Our major exhibition about the best-known figure in Jewish folklore, the golem, tells a story that has inspired generations of artists, filmmakers, and writers. The exhibition presents the golem, a man-made being endowed with superhuman powers, in its many forms: from its appearances in early Jewish mystical texts to its various manifestations in popular culture.
Central to the golem legend is the human desire to create, together with a range of themes including creativity, control, power, and salvation.
The exhibition demonstrates the thematic richness of the material, as is apparent from medieval manuscripts, many-layered narratives, and works of art from the last two hundred years. The golem symbolizes each era's dreaded dangers and hopes for redemption. The exhibition uses the golem figure to examine topics like creativity, creation, power, and redemption. Whether in painting, sculpture, object art, video, installation art, photography, or illustration, the golem is very much alive and, with it, the question of what it means to be human.
In this catalog, experts from a variety of disciplines describe their associations with the objects in the exhibition. The volume is completed with excerpts from literary texts that have shaped the image of this legendary figure.
The catalogue is published by the Jewish Museum Berlin and the Kerber Verlag, Bielefeld. Its print version is German only, but several texts can be read on our website.
- Introduction: The Golem in Berlin by Peter Schäfer
- Chapter 1: The Golem Lives On by Martina Lüdicke
- Chapter 2: Jewish Mysticism by Emily D. Bilski
- Chapter 3: Transformation by Emily D. Bilski
- Chapter 4: Legendary Prague by Martina Lüdicke
- Chapter 5: Horror and Magic by Martina Lüdicke
- Chapter 6: Out of Control by Emily D. Bilski
- Chapter 7: Doppelgänger by Martina Lüdicke
Jüdisches Museum Berlin/Jewish Museum Berlin (2016), Golem. Selected Texts From Our Catalog.
The Golem in Berlin
by Peter Schäfer
The Golem Lives On
With Texts by Martina Lüdicke, Anna-Dorothea Ludewig, Louisa Hall and Caspar Battegay
With Texts by Emily D. Bilski and Martina Lüdicke
With Texts by Emily D. Bilski, Christopher Lyon, Rita Kersting, Jorge Gil and David Musgrave
With Texts by Martina Lüdicke, Peter Schäfer, and Harold Gabriel Weisz Carrington
Horror and Magic
With Texts by Martina Lüdicke, Karin Harrasser, Cathy S. Gelbin, Helene Wecker and Anna Augustin
Out of Control
With Texts by Emily D. Bilski, Arno Pařík, Marc Estrin and Charlotta Kotik
With Texts by Joshua Cohen, Tracy Bartley, Cosima Wagner
Exhibition catalogs, the JMB Journal, book series, and more
All About ...
Golem Catalog – Print Version
The full version of our catalog is available in German.
Trailer, views of the exhibition, and more
23 Sep 2016 to 29 Jan 2017