About Menachem Wecker

A Washington, D.C.-based journalist, Menachem Wecker has interviewed Mel Brooks about herring and has covered everything from Einstein’s and Gandhi’s footwear and the origins of museum taxidermies to events that endanger museums’ collections and Zoroastrian dating. His Playboy feature told of “Infiltrating the CIA’s Secret Art Collection” (Jan./Feb. 2017), and March 3, 2019 Washington Post Magazine feature investigated the degree to which some of the nation’s preeminent museums flag effectively which objects are real and which are copies.

Menachem Wecker

Photo: Nachama Soloveichik

In Sept. 2017, Wecker was part of an Atlantic team that won second prize in enterprise religion reporting from the Religion News Association. He holds four first-place awards (one in 2019, two in 2018, and one in 2015), a second-place award (2017), and an honorable mention (2017) from the Catholic Press Association for his reporting on art and on social justice, particularly worker dignity and rights.

In 2019, and previously in 2018, he was awarded a National Press Club Vivian Award, which recognizes “members who demonstrate extraordinary commitment to the club.” He is a member of the club’s board of governors.

A former (full-time) education reporter at U.S. News & World Report who covered arts and religion on a freelance basis for Houston Chronicle for nearly five years, Wecker reports on culture, the arts, religion, education, as well as other beats. His writing has appeared in Playboy, Washington Post, Wall Street JournalAtlantic, Columbia Journalism Review, Chronicle of Higher Education, Art Newspaper, artnetAmerica, Religion News Service, Christian Science Monitor, National Catholic Reporter, Mosaic, Sojourners, Arab American News, Mormon Times, and others.

Wecker co-wrote an arts column for the Jewish Press for eight-and-a-half years, and with Brandon Withrow, he is co-author of the 2014 book Consider No Evil: Two Faith Traditions and the Problem of Academic Freedom in Religious Higher Education.

Wecker holds a master’s in art history from George Washington University and an English degree from Yeshiva University. He has trained as an artist at Massachusetts College of Art, School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston and the Art Institute of Boston.

His chapter “Religious Pilgrimage and Sacred Relics as Empathy-Builders” (co-authored with Ari Gordon) appears in the book Designing for Empathy: Perspectives on the Museum Experience (Rowman & Littlefield, 2019; read the chapter here), and he has published book chapters in Religion: Material Religion (1st edition, Macmillan, 2016) and in Religion in Museums: Global and Multidisciplinary Perspectives (Bloomsbury, 2017).

He is a member of the National Press Club, International Association of Art Critics (AICA), Religion News Association (RNA), and Education Writers Association (EWA).

  • Selected articles

    NMAAHC "The Imitation Game: Are museums being clear enough with the public about what’s real and what’s fake?" Washington Post Magazine. March 3, 2019.

    Bobby Fischer gravestone "Searching for Fischer’s Legacy." Chess Life magazine. March 2018. (PDF file).

    Jules Olitski star "A Memorial That Knows Its Biblical History." Wall St. Journal. Sept. 22, 2017.

    CIA art collection "Infiltrating the CIA’s Secret Art Collection." Playboy. Jan./Feb. 2017.
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