Today in the Museum
Exhibitions
Search the Collection
Visiting the Museum
The Shrine of the Book
Model of Jerusalem
Youth Wing
Campus Renewal

 [email protected]
+972-2-6708811

Celebrating Summer
Download program of summer events
Order tickets 02-6771300 for Summer Events
Rock Concert with Shalom Hanoch and Contact Point: Exciting Encounters Between Art and Artists
Now is the time to purchase an annual membership
Looking In, Looking Out: The Window in Art
In the Youth Wing
Women`s Tales: Four Leading Israeli Jewelers
in the Ticho House
Winners of the Israel Museum Ben-Yitzhak Award for the Illustration of a Children`s Book, 2010
In the Youth Wing Auditorium
West Meets East: The Story of the Rockefeller Museum
at the Rockefeller Museum
Watch the museum grow!
Live webcam from the Israel Museum, Jerusalem
The Art Garden and the galleries in the main building are closed
due to the comprehensive campus renewal at the Israel Museum.

   

Press Releases 2010

Welcome to the Israel Museum, Jerusalem, Israel's largest museum and leading cultural institution - and one of the world's great museum stories of the 20th century. Excitement is in the air at the Israel Museum, as we near completion of our major campus renewal project and look forward to our public opening in July 2010.  As the project enters into its final phase and our permanent galleries remain closed, we invite you to participate in our continuing programs in the Shrine of the Book, Model of Second Temple Period Jerusalem, and Ruth Youth Wing, and to enjoy the beauty of the Billy Rose Art Garden.



Contacts:
Israel Press Office
Tel: 02-670-8868
Fax: 02-670-8063

the israel museum, jerusalem
p.o. box 71117
jerusalem 91710

USA:
Resnicow Schroeder Associates, Inc.

Tel: 212-595-0515
Fax: 212-595-8354

Rare and Newly Restored 18th-Century Synagogue from Suriname to be Highlight of Israel Museum’s New Synagogue Route
May 24, 2010

Israel Museum Launches New Membership Campaign
May 20, 2010

Rare Illuminated Copy of Maimonides' Mishneh Torah on Long-Term Loan at the Israel Museum
April 22, 2010

Rupture and Repair - An exhibition in conjunction with the Adi Prize for Jewish Expression in Art and Design
April 21, 2010

Israel Museum Commissions Olafur Eliasson and Anish Kapoor To Create New Monumental Works
March 8, 2010

Two Rare Ancient Scroll Fragments Reunited After Centuries-Long Separation
 March 2, 2010

Three Artists to Curate Inaugural Exhibitions Celebrating Opening of Israel Museum’s Renewed Campus
January 14, 2010
Upcoming Exhibitions

Campus Renewal Rare and Newly Restored 18th-Century Synagogue from Suriname to be Highlight of Israel Museum's New Synagogue Route

New Route Will Showcase Four Original Synagogue Interiors from around the World


Opening with Renewed Campus on July 26, 2010

 May 24, 2010 Jerusalem – A newly restored 18th-century synagogue from Suriname – one of only two remaining examples – will be a highlight of the Israel Museum’s newly installed Mandel Wing for Jewish Art and Life, on view beginning July 26, 2010, when the Museum opens its expanded and renewed campus to the public. This rare and striking South American synagogue will stand alongside synagogue interiors from Italy, Germany, and India as part of the Museum’s new Synagogue Route, which will offer visitors the opportunity for a notably rich experience with Jewish ritual traditions from around the world. On display with its original furniture and decorations and a sand floor, the Tzedek ve-Shalom Synagogue will offer visitors a glimpse into Suriname’s once vibrant Jewish community.

Built in 1736 in the capital city of Paramaribo, Suriname, Tzedek ve-Shalom ceased to function as a place of worship in the 1990s. In order to rescue this important example of the Jewish life of this remote Jewish community, the Israel Museum approached its leaders with the aim of restoring and preserving the synagogue on its campus for the benefit of future generations of visitors from around the world. The synagogue’s interior and its original ceremonial objects and furnishings were transferred to the Museum in 1999, where it has now been meticulously refurbished.

“The addition of the Tzedek ve-Shalom Synagogue to our galleries makes the Israel Museum the only museum worldwide where visitors can see together in one venue four original synagogues from three continents,” said James S. Snyder, Anne and Jerome Fisher Director of the Israel Museum. “We are thrilled to be able to offer this immersive experience with Jewish culture and history and to enhance our exceptional holdings in Jewish Art and Life with this stunning addition.”

