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Skirball Cultural Center

2701 N. Sepulveda Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90049 - (310) 440-4500

About the Collections


The Skirball holds one of the largest collections of Jewish art and material culture in America, with objects of art and history that reveal much about daily life, beliefs, customs, worship, values, human yearnings, historical experiences, and artistic achievement from biblical to contemporary times. The museum's collections—some 30,000 objects and growing—span history and the globe, reflecting Jewish life throughout virtually every era and part of the world. The museum's mission is to advance knowledge, preserve heritage and promote understanding by exploring the complex nature of Jewish life in the context of society as a whole.

The Museum's Collections

Hanukkah lamp The Skirball's extensive and wide-ranging collections include:

  • archaeological materials from biblical and later historical periods illuminating early Jewish life
  • an extraordinary body of Jewish ceremonial art ranging over the last five centuries of Jewish life
  • an important assemblage of coins, medals, and seals
  • an extensive group of objects exemplifying Jewish historical experience
  • the Project Americana collection, items that document the everyday life of ordinary people during three centuries of American Jewish life
  • and the stellar fine arts holdings, comprised of thousands of graphics, paintings, sculptures, and other works in a variety of media

The Museum's History

Ceramic Toy The Skirball Museum has a long history as one of the oldest repositories of Jewish cultural artifacts in America. The first stage in the museum's development lasted for nearly a century, beginning when Hebrew Union College (HUC) opened in Cincinnati, Ohio in 1875 and over time began accepting donations of Judaic objects and books. In 1913 the College's Union Museum was founded with the assistance of the National Federation of Temple Sisterhoods, becoming the first formally established Jewish museum in the United States. In the 1920s, the collections rapidly expanded with the purchase of several significant private collections of Judaica, including those of Salli Kirchstein, Joseph Hamburger, and Louis Grossman. In 1950, HUC merged with the Jewish Institute of Religion (JIR), and in 1972, with the generosity of the Skirball Foundation providing initial support, the collection relocated to Los Angeles.

In its new home at the HUC-JIR campus in Los Angeles, the now-renamed Skirball Museum became this city's first Jewish museum. It served a primarily Jewish and largely academic audience until it reopened in 1996 as the central component of the new Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles, where visitors of all ages and backgrounds experience its critically acclaimed exhibitions and public programs every year.


Skirball Cultural Center Outgoing Loan Policy

Thank you for your interest in borrowing artwork(s) from the Skirball Museum collection at the Skirball Cultural Center (SCC). Before submitting your request, below is a list of guidelines for you to review about our policies and procedures for outgoing loans.

  • To request artwork from our permanent collection, please submit an official request letter to the Director's Office of the Skirball Museum.

Robert Kirschner
Director, Skirball Museum
Skirball Cultural Center
2701 N. Sepulveda Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90049-6833

The request letter should include the exhibition purpose, the object(s) requested, and the exhibition venues and their dates.

  • All loan requests should be submitted at least 9 months in advance of the exhibition opening. For all requests received within this period, a $100 late fee will be charged to the borrower.
  • All loans are subject to the SCC's prior review of an AAM standardized facility report for all exhibition venues.
  • All loans are subject to the SCC's prior review of the insurance coverage from the borrower and from any additional venues. Should Borrower's insurance coverage prove to be inadequate in these requests, the SCC will insure Loan and invoice the borrower a fee.
  • The SCC's loan agreement will form the sole legal contract between the SCC and the borrower.
  • The SCC must approve the shipping itinerary or arrangements as well as shipping/customs agent(s), internationally and within the United States.
  • Borrower will be responsible for all costs incurred in loan including but not limited to all costs of packing; shipping; any necessary preparation work including framing, matting, glazing or other special conservation measures; and a loan fee of $100 for each work. Should the Borrower cancel the Loan request, the Borrower will be responsible for any costs already incurred by the SCC in processing Loan.
  • If a courier is required to oversee the loan, Borrower will pay all courier expenses at the beginning and end of the exhibition including airfare and lodging. The SCC requests a courier a per diem of $75 for all domestic institutions and 85€ for all international institutions or the equivalent of $75 in the local currency of the venue. In addition to per diem, Borrower will provide the courier with transportation to and from the airports in both departure and destination city. Couriers will travel by the flight class required to ensure preferential treatment at all stages of the journey when accompanying art, normally business class for international flights.
  • The SCC requires 2 complimentary copies of the exhibition catalogue or any publication featuring the SCC's loan for the SCC curator and Research Library.
  • If you have any additional questions, please do not hesitate to contact the Skirball Museum Registrar.

Cynthia Tovar
Registrar, Skirball Museum
Skirball Cultural Center
2701 N. Sepulveda Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90049-6833
Phone: (310) 440-4661
Fax: (310) 440-4728


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