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Rachel Bernstein Wischnitzer, (April 14, 1885 - November 20, 1989) was an architect and art historian.

Born in Minsk, in Czarist Russia, Wischnitzer studied at University of Heidelberg and graduated from the École Spéciale d'Architecture in Paris in 1907 where she was one of the first women to receive a degree in architecture. She earned a master's degree from New York University in 1944.

Before fleeing Nazi Germany, Wischnitzer was curator of the Jewish Museum in Berlin, art editor of the magazines Rimon and Milgrom, and art and architecture editor of the Encyclopaedia Judaica. She was one of the most important Jewish art critics of the century.[1] Wischnitzer immigrated to the United States in 1940. She was made a fellow of the American Academy for Jewish Research. She was a professor at Stern College for Women of Yeshiva University from 1956 until she retired in 1968. [2]


  • Synagogue Architecture in the United States, Jewish Publication Society of America, 1955
  • Architecture of the European Synagogue, Jewish Publication Society of America, 1964
  • Messianic Themes in the Paintings of the Dura Synagogue
  • Forms and Symbols of Jewish Art
  • From Dura Europa to Rembrandt: Studies in the History of Art, 1990 (collected essays)


  • Rachel Wischnitzer; Doyenne of Historians of Jewish Art, by Bezalel Narkiss, pp. 9-25, in From Dura Europa to Rembrandt: Studies in the History of Art, by Rachel Wischnitzer, 1990


  1. ^ Wertheimer, Jack. The Modern Jewish Experience: A Reader's Guide, NYU Press, 1993, p. 230.
  2. ^ "Rachel B. Wischnitzer, An Art Historian, 104", The New York Times, Nov. 22, 1989.


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