Suriname’s Jewish community took root in the mid-17th century, when Jews of Spanish and Portuguese origin who had fled to Holland during the Inquisition immigrated to Suriname among the country’s earliest European settlers. Tzedek ve-Shalom is typical of Spanish and Portuguese synagogues in the New World and is one of the earliest such examples from the region. Directly inspired by the Esnoga, the great Portuguese synagogue of Amsterdam, its structure integrates traditional European design with local architectural features such as a simple, symmetrical structure; white walls and large windows that invite sunlight; and a sand-coated floor. Majestic brass chandeliers of Dutch manufacture hang from the ceiling.

The installation of the Suriname synagogue is part of a larger reorganization and reinstallation of all of the Israel Museum’s collection gallery wings, including the renewal of its Jewish Art and Life Wing. Combining its Judaica and Jewish Ethnography collections, the new Mandel Wing for Jewish Art and Life leads visitors through the daily and ritual markers of the Jewish calendar from cultures around the world, with installations that explore the aesthetic value of individual objects and displays, as well as their social and historical contexts. The new Synagogue Route, curated by Tania Coen-Uzzielli, Curator of the Skirball Department of Judaica, comprises four synagogue interiors, with related ritual objects displayed within each space and along the adjacent route. In addition to the Tzedek ve-Shalom Synagogue, the route features:

The 16th century Kadavumbagam (“by the side of the landing place”) Synagogue, from Cochin, India, whose carved wooden interior includes motifs like those found in surrounding mosques and Hindu temples;
an 18th century Italian Baroque synagogue from the small town of Vittorio Veneto in Northern Italy, which served a small local Ashkenazi community that settled in the area during the Middle Ages and was abandoned when the Jewish community moved to larger urban centers in the 19th century;
a 1735 synagogue from the market town of Horb in Southern Germany, the only surviving example of the region’s painted wooden synagogues, which later served as a  barn before it was rediscovered and transferred to the Israel Museum in 1970.

The re-ordering and renewal of all of the Museum’s collection gallery wings is a central component of its three-year campus renewal project designed to enhance visitor experience of the Museum and its campus while maintaining the architectural essence and metaphorical intent of Alfred Mansfeld and Dora Gad’s original modernist design. Led by James Carpenter Design Associates and Efrat-Kowalsky Architects, the campus renewal project comprises the creation of new entrance facilities as well as a comprehensive reconfiguration of the Museum’s three collection wings. The project, which broke ground in June 2007 and will be completed in July 2010, encompasses 8,000 square meters of new construction and 20,000 square meters of renovated and expanded gallery space within the Museum’s existing 50,000 square-meter architectural envelope.

Jack, Joseph, and Morton Mandel Wing for Jewish Art and Life

The Jewish Art and Life Wing presents selections from the Museum’s comprehensive collections of Judaica and Jewish Ethnography. Supported by a $12-million gift from Jack, Joseph, and Morton Mandel through the Mandel Supporting Foundations, the reinstalled Wing is designed to provide a comprehensive picture of Jewish cultural traditions, from the Middle Ages to the present day, integrating the sacred and secular dimensions of life throughout the Jewish world. Five main themes lead visitors through the daily and ritual markers of the Jewish calendar, with installations that highlight the aesthetic value of individual objects together with their social and historical contexts. Contemporary Judaica and works of art by contemporary artists enhance the presentation. 

 As the Museum looks toward the opening of its completed and renewed campus in July 2010, it continues to present programs on-site in the Shrine of the Book and Model of Second Temple Period Jerusalem complex, and the Ruth Youth Wing, as well as at its off-site locations in Jerusalem at the Rockefeller Archaeological Museum and the historic Ticho House in downtown Jerusalem.

 

Israel Museum Launches New Membership Campaign

New annual membership at the old price includes admission to summer performances in the Art Garden

May 20, 2010 - Months before its reopening on July 26, 2010, the Israel Museum, Jerusalem is launching a special campaign, full of surprises, to promote annual membership of individuals and families.  The Museum aims to add to its ranks thousands of new individual and family members, who will enjoy the numerous exhibitions and artistic attractions slated to open upon completion of the campus renewal project.

Those who join the Museum now will reap major benefits: until July 22, membership rates will remain as they have been in recent years. Every member will gain unlimited access to the renewed Museum campus; new exhibitions; new masterpieces, and newly designed Art, Jewish Art and Culture, and Archaeology wings. Members will enjoy at no cost an array of summer events, and dance and musical performances in the Sculpture Garden. This year, the Museum will host special performances by Yehudit Ravitz and Shalom Chanoch in the Art Garden, and White Nights festivities, featuring cultural and musical events in the galleries.

Admission will be free to members during the many events scheduled for the entire family during the summer months.

In addition to these benefits, presentation of a membership card entitles members to discounts on tickets to special events, free admission to lectures, discounts on purchases in the Museum Store and new Museum restaurants, and discounts for children in the Youth Wing.

