Sara Berman’s Closet
February 5 - September 17, 2023
Sara Berman’s Closet is an installation created by New York-based multidisciplinary artists Maira and Alex Kalman, daughter and grandson of Sara Berman (1920-2004). At age 60, Berman, a Jewish émigré from Belarus to Israel, left her husband of 38 years and her old life behind. She packed a single suitcase and came to America, settling in a studio apartment in Greenwich Village. She had a room of her own and decided to wear only white.
After Berman’s death in 2004, the Kalmans, inspired by the profound beauty and simplicity of her meticulously ordered closet, decided to preserve its contents: everything carefully starched, ironed, folded, and stacked. In 2015 they recreated her closet, with its original contents, as an installation at Mmuseumm in lower Manhattan. Sara Berman’s Closet has since been presented in prestigious museums, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art (2017). Like a fable visualized as a cabinet of curiosities, the Kalmans’ imaginative, tenderly moving installation not only tells the universal story of one ordinary woman’s pursuit of identity and meaning in life, but also represents the mother-and-son artist duo’s deep, fond rumination on family history, memories, and remembrance.
This exhibition is made possible, in part, with generous support from:
Shari and John Hicks
An Afternoon with
Alex and Maira Kalman
Saturday, February 4
Thomas McGuire Hall
Free for Members; $20 Not-Yet Members
BOOK + TICKET:
$29 Museum Members | $53 Not-Yet Members
Join internationally acclaimed artists and authors Maira and Alex Kalman for an afternoon of artful conversation and an insider look at their exhibition and visual memoir Sara Berman’s Closet.
Maira Kalman, who was born in Tel Aviv and lives in New York City, has written and illustrated over 30 adult and children’s books, and is a frequent contributor to The New York Times and The New Yorker. She has created textiles for Isaac Mizrahi and Kate Spade and sets for Mark Morris along with other fruitful collaborations with Nico Muhly, Michael Pollan, Alex Kalman, David Byrne, John Heginbotham, and Lemony Snicket. Her art has been exhibited in museums and galleries around the world.