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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
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The Art Garden and the galleries in the main building are closed
due to the comprehensive campus renewal at the Israel Museum.

Past Exhibitions

Piecing Together the Past: - Ancient Fragments of the Song of the Sea

From February 26

Detail from a Torah Scroll, 10th or 11th century, Collection of Stephan Loewentheil, New York

The Bible, the cornerstone of the People of the Book, was copied by scribes, interpreted by sages, and studied by generations of Jews from all walks of life. The nation’s respect for the Book of Books was also demonstrated by its desire to keep the manuscripts physically intact. This was not always possible, however,due to the hardships they experienced. Very few Hebrew manuscripts of the Bible have come down to us from the "Silent Period" – between the 2nd century, when the last of the Dead Sea Scrolls were written, and the 10th century, when the Aleppo Codex was produced. The discovery of a biblical manuscript, particularly one that served in synagogue services during the "Silent Period," is therefore a rare occasion. Two such fragments of the book of Exodus, originating in the same Torah scroll written during the 7th or 8th century – the Ashkar-Gilson Manuscript and the London Manuscript – found their way, many years later, into different collections. Here they are displayed together for the first time, alongside a fragment of the book of Exodus from the late 1st century BCE, discovered in Qumran, and another fragment of Exodus dating to the 10th or 11th century CE. Featuring excerpts of Exodus 15:1–19, these scrolls are among the earliest testimony to the Song of the Sea. The London Manuscript and the medieval fragment are on loan from Stephan Loewentheil, New York; the Ashkar-Gilson Manuscript is on permanent loan from Duke University, Durham, North Carolina.

Shmuel Katz - 60 Years of Children's Book Illustration

November 25 - April 21, 2010

Shmuel Katz, Illustration from Leah Goldberg's
Shmuel Katz, Illustration from Leah Goldberg's What Shall I Make for Lunch?

Shmuel Katz illustrated Yigal Mosinzon's mythic Hasamba series as early as 1949; he also illustrated Leah Goldberg's beloved Flat to Let. Another of Goldberg's books, What Shall I Make for Lunch?, has just been published, also featuring his illustrations - and he is still going strong...On display is a selection of Katz's works, familiar to generations of children, which were recently donated by the artist to the Israel Museum's Study Collection of Illustrated Children's Books.

In the Ruth Youth Wing

Video Drawing

To the exhibition website

James Paterson and Amit Pitaru
Excerpt from Rhonda, 2003  |

Drawing is an immediate, primary, and intimate medium. Video, on the other hand,is devoid of materiality and texture – a mechanical reproduction intended for a mass audience. In this exhibition, the two contrasting forms of expression are brought together in works that challenge drawing to maintain its unique characteristics, while endowing video with the added value of the artist’s touch. The works entail close observation of the process of drawing and the traces it leaves behind. They demonstrate the wide variety of its materials and stretch its conventional limits, thus enriching artistic creation in a fresh, and often surprising, way. Participating artists: Joshua Neustein, William Kentridge, Oscar Muñoz, Katerina Šedá, David Behar Perahia, Talia Keinan, Zilla Leutenegger, James Paterson, Amit Pitaru, and Maya Shan Bowden In the Ticho House Details and information >>>

Matters of Eternity

Special Exhibit

An intimate display of highlights from the Museum’s Archaeology Wing evokes subjects that lay at the heart of the ancient world: religious faith and ritual, divine law, gods and earthly rulers, the powerful cycle of nature and concern for the world to come – all regarded as matters of eternity. These important objects include: the fragment from a 9thcentury BCE Aramean monument that mentions the House of David; a Roman sculpture of the goddess Kore, whose annual return from the underworld heralded the coming of spring and the rebirth of nature.