Thanks to special donations, admission is now free to IDF soldiers doing compulsory military service, and to individuals doing National Service; children enjoy free admission on Tuesdays and Saturdays, Jewish holidays, and throughout the month of August.

In addition, the Museum has collaborated with the Israel Student Union and the New Spirit – Students for Jerusalem organizations to make it possible for every student to purchase an annual Museum membership for the nominal fee of NIS 100.

Membership prices until July 22, 2010:
Individual membership NIS 195
Membership for a couple NIS 285
Senior citizens membership NIS 95
Student membership NIS 100

The Israel Museum, Jerusalem will reopen in its new expanded and upgraded format on July 26, 2010. Adhering to the architectural vision of its original planners, architect Alfred Mansfeld and designer Dora Gad, the Museum campus renewal and development project upgrades all the structures, passageways, exhibition halls, and varied services offered to the visiting public, easing orientation in the 80 dunam museum campus and its gardens, and primarily, enhancing the visitor experience.

The renovation plan is a joint initiative of the Efrat-Kowalsky Architects firm and James Carpenter Design Associates of New York, implemented by A. Lerman Architects of Tel Aviv. Their plan features a new entrance compound; a covered path linking the main entrance compound at the front of the Museum to a new main entrance hall, from which visitors will approach various wings of the Museum; new and expanded arrangement of the Museum's permanent displays, and the establishment of a new central display space for temporary exhibitions.

For further details, please call the Israel Museum Membership Office at 02-6708855.

Rare Illuminated Copy of Maimonides' Mishneh Torah on Long-Term Loan at the Israel Museum

15th-Century Hebrew Manuscript Goes on Display in conjunction with opening of Renewed Campus and Collection Galleries in July 2010

Jerusalem, April 22, 2010 – The Israel Museum, Jerusalem, announced today the long-term loan of an extraordinary 15th-century illuminated manuscript, a handwritten copy of the Mishneh Torah by Maimonides, considered by many to be the greatest rabbinical figure in Medieval Spain. On extended loan from Judy and Michael Steinhardt, New York, the manuscript has undergone full restoration in the Israel Museum's Paper Conservation Laboratory and will be presented in the reinstalled galleries of its new Jack, Joseph, and Morton Mandel Wing for Jewish Art and Life, in conjunction with the opening of the Museum's renewed campus on July 26, 2010.

Created in Italy in ca.1457-1460, this beautifully illustrated Hebrew text includes the final eight books of the Mishneh Torah, the monumental and first systematic codification of Jewish law. The manuscript features six large painted panels decorated in precious pigments and gold leaf, as well as forty-one smaller illustrations with gold lettering adorning the opening words of each chapter. These detailed illustrations, executed in the style of Northern Italian Renaissance miniature painting, along with the manuscript’s elegant script, make it one of the finest extant illuminated copies of this important compendium and of Maimonides’ works in general. The first volume of this work, comprising its initial chapters, is in the Rossi Collection of the Vatican Library in Rome and was displayed at the Israel Museum in 2005, on special loan in honor of the Museum's 40th anniversary.

“The Mishneh Torah adds importantly to our extensive collection of illuminated Hebrew manuscripts and greatly enhances the display of unique items presented in the renewed galleries of our new Jewish Art and Life Wing, with its emphasis on the richness of sacred and secular life among the world’s Jewish communities,” said James S. Snyder, Anne and Jerome Fisher Director of the Israel Museum. “We are deeply grateful to Judy and Michael Steinhardt for their ongoing and exemplary commitment to the Museum and for the unprecedented opportunity to present this rare treasure to our public.”

Michael Steinhardt stated, “We are pleased to be able to share this extraordinary Hebrew Renaissance manuscript, which relates both to Jewish literary heritage and to the highest achievements of manuscript illumination in its time, and to enrich the Israel Museum's presentation of Jewish Art and Life – perhaps the most comprehensive in the world – with this extended loan.”

The Mishneh Torah, a systematic compendium of Jewish laws (halakha) and precepts, has been a primary source for the study of halakhic subjects for centuries. One of very few works by Maimonides (Rabbi Moses ben Maimon, ca. 1135-1204) originally written in Hebrew – most of his works were in Arabic – the text was completed around 1180 and is divided into fourteen books. The Museum's volume contains Books 7–14, relating to topics such as agricultural regulations, Temple service, civil and property law, purity, and justice. This volume is also of particular interest to scholars because it includes previously unknown versions of legal responsa and glosses (rabbinic decisions, traditions, and interpretations). The names of the scribe, Nehemia, and of the first owner who commissioned the work, Moses Anav son of I(saac?), are found in an inscription at the end of the volume.

