The Dorothy Saxe Invitational is The CJM’s longest-running commitment; endowed in Dorothy’s name by her late husband George Saxe, the Invitational asks artists to make work that relates to selected Jewish ritual objects. For 2017, the eleventh iteration of the series, we have for only the second time commissioned works inspired by a Jewish idea, that of the Sabbath. Fifty-seven artists are showing three-dimensional work displayed on shelves and pedestals, filling the gallery with colorful and surprising forms. 

Inviting fifty-seven artists to comment on Sabbath—the day of rest—gives the diverse group an opportunity to examine the depth of the fourth commandment, its influences, and its universality. A pillar of many religions and a staple of the modern workweek, the ideas in the Sabbath are integral to how time is viewed.

Continuing the Invitational’s commitment to the art of craft, each work will be three-dimensional, with artists exploring the theme through a wide range of materials such as ceramic, wood, and glass. The works of art are displayed both on shelves and under vitrines on pedestals, filling the gallery with colorful and surprising forms.

The CJM welcomes participating artists from around the United States to interpret this day from their own unique perspective and to engage with its contemporary relevance. All works of art in the exhibition will be for sale; proceeds benefit the artists and The CJM exhibition program.


Sabbath: The 2017 Dorothy Saxe Invitational is organized by The Contemporary Jewish Museum, San Francisco. An endowed sponsorship for this exhibition was created by George Saxe, z”l, in honor of Dorothy R. Saxe. Major support has been provided by Phyllis Cook and Wendy Kesser. Supporting Sponsorship is provided by Robert and Judy Aptekar.

The Contemporary Jewish Museum thanks The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts for its lead sponsorship of The Museum’s exhibition program.