Place: Youth Wing Foyer

Sitting Low, Seeing Far: A Joint Project with the Bezalel Industrial Design Department and Dead Sea Seminar

From February 8 to March 11, 2010

 Stools from Sitting Low, Seeing Far

Stools from Sitting Low, Seeing Far: A Joint Project with the Bezalel Industrial Design Department and Dead Sea Seminar 

The Israel Museum and the Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design – both descendants of institutions founded by Boris Schatz – operate on two of Jerusalem's hilltops. In this exhibition, they have joined forces for the first time, focusing on education, art, and the stool. Though it is objects that are on display here, the guiding spirit and creative learning process are at the heart of the exhibition.

Each year, the Industrial Design Department's students and instructors go down to the lowest spot on earth to create in another environment. Because of the time constraints – only 48 hours – and the restriction to local resources, participants naturally opt for the traditional handicrafts, such as engraving, wood carving, and wicker weaving. These techniques do honor to the heritage of Boris Schatz, who sought to establish a cultural center in Jerusalem where contemporary Hebrew art would be produced. His legacy is pursued by the new Bezalel School, established in the spirit of the Bauhaus movement, which promoted the integration of the fine arts, the crafts, and industrial design.

The stool was this year's subject of choice at the Dead Sea Seminar. Alongside traditional techniques, stools were also produced using modern methods, such as sand casting and plastic processing. However, the computer – frequently employed to prepare models and sketches – was absent. The project thus offered the artists a real challenge and the opportunity to make unusual combinations of materials and techniques.

Initially, the stool served human beings as an aid – a support to sit on while performing tasks or simply an elevating device. Here it earns a different status thanks to the humoristic design that takes precedence over its functional aspect; the result surprises, intrigues, and even brings a smile to the viewer's face. Time has affected the materials – the sun has scorched them, water has flooded them, and the salt has left its mark on them. Ties to the locale, spontaneity, and the artists' childhood memories blend with ancient designs to form unique objects.

In the Ruth Youth Wing

The Nuremberg Mahzor : A Medieval Masterpiece Unveiled

September 15, 2009 - February 6, 2010 

The Nuremberg Mahzor, Southern Germany, 1331, Extended Loan from Dr. David and Jemima Jeselsohn  
The Nuremberg Mahzor, Southern Germany , 1331, Extended Loan from Dr. David and Jemima Jeselsohn

A complete illuminated Hebrew prayer book from the Middle Ages covering the entire Jewish life cycle, is one of very few in existence - the Nuremberg Mahzor is on display for the first time following its restoration in the Museum's paper conservation laboratories. The massive manuscript, dating from 1331, contains the Ashkenazi yearly cycle of prayers and an unparalleled collection of liturgical poems and commentaries on the prayers. The manuscript is finely hand-written and embellished with 22 lavish panels in gold and silver leaf and precious pigments. Surviving the expulsions and wanderings of German Jewry, the manuscript was housed for centuries in the Nuremberg State Library until it was acquired as post-war restitution by publisher and businessman Zalman Schocken, who realized his dream of bringing this treasure of Jewish heritage to Jerusalem. Recently the Mahzor was purchased by Dr. David Jeselsohn and Jemima Jeselsohn, who are sharing it with the Museum's public and, digitally, with scholars worldwide.

Family Traces

July 24 - November 29, 2009

To the exhibition website

Anthony Goicolea, Supper, 2008,
Diptych, positive: chromogenic print; negative: graphite drawing and acrylic on mylar

At the heart of this exhibition stands the family portrait, charged with memories and longing. The exhibition was initially inspired by Supper (2008), a striking work by Cuban-American artist Anthony Goicolea, recently acquired for the Israel Museum collection. Goicolea extracted old portraits from his family albums and summoned them to an imaginary encounter, juxtaposing photography and painting. Presented alongside Goicolea's personal journey are multicultural works – memorabilia and photo albums, painting, photography, installation, and video art – from the Museum's and other collections. A special loan from The Museum of Modern Art, New York, brings a painting by Frida Kahlo to Israel for the first time. My Grandparents, My Parents, and I, an intimate, symbolic family tree, addresses the complex identity of an artist with native Mexican and German immigrant ancestry.