The two volumes of the Mishneh Torah became separated between 1838 and 1854, when the first part was purchased by a non-Jewish collector, whose manuscript holdings were later acquired by the Vatican Library. The second volume reached Germany as part of the collection of Avraham Merzbacher of Munich and was later presented to the Frankfurt Municipal Library. In 1950, a Frankfurt family acquired the manuscript, along with seven others, in exchange for property that the city wished to acquire for municipal development. It remained in the family until its 2007 purchase by Judy and Michael Steinhardt, New York, who entrusted it to the Israel Museum for restoration and long-term loan for display.

Rupture and Repair
An exhibition in conjunction with the Adi Prize for Jewish Expression in Art and Design
May 8 - July 10, 2010 in the Artists' House, Jerusalem

The exhibition brings together the eighteen works selected as finalists for “The Adi Prize for Jewish Expression in Art and Design,” a biennial international competition in the visual arts on a theme related to Jewish thought and tradition, organized by The Adi Foundation.  The Foundation, established in 2000 in memory of Adi Dermer, née Blumberg, fosters the connection between art and the spiritual values that are at the heart of Judaism. The current competition theme of “Rupture and Repair” was addressed by artists in a variety of media, including painting, textile, installation, video, jewelry, sculpture, photography, drawing, and performance. These works explore “Rupture and Repair” in Jewish history, homiletics, mysticism, and prayer, as well as in individual biographies, embracing the personal experiences of immigration, family relationships, exile, alienation, loss, and suffering. A number of artists created new objects with which to perform existing Jewish rituals of repentance, mourning, and renewal; others reinvented traditional objects and techniques. Ranging from particularistic Jewish narratives of the Shoah and kibbutz life to universal experiences of coping with crises of faith, dislocation, illness, grief, and death, these eighteen works represent creative investigations of form and content as artists confront rupture and seek repair.

 

 

 

Participating Artists: Dov Abramson, Raida Adon, Shai Azoulay, Ofri Cnaani, Benny Elbaz, Ofir Galili, Hadassa Goldvicht, Or Halbrecht, Amram Jacoby, Tobi Kahn, Ruth Kestenbaum Ben-Dov, Sharone Lifschitz, Peter Jacob Maltz, Katya Oicherman, Orit Raff, Zelig Segal, Arik Weiss, Yitzchak Woolf, Inbal Yomtovian, and Maya Zack.  The winner of the Adi Prize for Jewish Expression in Art and Design will be announced on May 16, 2010.Rupture and Repair was organized by Emily Bilski and Aviva Kat-Manor and is accompanied by a publication.

The exhibition is a collaboration of The Adi Foundation and The Israel Museum, Jerusalem.

Israel
Museum
Commissions Olafur Eliasson and Anish Kapoor To Create New Monumental Works    

 

Site-Specific Installations Complement Museum’s Campus Renewal Project, Opening to the Public July 2010

Jerusalem, March 8, 2010—Olafur Eliasson and Anish Kapoor have been commissioned by the Israel Museum to create two new monumental installations on the Museum’s campus, as it nears completion of a comprehensive renewal and expansion, together with a complete reinstallation of all of its collection galleries. These site-specific works will be installed as focal points within the Museum’s newly re-organized campus, opening to the public on July 26, 2010.

These commissions include:

Olafur Eliasson’s installation Whenever the rainbow appears, consisting of 300 individual paintings that represent in paint on canvas the progression of colors in the spectrum of light visible to the human eye. Measuring a total of 15 x 2.4 meters (or nearly 50 x 8 feet), the work reads from afar as an extended continuum of color. It will be installed at the end of the Museum’s newly designed Route of Passage, an enclosed walkway bridging the Museum entrance with a newly centralized Gallery Entrance Pavilion at the heart of the campus.
 
Anish Kapoor’s site-specific sculpture of polished stainless steel that takes the shape of a 5-meter-tall (15-foot) hourglass. Anchoring the Museum’s outdoor Crown Plaza, at the highest point on its 20-acre campus, this monumental work responds to the duality of Jerusalem, inverting reflections on its curved and mirrored surface of Jerusalem’s sky and of the Museum’s built landscape.
 
Both works will be on view at the end of July 2010, when the Museum completes its current expansion and renewal project. Designed jointly by James Carpenter Design Associates and Efrat-Kowalsky Architects, the project is upgrading and unifying facilities on the Museum’s campus to provide visitors with an integrated experience of art, archaeology, landscape, and architecture.


