Swords into Plowshares, The Isaiah Scroll and Its Message of Peace
Closes September 16
Studying Art in the Museum
for adults and children at beginning and advanced levels
Secrets and Ties
Wondrous Connections in the Israel Museum Collections
The galleries in the main building are currently closed to the public
due to the comprehensive program of renewal at the Israel Museum.
Signs of Life: Animating Ticho House
Until September 26
The Shrine of the Book
Model of Jerusalem in the Second Temple Period
Youth Wing
Campus Renewal Project

Contemporary Art

The Art Wing is currently closed to the public due to the comprehensive program of renewal at the Israel Museum.

Displaying the works of avant-garde artists in Jerusalem—an ancient city rich in history, cultures, and religions—and in the context of an encyclopedic museum with a great diversity of collections is a unique experience. Almost from the Museum’s inception, a policy of intensive activity in the sphere of international contemporary art was pursued. In 1982 the Department of Contemporary Art was established, characterized by an ongoing dialectic between exhibiting and collecting. Its holdings, which range from 1970 to the present, are continually being enlarged—thanks in great part to contemporary art acquisition committees established in several cities abroad—with emphasis on works by young artists at the beginning of their careers, focusing on installations and three-dimensional, video, and photography-based works. A dynamic visiting artists program encourages such talents while enriching the department’s exhibition program and its collections. The inauguration of the 20th Century Art Building in 1990 heralded a new era, as it provided the department with a spacious, skylit gallery of 1,200 square meters in which the display changed on a regular basis.  

The contemporary art collection began to take shape in the early seventies and eighties, with works by such artists as Agnes Martin, Eva Hesse, Robert Mangold, Dan Flavin, and Robert Ryman, to name only a few. Museum anniversaries were always an occasion for significant gifts. During the Museum’s twenty-fifth anniversary, the collection was enriched by works by John Baldessari, Anselm Kiefer, Giulio Paolini, and Ed Ruscha, among others. The thirtieth anniversary celebration in 1995 was especially fruitful: works by Vito Acconci, Antony Gormley, Rodney Graham, Hans Haacke, Charles Ray, Bill Viola, Jeff Wall, and many more—over thirty important pieces in all—joined the art collection. Further acquisitions included works by Stephan Balkenhol, Fischli & Weiss, Robert Gober, Andreas Gursky, Mona Hatoum, Damien Hirst, William Kentridge, Annette Messager, Mariko Mori, Yinka Shonibare, and Mark Wallinger. Some of our artists-in-residence—such as Christian Boltanski, Braco Dimitrijevic, Mario Merz, Joel Shapiro, Kiki Smith, and Rosemarie Trockel—have donated works created in Jerusalem, while Joseph Kosuth, Roy Lichtenstein, and Gerhard Richter are among the many other contemporary artists who have given major works to the Israel Museum.   

Suzanne Landau
Yulla and Jacques Lipchitz Chief Curator of the Arts
The Landeau Foundation Curator of Contemporary Art

Archaeology Wing
Judaica and Jewish Ethnography
Art Wing
Youth Wing
Art Garden
Shrine of the Book
Ticho House
Rockefeller Museum
Sadna design בניית אתריםבניית אתרים