Weinstein Gallery, Ruth Youth Wing

Many Faces: Masks from Many Times and Many Places

April 8 - November 29, 2009

Exhibition online

Mask, Luba-Hemba people
Democratic Republic of the Congo, Late 19th – early 20th century
Wearing a mask means assuming a different identity, thus masks are an important element in both cultic traditions and the world of the artist. Most of the masks displayed here were used for ceremonial purposes in cultures across the globe, and were believed to have magical properties. Some played a key role in coming-of-age rites; others were used in burial rituals. Still others were worn in ceremonies marking the changing of seasons, notably the birth of spring (the festive origins of present-day carnival traditions), while the springtime Jewish holiday of Purim is celebrated with masks and disguises. This interdisciplinary exhibition presents exquisite examples from a wide range of Israel Museum collections, from prehistoric archaeology to contemporary art, enriched by pictures and films showing traditional masks in active use. The exhibit is curated by Efrat Natan.

Beningson Gallery, Ruth Youth Wing


Mani House, Tel Aviv

June 3, 2009 - November 22, 2009

Shai Zurim, Umbrella, 2006

Second Show: Contemporary Art from The Israel Museum, Jerusalem
A selection of Israeli and international works dealing with such subjects as introspection, fantasy worlds, myths, and reflections about the history of art and culture. Some of the works address the notion of the home and the relationship between inner and outer space, establishing a dialogue with Mani House – formerly an ordinary home, where contemporary works from the Museum’s collection are exhibited for the second time. The show features some of the most prominent artists active in Israel and abroad today, including Pierre Bismuth, Claire Fontaine, Erez Israeli, Efrat Natan, Pipilotti Rist, Ugo Rondinone, Mika Rottenberg, and Shai Zurim. One of the first houses built in Tel Aviv in 1909, Mani House was purchased and restored by Bank Leumi, and now serves as a visitors’ center and art center.

Belief and Believers: Ancient Art from the Israel Museum

November 1, 2008 - November 9, 2009

Statue of Dionysus, Beit Shean, Roman Period,
2nd Century B.C.E., Israel Antiquities Authority Collection

Some thirty objects of critical and artistic merit, drawn from the permanent collection of the Israel Museum, shed light on the religion and rituals of the Land of Israel's early inhabitants. Featured among the works in the exhibition is a thirteenth-century BCE statue of the storm god, a prehistoric statue dated at approximately 10,000 years, ritual objects of the faithful, and breathtaking stone sculptures portraying Dionysus and Artemis. These works are shown in the Rockefeller Museum following the closure of the Israel Museum's archaeology galleries as part of the Museum's campus renewal program. 

Place: Rockefeller Museum
Rockefeller Museum hours, shuttle bus, and guided tour  >>>
Curator: Fawzi Ibrahim, Curator of the Rockefeller Museum

VALIE EXPORT: Jerusalem Premiere

July 2009 - October 2009

To the exhibition website  >>>

Silver gelatin print

An avant-garde artist in the fields of performance art, video, photography, and experimental cinema, VALIE EXPORT started working in the 1960s with the Vienna Aktionists, focusing on the status of women in traditional post-war Austrian society. Many of her early performances and pieces are seen as iconic works that are still influential today. This exhibition – comprising photographed and filmed documentation of her activities as well as concept papers, photographs, and drawings – brings a cross-section of her works to Israel for the first time. The exhibition is presented in collaboration with the Jerusalem Cinematheque, which will be screening a retrospective of her films in the Ticho House garden during the Jerusalem Film Festival.

Celebrating with Ruth Zarfati and Uncle Simcha

May 8, 2009 - November 11, 2009

Ruth Zarfati's depiction of Uncle Simcha, based on Ayin Hillel's book, has become a visual icon for generations of children. This figure is a composite of her father, Yehudah Zarfati, and her husband, the sculptor Moshe Sternschuss The well- known illustrator is a "total artist," whose art touches upon every aspect of her life. The exhibition offers visitors the opportunity to examine Zarfati's original illustrations, including some that have never been published, as well as three- dimensional works. Most of the items on show were recently donated to the Museum by the artist on the occasion of her eightieth birthday, along with the entire collection of her children's book illustrations, and they are now part of the Museum's Study Collection.