Daytime rendering of Untitled (2001) by Anish Kapoor, which will anchor the Museum's Crown Plaza

“Eliasson and Kapoor are recognized for creating visually striking works that inspire engagement, interaction, and awe—and we are thrilled to be working with them on two exceptional commissions for our renewed campus,” said James S. Snyder, Anne and Jerome Fisher Director of the Israel Museum. “These new works will enhance the experience of our visitors with our unique site, setting, and architecture, while also continuing our notable history of engaging with contemporary artists.”

Olafur Eliasson, Whenever the rainbow appears (2010)

Olafur Eliasson’s site-specific installation Whenever the rainbow appears recreates the colors of the light spectrum visible to the human eye in a series of 300 hand-painted canvases, each measuring 5 x 240 cm. Extending 15 meters in length, the work is emblematic of Eliasson’s focus on the power of light in its relationship with site and setting.


Installation rendering of Whenever the rainbow appears by Olafur Eliasson, at the end of the Route of Passage leading to the Israel Museum's new Gallery Entrance Pavilion. Image courtesy of James Carpenter Design Associates.

Whenever the rainbow appears links two important new buildings in the Museum’s redesigned campus: the enclosed Route of Passage, which leads visitors from the Museum’s main entry to the heart of its campus, and its new Gallery Entrance Pavilion, which provides centralized access to the Museum’s collection and exhibition galleries. From afar, Eliasson’s installation appears to be an extended continuum of color. As visitors approach the work at the terminus of the Route of Passage, the installation breaks into its individual monochromatic canvases.

Known for manipulating elemental and ephemeral materials, Eliasson works in a variety of mediums, including sculpture, photography, and—most notably—large-scale, immersive environments. Whenever the rainbow appears joins another important work by Eliasson already in the Museum’s collection, the light installation Your Activity Horizon (2004). Whenever the rainbow appears is a gift of Alice and Thomas Tisch, New York, on the occasion of the Museum’s 45th anniversary in 2010 and in celebration of the completion of its campus project.

Anish Kapoor, Untitled (2010)

Standing five meters high, Anish Kapoor’s site-specific commission will occupy a prominent place at the apex of Carter Promenade on the renewed Crown Plaza, the highest outdoor point on the Museum’s campus. The sculpture’s reflective surface captures both the Jerusalem sky and the landscape of the Museum’s campus, heightening awareness of these dual images by inverting them to present the sky below and the built landscape overhead. This contrast of earthly and heavenly forms evokes Jerusalem’s mythical duality, and the sculpture’s curved form resonates with the landmark architecture of the Shrine of the Book at the entrance to the Museum campus.

The sculpture’s mirrored finish and its scale are emblematic of one of the London-based artist’s distinctive styles, using simple, reflective forms to embrace and engage his viewers. It represents the second of Kapoor’s works to enter the Museum’s collection, following Black Earth (1984).

This sculpture is commissioned in memory of Teddy Kollek, longtime Mayor of Jerusalem and the Museum’s founder, in tribute to his vision for the Museum’s site and setting. The commission has been made possible through the generosity of: Charles Bronfman, New York; Richard Goldman, San Francisco; and Lily Safra, Monaco; with additional support from the Museum’s Barbara and Eugene Schwartz Contemporary Art Acquisition Endowment Fund.

The Israel Museum, Jerusalem

The Israel Museum is the largest cultural institution in the State of Israel and is ranked among the leading art and archaeology museums in the world. Founded in 1965, the Museum houses encyclopedic collections ranging from prehistory through contemporary art, and includes the most extensive holdings of Biblical and Holy Land archaeology in the world, among them the Dead Sea Scrolls. In just over 40 years, the Museum has built a far-ranging collection of nearly 500,000 objects through an unparalleled legacy of gifts and support from its circle of patrons worldwide.

As the Museum looks toward the opening of its completed and renewed campus in July 2010, it continues to present programs on-site in the Shrine of the Book and Model of Second Temple Period Jerusalem complex, Billy Rose Art Garden, and Ruth Youth Wing. In addition, the Museum organizes and presents programming at its off-site locations in Jerusalem at the Rockefeller Archaeological Museum, where it presents archaeological artifacts from the Land of Israel, and at its historic Ticho House in downtown Jerusalem, a venue for exhibitions of contemporary Israeli art.

Two Rare Ancient Scroll Fragments Reunited After Centuries-Long Separation

Exhibition brings together fragments of the same "silent era" Hebrew manuscript

Jerusalem, March 2, 2010 – The Israel Museum, Jerusalem, today announced the exhibition of two extremely rare fragments of the same ancient Hebrew manuscript, separated for centuries and reunited for the first time. Following the 2007 presentation of the previously unknown Ashkar-Gilson Manuscript in the Shrine of the Book, scholars discovered that the mysterious fragment came from the same ancient scroll as the well-known London Manuscript. Dating from the 7th or 8th century, this scroll of the book of Exodus comes from the "silent era" – the six-hundred year period from the 3rd through 8th centuries CE from which almost no Hebrew manuscripts have survived. Miraculously, two such fragments, originating in the same Torah scroll, found their way many years later into different collections.

