As a member of the American Alliance of Museums, the Derfner Judaica Museum + The Art Collection at Hebrew Home at Riverdale is proud to possess a world-class collection of over 5,000 sculptures, drawings, photographs, and prints, as well as decorative arts and objects from world cultures. The Derfner Judaica Museum comprises more than 1,400 Jewish ceremonial objects. Both the Museum and The Art Collection provide public programming that is a model of universal accessibility, with a special focus on the elderly and persons with special needs.
The Art Collection continues to grow through the generosity of donors and includes work by such renowned artists as Marc Chagall, Alex Katz, Robert Mangold, Joan Mitchell, Louise Nevelson, Pablo Picasso, Ben Shahn, and Andy Warhol. The art program was founded with the idea to bring a museum to the residents who could no longer visit cultural institutions on their own.
Art is an integral part of Hebrew Home and can be found throughout thepublic spaces both indoors and outside. A rarity in New York City, Hebrew Home has a sculpture garden that overlooks the magnificent Hudson River and Palisades. It includes works by such sculptors as Herbert Ferber, Menashe Kadishman, Reuben Nakian, Marsha Pels, and Joel Perlman, among others.
Displays that appeal to children of all ages may be found throughout the halls. The Home has two indoor garden railroad dioramas by the award-winning landscape architect Paul Busse, known for his design of the annual Holiday Train display at The New York Botanical Garden, as well as a collection of Madame Alexander First Lady dolls, a salt water aquarium, and Pickles and Egg Cream, an installation of miniatures by Ruby G. Strauss that provide a peek into immigrant New York of the 1920s-1950s.
Changing exhibitions are organized mounts rotating exhibitions throughout the year in the lobby gallery of the Elma and Milton A. Gilbert Pavilion and in the Derfner Judaica Museum. These engaging exhibitions feature contemporary artists, explore art historical themes drawn from the permanent collection or highlight Jewish art and culture.