Louis Brandeis, Martin Buber, Albert Einstein, Sigmund Freud, George Gershwin, Franz Kafka, the Marx Brothers, Golda Meir, and Gertrude Stein. Warhol depicted these thinkers, politicians, performers, and writers in his signature pop-art fashion, splashed with color and shapes, blurring of boundaries between art and commerce.

The idea for the controversial series came from art dealer Ronald Feldman, who together with Susan Morgenstein of the Jewish Community Center of Greater Washington, came up with the list of names. The series was warmly received by Jewish audiences despite negative reviews from art critics who considered the works exploitative. Hilton Kramer of The New York Times wrote, “The way it exploits its Jewish subjects without showing the slightest grasp of their significance is offensive—or would be, anyway, if the artist had not already treated so many non-Jewish subjects in the same tawdry manner.”

Today, as we think about Jewish identity through a multi-cultural, twenty-first-century lens, do these Jews represent us? Who does? See this series and other highlights from the Spertus collection as we explore Jews in art.

Ground Level Arts Lab Exhibition Hours
[Depending on Coronavirus-related restrictions, see above]

Sunday 10 am–5 pm
Monday–Wednesday 9 am–5 pm
Thursday 9 am–6 pm
Friday 9 am–3 pm
Closed Saturdays and Jewish and secular holidays.

Admission is free. 

Group Visits
Due to the intimate nature of the Ground Level Arts Lab and the need for social distancing, we ask that those planning to visit with groups of any size fill out a short form to ensure we can accommodate you in the space. Notifying us at least three weeks in advance is required. GROUP VISIT FORM >


At left

From Andy Warhol’s Ten Portraits of Jews of the 20th Century. Spertus Institute Collection. ©The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / Courtesy Ronald Feldman Fine Arts, New York.