Alongside the reunited fragments, which include the Song of the Sea, a biblical poem celebrating the Israelites' safe crossing of the Red Sea, two other manuscripts containing the Song of the Sea are displayed: a section of the book of Exodus, found near the Dead Sea, and dated to the late first century BCE; and a section of Exodus from a medieval Torah scroll (10th or 11th century). The Shrine of the Book exhibition, Piecing Together the Past: Ancient Fragments of the Song of the Sea, is on display through May 2010.

The Missing Link

In 2004, the Israel Museum learned of a fragment of an ancient Torah scroll, known as the Ashkar-Gilson Manuscript, in the possession of Duke University. The page, containing a section of the biblical book of Exodus (13:19–16:1), represents the earliest evidence of the Song of the Sea that conforms to the traditional or Masoretic text and format. During its exhibition in the Shrine of the Book, the fragment attracted the attention of two Israeli scholars, Dr. Mordechay Mishor and Dr. Edna Engel. Close examination of the manuscript convinced them that the manuscript was nothing less than the continuation of the so-called London Manuscript, containing the passages of Exodus 9:18–13:2, which had been known for some sixty years. The two rare manuscripts had indeed been part of the same ancient scroll, which is believed to have been part of the Cairo Genizah, a vast depository of medieval Jewish manuscripts discovered in Cairo's Ben Ezra Synagogue in the late 19th century. The Ashkar-Gilson Manuscript is on display courtesy of Duke University, North Carolina, and the London Manuscript is on loan from Stephan Loewentheil, New York. Piecing Together the Past is curated by Adolfo Roitman, Head of the Shrine of the Book and Curator of the Dead Sea Scrolls, and Galit Bennet Dahan, Associate Curator of the Dead Sea Scrolls.

The Israel Museum, Jerusalem

The Israel Museum is the largest cultural institution in the State of Israel and is ranked among the leading art and archaeology museums in the world. Founded in 1965, the Museum houses encyclopedic collections ranging from prehistory through contemporary art. They include the most extensive holdings of Biblical and Holy Land archaeology in the world, among them the Dead Sea Scrolls. In just over forty years, the Museum has built a far-ranging collection of nearly 500,000 objects through an unparalleled legacy of gifts and support from its circle of patrons worldwide. It has established itself as an internationally valued institution and a singularly rich cultural resource for Israel, the Middle East, and the world. The Museum is nearing completion of a $100-million campus enhancement project, designed by James Carpenter Design Associates and Efrat-Kowalsky Architects to transform and unify the facilities on its landmark 20-acre campus. The Museum has continued operations throughout the duration of the project, which will be completed in the summer of 2010. 

 
Three Artists to Curate Inaugural Exhibitions Celebrating Opening of Israel Museum’s Renewed Campus

Jerusalem, January 14, 2010 – The Israel Museum, Jerusalem, will celebrate the completion of its renewed campus with three special exhibitions curated by renowned contemporary artists and drawn from the Museum’s encyclopedic collections. Opening to the public on July 26, 2010, this three-part presentation, united under the title Artists’ Choices: Zvi Goldstein, Susan Hiller, Yinka Shonibare, will provide a fresh look from each artist’s perspective at the Museum’s permanent holdings in archaeology, the fine arts, and Jewish art and life. Unique in its scope and character, the project showcases masterpieces from the Museum’s collections and presents dialogues between the collections and the artists themselves, each of whom is also represented in the Museum's contemporary art collection. Four new works are also being created by Yinka Shonibare for his exhibition. 
 
At the same time, the Museum will unveil its new permanent collection galleries with a series of rotating installations, including the premiere presentation of the Noel and Harriett Levine Collection of modern and contemporary photography, as well as exhibitions of archaeology, contemporary art, and prints and drawings. These exhibitions will be on view in the Museum’s three newly reinstalled and reconfigured collection wings: the Samuel and Saidye Bronfman Archaeology Wing, the Edmond and Lily Safra Fine Arts Wing, and the Jack, Joseph, and Morton Mandel Wing for Jewish Art and Life.

Artists’ Choices: Zvi Goldstein, Susan Hiller, Yinka Shonibare

On view in the Museum’s centrally located temporary exhibition facilities in the new Harry and Bella Wexner Gallery, the three Artists Choices exhibitions are curated by contemporary artists Zvi Goldstein, Susan Hiller, and Yinka Shonibare. The curator-in-charge of the initiative is Suzanne Landau, Yulla and Jacques Lipchitz Chief Curator of the Arts and Landeau Family Curator of Contemporary Art.