"I will Lift Up Mine Eyes"

Prayer in Judaism, Christianity and Islam
on view from April 6 – August, 2009

Rothschild Miscellany, Northern Italy, ca. 1460–80

Jerusalem, March 26, 2009 –  Following the display of the Isaiah Scroll in the focus exhibition Swords into Plowshares, and the Temple Scroll in Reflections of the Temple,  the Israel Museum continues a program of installations in the Shrine of the Book, showcasing singular objects of archeological and historical importance using collection treasures and loans. The next in this series, "I Will Lift Up Mine Eyes: Prayer in Judaism, Christianity and Islam, is a display of artifacts relating to theme of prayer, including two silver plaques containing the Priestly Benediction from the late 7th – early 6th century BCE, the earliest known fragments of biblical text; a 15th century prayer book in the Rothschild Miscellany, a magnificent Hebrew illuminated manuscript; an exquisite 16th century French Book of Hours; and a 15th–16th century Iranian Quran decorated with elaborately illuminated geometric and floral patterns.

Human beings have always felt the need to turn to some higher power or supernatural force for intervention in their lives. At first prayers were personal, brief, and spontaneous, with no fixed form. Over time, though, prayer became liturgy: permanent written texts instituted by rulers and religious leaders and prayed in public by the community. Underlying the liturgy of the three monotheistic faiths is the scriptural tradition in which prayer is addressed to a single all-powerful God, who dwells in the heavens but is attentive to human needs. Whatever the differences, all prayers have one thing in common: the belief that human beings are not alone in the universe, that somewhere out there someone is listening and may come to their aid.

The exhibit is curated by Adolfo Roitman, Head of the Shrine of the Book and Curator of the Dead Sea Scrolls; Michal Dayagi, Tamar and Teddy Kollek Chief Curator of Archaeology; and Galit Bennet Dahan, Associate Curator of the Dead Sea Scrolls. It will be on display from April 6 – August, 2009.

 Bizarre Perfection

December 19, 2008 to June 13, 2009
To the exhibition website> >>


This exhibition was the second in a series illuminating juxtapositions among treasures from the Israel Museum collections, from throughout material cultural history. Bizarre Perfection celebrated the craftsmanship, skill, and dexterity involved in creating works of art and unique objects through long, labor-intensive processes, the result of which are objects so exquisite as to inspire amazement and even disbelief. Even in the electronic age, with its constant new technologies and innovative materials, the fascination with and appreciation of handmade creativity has endured and waxed strong. The exhibition presented many such masterpieces from the Israel Museum's collections, spanning a broad range of cultures and crossing the traditional boundaries between art and craft, as well as a number of loans of contemporary works that exemplify an extraordinary attention to detail and method. The exhibition included works by Do-Ho Suh, Liza Lou, Ron Mueck and Tara Donovan, among others, and is curated by Suzanne Landau, Yulla and Jacques Lipchitz Chief Curator of the Arts and Landeau Foundation Curator of Contemporary Art.


Paper is commonly used as a neutral base on which to draw, print, and draft. Yet in this exhibition, paper becomes a dynamic force in its own right, with direct impact on the resulting artwork. The artists use paper to build, fold, cut, and crease - some even creating a world of fantasy that, although built of a soft, ephemeral substance, possesses a powerful presence. This exhibition showcases works by young Israeli artists reflecting their attitude towards nature, locality, childhood, and their inner lives.

