In its first five decades The Magnes has made a global impact on Jewish culture through pioneering collecting practices and communal activism. It incubated the first Jewish film festival in the world and inspired the international revival of Klezmer music. It established the model for the study of regional Jewish history in America, explored the visual and materials dimensions of Jewish life, and became a preeminent Jewish museum collections in a world-class university setting.
As it joins UC Berkeley in its jubilee year, The Magnes takes stock of its legacy and continues to be a laboratory for cultural and scholarly innovation. The first exhibition in the Charles Michael Gallery re-traces the fifty-year history of collecting, highlighting documents and artifacts that represent the milestones of the "Magnes effect."