 Zvi Goldstein: Haunted by Objects

Romanian-born, Israeli artist Zvi Goldstein brings together over 600 objects—ranging from masterpieces from the collection to everyday objects from the Museum’s offices and storerooms—in a highly concentrated, floor-to-ceiling installation. Interspersed within this wunderkabinet-like display are sixty-two short text-poems from Goldstein’s book, Room #205, which was written following an experience he had hovering between day dream and hallucination in a Tel Aviv hotel room. Each poem is positioned within a non-hierarchical cluster of Museum treasures and found objects, raising questions about museology, curatorship, and art. Among the works chosen are: prehistoric goddesses, ancient Greek kraters, African masks, Japanese screens, and Dada ready-mades, as well as modern and contemporary paintings, sculptures and photographs by such artists as Manuel Alvarez Bravo, Marcel Duchamp, Harold Edgerton, Donald Judd, and André Kertész. 

Susan Hiller: A Work in Progress

Drawing solely from the Museum’s holdings in modern and contemporary art, American artist Susan Hiller assembles approximately thirty-five works, all of which struck her as being “simultaneously poetic, political, melancholic, and optimistic.” Hiller’s journey through the Museum’s collections drew her to works dealing with fragmentation, text, mortality, typography, and art by women, among other subjects. Rather than revolving around her own work, the exhibition presents a personal selection that reflects the artist’s deepest interests. The presentation includes works by artists from around the world in a variety of mediums, among them: Walid Abu-Shakra, Christian Boltanski, Elisa and Andre Breton, Gaston Zvi Ickowicz, Anselm Kiefer, and Barbara Kruger. 

Yinka Shonibare: Earth, Wind, Fire, and Water

Themes of cultural identity dominate the exhibition curated by Nigeran-born, London-based artist Yinka Shonibare, who has chosen over 300 works from the Museum’s collections to examine the ways in which cultures influence one another. Grouped according to the organizing principle of the four elements—earth, wind, fire, and water—the objects are linked by associative and aesthetic relationships, as well as by the artist’s signature focus on cultural hybrids. Shonibare is creating four new works especially for the exhibition, each representing one of the four elements and reflecting Shonibare’s emblematic style of dressing figures in Victorian-era garments made from colorful, African-identified batik textiles. The resulting installation, highlighting human commonalities above and beyond conflict, includes: prehistoric stone tools, Roman-period Egyptian figurines, and a South African ceremonial initiation and fertility doll, alongside works by Yasumasa Morimura, Pablo Picasso, Man Ray, Andres Serrano, and Ettore Sottsass.

Inaugural Exhibitions in the Collection Wings

In addition to viewing Artist Choices, visitors will also be able to enjoy changing installations within the Museum’s collection gallery wings and in the Ruth Youth Wing. These exhibitions are presented in addition to the permanent collection displays and reflect the depth and breadth of the Museum’s encyclopedic holdings.

All inaugural exhibitions open to the public on July 26, 2010, in conjunction with the opening of the Museum’s completed and renewed campus.

Still / Moving
Through April 2011, Edmond and Lily Safra Fine Arts Wing

Exploring the use of slow and meditative movement in a variety of mediums, including installation, video, and photography, Still / Moving draws from the Museum’s wide-ranging holdings in contemporary art and features such artists as: Carlos Amorales, Olafur Eliasson, Mona Hatoum, Junya Ishigami, and Bill Viola. Each work takes a different approach to the contemplative aspect of motion, exploring ways in which slow movement has the power to fascinate, even hypnotize, and how it can modify our perception of space and our experience of individual works of art. The exhibition is curated by Suzanne Landau, Yulla and Jacques Lipchitz Chief Curator of the Arts and Landeau Family Curator of Contemporary Art.

A Rare Gift: The Noel and Harriette Levine Collection of Photographs

Through December 2010, Edmond and Lily Safra Fine Arts Wing

The Noel and Harriette Levine Photography Collection, comprising 125 works spanning over 160 years, is considered among the finest photography collections in private hands and will be presented in its entirety in its first public display since it was gifted to the Museum in 2008. The collection includes works ranging from 19th-century British calotypes, to modernist masterpieces, to recent examples of contemporary work. It includes notable images by André Kertész, Paul Outerbridge, Man Ray, August Sander, and Cindy Sherman, among others. The exhibition is curated by Nissan Perez, Horace and Grace Goldsmith Senior Curator of the Noel and Harriette Levine Department of Photography.

