The Museum of the Southern Jewish Experience (MSJE), is a small, culturally-rich “jewel box” of a museum. Nestled in New Orleans’ central business district, Solomon Group’s latest museum is just down the street from our first museum project, The National WWII Museum.
MSJE tells a story that’s never been told before. It’s a deep dive into the journey of Jewish immigrants and their many contributions to Southern society. It focuses on 13 key states and over 350 years of US history.
Designed by Gallagher and Associates and curated by Anna Tucker, it’s very much a community storytelling museum. What makes this museum so unique is that members of the Southern Jewish community know the people and stories depicted on the walls and in its media.
During the year-long project, the historic building and its site presented many problems that kept our tech design staff and site crew busy. The same week our team ramped up to mobilize to site, we were abrupted by a Category 3 hurricane that flooded the museum in October 2020. Despite prolonged power and internet outages throughout residences and offices in New Orleans, our team quickly came together to quickly redesign and raise all the platforms and built vents to get air flow beneath and around them, making it safer for future floods.
Bringing over a decade of experience to the project supported the board in the making of the development of their very first, and very personal museum. Solomon Group provided consulting on many aspects of fabrication and design graphics production and coordination, exhibit and case work fabrication, A/V integration, and artifact mount making.
The new museum makes the case that understanding the experiences of Southern Jews is essential to understanding the broader story of American Jews — essential, even, to truly understanding the history of the United States, a country of immigrants.