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Benderson Family Building716-688-4033
2640 N. Forest RoadAmherst,NY14068
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Tue, Nov 19th

Holland Family Building716-886-3145
787 Delaware AvenueBuffalo,NY14209
Hours | Directions
Tue, Nov 19th

View Upcoming Holiday Hours
Benderson Family Building716-688-4033
2640 N. Forest RoadAmherst,NY14068
Hours | Directions
Amherst Hours: Tue, Nov 19th Get Directions
Holland Family Building716-886-3145
787 Delaware AvenueBuffalo,NY14209
Hours | Directions
Buffalo Hours: Tue, Nov 19th
We're currently closed.5:30 am - 9:30 pm
We're currently closed.5:30 am - 9:00 pm
Get Directions

An astounding mural of historical significance, “Community Life” by artist Lewis Rubenstein, has been refurbished and is now featured as part of the permanent collection at the JCC Holland Family Building, adorning the entryway that faces Delaware Avenue.

Artist Lewis Rubenstein, son of Emil and Hannah Rubenstein, an art student who studied at the Albright Knox Art School, Harvard, Paris, Rome and Cambridge and later taught art at Vassar College, was commissioned in 1949 to paint the mural. Rubenstein used the hora (traditional Israeli dance) as the central theme to demonstrate the importance of music and storytelling in the community. A young tree growing out of a stump symbolized the revitalization of contemporary Jewish life.

On January 18, 1950 the mural was dedicated and later won the Empire State Architects Award.

This year, as part of the JCC’s $4 million renovation to meet the growing needs of Buffalo communities, the painting was restored by Mark DiVincenzo, primary artist at DiVincenzo Studios. DiVincenzo, along with Hannah Olek, worked on restoring the painting for a 10 full days. “The painting was damaged by 50 years of sun damage,” says DiVincenzo. Some of the areas required reconstituting the powdered paint with a special solution and then restoring and repainting those sections, while retaining the integrity of the original work. When the restoration was complete, the painting was covered with a clear coating of removable varnish so that future conservators could uncover the original painting. “We worked on this painting with kid gloves to stabilize and preserve it to last another 50 years,” says DiVincenzo.

Historically, Rubenstein was well known for his frescos but “Community Life” is a unique example of his work in oil painting. “The style we see in this piece truly demonstrates the breakout period of the 50s when artists were breaking the mold. It was an era of expression and this painting beautifully conveys the spirituality of the artist, captured in his style and the subjects he painted,” says DiVincenzo.

Because of the location of the painting, across from the member services desk on the main floor, and facing out towards Delaware Avenue, it’s best to view “Community Life” in person. Visitors and members at the JCC can enjoy the refurbished mural any time they are in the building. Rubenstein’s artistic theme of community continues to exemplify the JCC’s mission to, “Build and strengthen the Jewish and Western New York communities by providing recreational, educational, cultural and social programs and services that are consistent with Jewish values.”

For more information about the Jewish Community Center at 787 Delaware Avenue, as well as hours and programs, visit www.jccbuffalo.org

For more information, contact Jordana Halpern, 716-204-2255 jhalpern@jccbuffalo.org

Historically significant “Community Life” by artist Lewis Rubenstein featured in the permanent collection at the JCC Holland Family Building, 787 Delaware Avenue

An astounding mural of historical significance, “Community Life” by artist Lewis Rubenstein, has been refurbished and is now featured as part of the permanent collection at the JCC Holland Family Building, adorning the entryway that faces Delaware Avenue.

Artist Lewis Rubenstein, son of Emil and Hannah Rubenstein, an art student who studied at the Albright Knox Art School, Harvard, Paris, Rome and Cambridge and later taught art at Vassar College, was commissioned in 1949 to paint the mural. Rubenstein used the hora (traditional Israeli dance) as the central theme to demonstrate the importance of music and storytelling in the community. A young tree growing out of a stump symbolized the revitalization of contemporary Jewish life.

On January 18, 1950 the mural was dedicated and later won the Empire State Architects Award.

This year, as part of the JCC’s $4 million renovation to meet the growing needs of Buffalo communities, the painting was restored by Mark DiVincenzo, primary artist at DiVincenzo Studios. DiVincenzo, along with Hannah Olek, worked on restoring the painting for a 10 full days. “The painting was damaged by 50 years of sun damage,” says DiVincenzo. Some of the areas required reconstituting the powdered paint with a special solution and then restoring and repainting those sections, while retaining the integrity of the original work. When the restoration was complete, the painting was covered with a clear coating of removable varnish so that future conservators could uncover the original painting. “We worked on this painting with kid gloves to stabilize and preserve it to last another 50 years,” says DiVincenzo.

Historically, Rubenstein was well known for his frescos but “Community Life” is a unique example of his work in oil painting. “The style we see in this piece truly demonstrates the breakout period of the 50s when artists were breaking the mold. It was an era of expression and this painting beautifully conveys the spirituality of the artist, captured in his style and the subjects he painted,” says DiVincenzo.

Because of the location of the painting, across from the member services desk on the main floor, and facing out towards Delaware Avenue, it’s best to view “Community Life” in person. Visitors and members at the JCC can enjoy the refurbished mural any time they are in the building. Rubenstein’s artistic theme of community continues to exemplify the JCC’s mission to, “Build and strengthen the Jewish and Western New York communities by providing recreational, educational, cultural and social programs and services that are consistent with Jewish values.”

For more information about the Jewish Community Center at 787 Delaware Avenue, as well as hours and programs, visit www.jccbuffalo.org

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