Discussion of “Die Gute Stube”: from genre painter Isidor Kaufmann to contemporary artist Maya Zack

Isidor Kaufmann (1853–1921) is one of the most important Jewish genre painters. In 1899 he created the “Gute Stube” [Shabbat Room] installation for the Jewish Museum, which had been founded four years earlier. The room was intended as a depiction of Shabbat as a family celebration for non-Jews and as a nostalgic memory in Vienna around 1900 for assimilated Jews. The museum was closed by the Nazis in 1938 and the “Gute Stube” destroyed. Only ten of the original 122 objects have survived.
For the new permanent exhibition the artist Maya Zack, born in Israel in 1976, has created an installation reinterpreting Kaufmann’s “Gute Stube.” This contemporary work of art makes a demonstrative link between the old and new Jewish museums. Maya Zack, director Danielle Spera, and head curator Werner Hanak-Lettner present the Shabbat Room project.


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