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

Asian Art

Israel, situated on the western rim of the Asian continent, sees great importance in its cultural links with other civilizations in Asia, and it was in this spirit that a department for Asian art was established at the Israel Museum.

A gift of a group of Southeast Asian sculptures and early Chinese ceramics was made to the Israel Museum in the 1960s. In 1978, with an important bequest that included more than 700 works, the foundation of the Department of Asian Art was laid. The bequest included a wide range of ceramics and sculptures from China, Thailand, Korea, and India, as well as an impressive collection of Indian paintings.

Awareness of the department spread rapidly, both in Israel and abroad, and its holdings grew apace.  A large anonymous donation made it possible for the Museum to acquire a representative collection of Chinese furniture from the seventeenth century, as well as a set of eleven Chinese bronze bells from the seventh–sixth centuries BCE. A unique collection containing some five hundred Japanese prints, paintings, and sculptures was given to the Museum in 2001. Continuing to expand year by year, the department’s holdings constitute the only major comprehensive collection of Asian art in Israel.  

In addition to its permanent collection, the department has mounted unique temporary exhibitions, the first of their kind, of Chinese and Japanese collections lent by museums in China and by private collectors around the world, contributing greatly to the exposure of the Israeli public to the rich cultural heritage of East Asia. Important temporary exhibitions included Whiff of Luxury: Chinese Snuff Bottles from the collection of Mary and George Bloch; 100 Treasures from China; and Splendors of Imperial Japan: Meiji Masterpieces from the Khalili Collection. The resounding success of these exhibits both in Israel and abroad has contributed greatly to the reputation of the Museum.

Rebecca Bitterman
Senior Curator, Marcel Lorber Department of Asian Art


Archaeology Wing
Judaica and Jewish Ethnography
Art Wing
Youth Wing
Art Garden
Shrine of the Book
Ticho House
Rockefeller Museum
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