Derfner Judaica Museum + The Art Collection
Art is an integral part of RiverSpring Health.
The Hudson River and Palisades provide a spectacular backdrop to Derfner Judaica Museum + The Art Collection. A model of universal accessibility, our unique setting allows us to provide meaningful museum experiences to older adults and persons with special needs, while appealing to a diverse audience of all ages, backgrounds and abilities.
In the 1960s, Jacob Reingold (1915–1999), the visionary leader of the Home for more than 40 years, founded the art program, initially with a loan exhibition of 70 objects from the Jewish Museum on Fifth Avenue. He went on to secure gifts and donations for a permanent collection of the Home’s own, beginning in the mid-1970s. He worked initially with Eric Estorick of the Grosvenor Gallery in London. Mr. Estorick’s father had been a resident of the Home from 1975 to 1978.
Grosvenor Gallery was a premier venue for Eastern European art at a time when the Iron Curtain limited opportunities for artists to exhibit in the West. Reingold and Estorick succeeded in bringing attention to Jewish artists and other modernist artists whose freedom of expression was severely restricted in the Soviet Union and its satellite states. Even today, works by these artists are rarely seen in the US. The Art Collection also features American and Western European contemporary and modern artists, who represent a range of styles, from Cubism to Abstract Expressionism, Pop Art to Minimalism.
The Judaica Museum was founded in 1982 with a gift of 800 Jewish ceremonial objects from local Riverdale residents Ralph and Leuba Baum, who wished to preserve and pass down to future generations the memory embodied in the objects they collected. In 2008 the Judaica Museum was named in honor of benefactors Helen and Harold Derfner.
“We wanted to bring the beauty that is art into the lives of people. We’re trying to remove the invisible wall that often separates an institution from the community.”
— Jacob Reingold, Executive Director, 1958-1995
As a member of the American Alliance of Museums and the Bronx Arts Alliance, RiverSpring Health is proud to possess a world-class collection of paintings, sculpture, drawings, photographs and prints, as well as decorative arts and objects from world cultures.
LOCATION AND CONTACT
Derfner Judaica Museum + The Art Collection is located on the main campus of the Hebrew Home at Riverdale by RiverSpring Health, 5901 Palisade Avenue, Bronx, NY 10471. Call 718.581.1596 or email firstname.lastname@example.org