Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg

The Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage announces the highly-anticipated Cleveland premiere of Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, presented locally by PNC Bank. This is the first-ever exhibition about the trailblazing associate justice. Based on the New York Times bestselling book of the same name and created in partnership with its authors, Irin Carmon and Shana Knizhnik, the exhibition takes a deeply personal journey through historic change with an entertaining yet rigorous look at the life and work of Ruth Bader Ginsburg (RBG) and the Supreme Court. It also examines her varied roles as a student, life partner, mother, change-making lawyer, judge, women’s rights pioneer, and pop culture icon. Notorious RBG will be on view at the Maltz Museum from February 24 through August 29, 2021. For more information or to purchase tickets, please call 216-593-0575 or visit www.maltzmuseum.org.

The exhibition Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg was organized by the Skirball Cultural Center, in Los Angeles. Through archival photographs and documents, historical artifacts, contemporary art, media stations, and gallery interactives, the exhibition explores the American legal system and civil rights movements through the lens of RBG’s personal experiences and public service. Like the book, it tells the parallel stories of her remarkable life and the efforts she joined to expand “We the People” to include those long left out of the Constitution’s promises.

“Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg embodied the Jewish value of respect for all humanity,” commented David Schafer, Managing Director of the Maltz Museum. “The Maltz Museum expresses the same value, as we work toward a more inclusive, just, and civil society. We are honored to share the Justice’s story with visitors, in person and online.”

In keeping with Carmon and Knizhnik’s book, the exhibition will touch on the playful connection between Justice Ginsburg and the Notorious B.I.G.—both of whom were born and bred in Brooklyn, New York, as RBG herself has proudly pointed out. The title of each section riffs off a lyric by the late hip-hop artist:

  • Introduction: “NOTORIOUS”
  • Early Life and Education: “I GOT A STORY TO TELL
  • RBG as Activist: “STEREOTYPES OF A LADY MISUNDERSTOOD”
  • Judge Ginsburg: “DON’T LET ‘EM HOLD YOU DOWN, REACH FOR THE STARS”
  • Ruth and Marty: “REAL LOVE”
  • Justice Ginsburg: “MY TEAM SUPREME”
  • RBG Timeline (1848–2018): “BEEN IN THIS GAME FOR YEARS”

Skirball Associate Curator Cate Thurston, who developed the exhibition with Carmon and Knizhnik over more than two years noted that the exhibition weaves briefs and other writings by RBG, including some of her most famously searing dissents, with a range of objects to “give context to the Justice’s place in history.” Highlight objects include official portraits of her and Sandra Day O’Connor, the first two women to serve on the Supreme Court, on loan from the National Portrait Gallery; and correspondence with civil rights leader, poet, and lawyer Pauli Murray, whose groundbreaking idea to use the Fourteenth Amendment to litigate civil rights and sex discrimination cases informed RBG’s winning strategy as an attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union.

Three-dimensional environments bring key moments to life, such as recreations of Justice Ginsburg’s childhood Brooklyn apartment and of the Supreme Court bench, where visitors can take a seat and imagine making their own opinions heard. Visitors will also gain insight into RBG’s marriage to Martin “Marty” Ginsburg, her partner of more than fifty years, through family snapshots and other materials from their life together, including some of Marty’s favorite recipes as the accomplished amateur chef of the Ginsburg household. Finally, reflecting RBG’s effect on pop culture, Notorious RBG will include contemporary art and expression that she has inspired, by such artists as Maira Kalman, Roxana Alger Geffen, and Ari Richter.

 

Special Pricing during Opening Week

In celebration of opening week, the Maltz Museum is offering $5 tickets, February 24 – 28, 2021, available for purchase over the phone or online. Note: Maltz Museum members and children under 5 are always free!

 

Related Programs

On the evening of the exhibition’s public opening—Wednesday, February 24, 7:00 p.m.—Notorious RBG authors Irin Carmon and Shana Knizhnik will take the virtual stage via Zoom to share insights about their book, the Tumblr, and the transformative figure who inspired it all. The cost to attend is $5 per person and free for members.

Other exhibition-related programs will follow, such as a free screening of the runaway 2018 box office hit RBG and talk-back about the film with family and colleagues who knew her personally, an “I Dissent” series focused on famous dissenting cases in which Justice Ginsburg was involved, presented in partnership with the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association, and gallery talks that deep dive into specific objects within the exhibition. In addition, the Maltz Museum will host monthly interactive online programs for young families, kicking off with “Happy Birthday, RBG” when they will bake her favorite party treat, muffins!

 

Ways to Explore

In-person

Visitors can tour the Notorious RBG exhibition in-person at the Maltz Museum, Wednesday through Sunday, 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. by timed tickets, which can be purchased over the phone or online in advance. Masks are required for entry and social distancing is enforced. General: $12, Students & Seniors: $10, Children 5 – 11: $5, Children under 5 and Maltz Museum Members: Free

Take a Public Virtual Group Tour
First and Third Tuesdays of the Month at 2:00 pm

As part of an ongoing outreach effort to connect visitors to the Maltz Museum during the pandemic, virtual visitors can explore Notorious RBG online. Approximately 60 minutes in length, virtual attendees will enjoy a webinar style narrated exploration of key objects and artifacts followed by a docent-led Q&A. Virtual tours will be offered on the first and third Tuesday of each month at 2 p.m. The cost is $10 per person and free for Maltz Museum members.

See our calendar to select a date and register >>

Book a Private Virtual Group Tour

The Maltz Museum now offers private virtual group tours of Notorious RBG with advance notice.

Adult tours are approximately 60 minutes in length, virtual attendees will enjoy a meeting or webinar-style narrated exploration of key objects and artifacts followed by a docent-led Q&A. Email tours@mmjh.org for more information.

Student tours, also virtual, have an alternate format to suit the needs of the school day. Tours are free and recommended for Grades 6–12. An optional docent led Q&A add-on is available for $3 per student. (CMSD schools are always free)


The exhibition Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg and its related educational programs at the Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage are made possible through presenting sponsor: PNC Bank.

Along with support from the following donors: Grant and Jennifer Dinner, Bob and Sally Gries, Alan and Karen Krause, Milt and Tamar Maltz, and John P. Murphy Foundation.

About PNC Bank

PNC Bank, National Association, is a member of The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc. (NYSE: PNC). PNC is one of the largest diversified financial services institutions in the United States, organized around its customers and communities for strong relationships and local delivery of retail and business banking including a full range of lending products; specialized services for corporations and government entities, including corporate banking, real estate finance and asset-based lending; wealth management and asset management. For information about PNC, visit www.pnc.com.

About the Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage

Located approximately twenty minutes from downtown Cleveland in the suburb of Beachwood, the Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage is an award-winning building crafted from Jerusalem stone and glass walls, uniquely set into the landscape. Housing two permanent collections and a gallery dedicated to presenting world-class special exhibitions, the Maltz Museum is rooted in the Jewish value of respect for all humanity, telling universal stories of hope, perseverance, and resilience that educate, inform, and inspire a more just, civil, and inclusive society.

Visiting the Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage

Address

2929 Richmond Road, Beachwood, OH 44122

For Tickets

Call 216-593-0575 or go online www.maltzmuseum.org

Museum Hours

Wednesday through Sunday, 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Admission

$12 General; $10 Students & Seniors, $5 Children 5–11. Exhibitions are always FREE for Maltz Museum Members.