It is the mission of The Sherwin Miller Museum of Jewish Art to educate about the Jewish experience in Oklahoma, the United States, and the world. Through exhibitions and educational programs focusing on Jewish culture, history, religion, and art, the Museum works to deepen understanding of the Jewish people, their faith, and their history.
The Museum has regularly offered programs to the public since its founding, exhibiting the work of such artists as Bernard Solomon, Raffi Kaiser; Gail Rubin, David Halpern and Chaim Hendin. Major exhibitions have included: "Anne Frank in the World: 1930-1945;" "Creativity Under Duress: From Gulag to Glasnost;" and "Prairie Landsmen: The Jews of Oklahoma." The painting above, Jonah at Haifa Port, by Russian artist Eugene Abeshaus, was acquired during the "Creativity Under Duress" exhibition in 1991.
This brass cabinet is from the extensive art collection of Gershon Fenster, after whom the Museum first was named. Gershon Fenster's efforts centered on fostering arts and letters in his homeland, Lithuania, and in his adopted home, Tulsa. His life work was tied to educational principles and the development and support of progressive education. Because of his close ties to the arts -- as a collector and philanthropist -- his memory remains alive in the work of the Museum.
The first object acquired by the Collectors' Group of the FMJA (formed in 1968) was this Yemenite bride's wedding headdress (gargush) a hood-like garment, gold brocade for festive use, appliqued with coins from the dowry. These hoods cover the hair entirely and are not worn after menopause. Donations of many other objects by the Collector's Group followed this initial contribution. The Collectors' Group has expanded into the Museum's current general membership
Despite our name, the Miller Museum defines itself as an educational rather than an arts organization, one that utilizes both art and history to preserve and present Jewish Culture. We also serve as the Jewish Historical Society of Oklahoma.