Drawing Questions

Through October 2010, Edmond and Lily Safra Fine Arts Wing

This exhibition explores the medium of drawing, using examples from the Museum’s rich holdings in this area from the 16th century to the present. Works on display are organized according to the purpose they serve for the artist, such as preparatory drawings for sculptures or drawings that reflect the artist’s inner feelings, irrespective of place, time, or artistic prestige. The exhibition includes works on paper by such artists as: Avigdor Arikha, Pinchas Cohen Gan, Eugène Delacroix, Jean-Honoré Fragonard, Paul Klee, Bernadino Luini, Pablo Picasso, and Egon Schiele. Drawing Questions is curated by Meira Perry-Lehmann, Michael Bromberg Senior Curator of Prints and Drawings. 

The Four Seasons

Through April 2011, Edmond and Lily Safra Fine Arts Wing

The depiction of the seasons has been a popular genre throughout the history of art, and especially in the art of the Renaissance and Baroque periods, in accordance with a highly academic approach using a standard set of landscapes and symbols. However, beginning in the late-19th century, when artists began to leave their studios and paint outdoors, the portrayal of seasons became a more colorful affair, focusing less on agrarian society and more on cityscapes and urban life. The Four Seasons examines this point of transition in the history of art through works by Gustave Courbet, Aelbert Cuyp, Camille Pissarro, Auguste Rodin, and Lesser Ury, among others. The exhibition is curated by Shlomit Steinberg, Hans Dichand Curator of European Art.


Pioneering Archaeologists in the Holy Land

Through May 2011, Samuel and Saidye Bronfman Archaeology Wing

At the entrance to the renewed Bronfman Archaeology Wing, this exhibition illuminates the connection between the artifacts on display in the Wing and the history of the professional discipline of archaeological field work, from tomb raids to modern-day excavations. Bringing archaeology to life through the stories of Flinders Petrie, Felicien de Saulcy, and Conrad Schick—three representative figures in Middle Eastern archaeological exploration in the mid-late 19th century—the exhibition introduces viewers to their pioneering work in the field, as well as the activities of the Palestine Exploration Fund. Excavation tools, archaeological findings, photographs, and drawings are among the objects on display in The Beginning of Archaeology in the Holy Land, curated by Hagit Maoz Lin, Assistant to the Chief Curator of Archaeology.

Isaac Julien, Western Union: Small Boats

Through October 2010, Edmond and Lily Safra Fine Arts Wing

Isaac Julien’s ongoing exploration of the impact of location—entailing journeys across continents and cultures—culminated in the film installation trilogy True North (2004), Fantôme Afrique (2005), and Western Union: Small Boats (2007). Western Union: Small Boats conjures up the experience of North Africans attempting to escape war and famine by crossing the Mediterranean Sea. The result, following four years of research, is a film projected on three screens, taking the viewer to the shores of Sicily. The installation is curated by Suzanne Landau, Yulla and Jacques Lipchitz Chief Curator of the Arts and Landeau Family Curator of Contemporary Art.

Window

Through February 2011, Ruth Youth Wing

As early as the 15th century, Leon Battista Alberti referred to the open window as the frame for a painting—the window serving as a metaphor for the world. Highlighting the Museum's diverse collections, this Youth Wing exhibition displays objects and images that explore different aspects of the window in art, while inviting viewers on a journey through landscapes of romance, mystery and yearning. The exhibition is curated by Hagit Allon, Senior Exhibition Curator in the Ruth Youth Wing.

Israel Museum Campus Renewal Project 

Designed by James Carpenter Design Associates and Efrat-Kowalsky Architects, this $100-million capital program upgrades the facilities on the Museum’s 20-acre campus, enhancing the overall visiting experience while maintaining the architectural vision of Alfred Mansfeld and Dora Gad’s original design. The campus project includes the creation of: new entry facilities connecting to the heart of the Museum’s campus through a new enclosed route of passage; reorganized and expanded collection galleries; and new centralized temporary exhibition spaces.

An integral component of the project is the complete reconstruction and reinstallation of the Museum’s three collection wings: the Samuel and Saidye Bronfman Archaeology Wing, the Edmond and Lily Safra Fine Arts Wing, and the Jack, Joseph, and Morton Mandel Wing for Jewish Art and Life. The new gallery plan enables visitors to navigate intuitively through the Museum’s encyclopedic collections, following the timeline of material culture from prehistory in the ancient Near East to contemporary art worldwide. The newly transformed and unified campus will open to the public on July 26, 2010.

back to top Back to the top

 

 

Visitor Information
Information Center for Judaica and Jewish Ethnography
Israeli Art Center
Dorot Information Center
Image Resources and Copyright Management
Library
Study Rooms
Museum Laboratory
Press Releases 2010
Museum in the Media
Sadna design בניית אתריםבניית אתרים