From the Exhibition Paperworks
Yifat Bezalel, Desolation, 2008

From March 1, 2009 at Beit Ticho

Sun, Mon, Wed, Thurs 10 am – 5 pm
Tues 10 am – 10 pm
Fri 10 am – 2 pm
No entrance to the upper level gallery between 10:30-12:15 on Fridays
Closed Saturdays


On the Map
The Map of Israel as Illustration, Artwork, and Icon

December, 2008 - March 22, 2009
To the exhibition website  >>>

Tin candy box, England, 1950.
Collection of Dr. Haim Grossman, Tel Aviv

A pencil-case, a package of cookies, and the blue box of the Jewish National Fund are displayed here together, all three decorated with the map of Israel. Yet the map adorning these items and the rest of the pieces in this exhibition is not geographic or topographic; it is an artistic representation and a cultural emblem. It is the same image that, even with one's eyes closed, takes on its familiar shape - a loop on the upper-right hand corner at the Sea of Galilee, and, under it, a sort of tongue shape representing the Dead Sea; to the left, a small curve marking Haifa, followed by a larger one; and, at the bottom, Eilat, the final link that completes the narrow outline of the state.

Naturally, the borders of the maps reflect the historical time in which they were drawn, but changing borders are not the focus of this exhibition. The items presented here reflect shifting tastes and passing trends with one objective throughout the years: to increase familiarity with the land and to strengthen love of the land in experiential, educational, and aesthetic ways.

So, what is this artistic, non-geographic map? Is it a work of art, an illustration, or an icon? Perhaps it is all three, for all of the maps displayed here have a fine-art aspect, an illustrative aspect - adding personal artistic interpretation - and an iconic aspect. The wealth of images in this exhibition stretches the limits of Israel's map, allowing us to take a considered, personal, new look at this very familiar sight.

Lenders to the exhibition:
Eran Arie, Tel Aviv
Israel Ben-Sinai, Ramat Gan
Bible Lands Museum Shop, Jerusalem
Dr. Haim Grossman, Tel Aviv
Levinsky College Library, Tel Aviv
Mapa Publishers, Tel Aviv
Nahum Gutman Museum of Art, Tel Aviv
National Map and Aerial Photograph Archive, Center for Mapping in Israel, Tel Aviv
Hila Sackstein, Ramat Gan
Sha'ar Tzion Library, Tel Aviv
Tamar Talisman, Tel Aviv
Benny Yeruham, Tel Aviv

Blue and White Pages
Documenting the History of Israel

October 10, 2008 – March 14, 2009

The Israel Museum presents an exhibition of historical documents, most of which are from the collection of the State Archive. The documents on display include Israel’s original Declaration of Independence and historic laws and agreements such as the peace agreements with Jordan and Egypt. These documents are shown together with seminal documents from the collection of the Israel Museum and the Israel Antiquities Authority such as original letters by Simon Bar Kochba, the legendary Jewish leader who led the revolt against the Roman Empire in 132 CE and became the last king of Israel, and Albert Einstein's manuscript on the Theory of Relativity. Also on display, for the first time, is Ilan Ramon’s diary. Ilan Ramon, the first Israeli astronaut to travel into space, died in the Columbia shuttle disaster along with six American crew members in February 2003. His personal journal miraculously survived the crash and its fragmented pieces were reconstructed at the Israel Museum by Michael Maggen, Head of Paper Conservation, on behalf of Ramon's widow. The curator in charge is Chief Curator at-Large Yigal Zalmona, and the exhibition is curated and designed by Ido Bruno.

Woman with a Camera
Liselotte Grschebina: Germany, 1908 – Israel, 1994

October 13 – February 6, 2009
Liselotte Grschebina, Masks, 1930 
Liselotte Grschebina, Masks, 1930

October 13 – February 6, 2009

German-born Liselotte Grschebina was an avant-garde photographer in Karlsruhe whose work was exemplary of the energizing spirit of cultural innovation during the time of the Weimar Republic. In 1934 Grschebina immigrated to Palestine and opened a studio in Tel Aviv, where she established a reputation for this new genre of photography. Grschebina’s talent developed without major recognition until after her death, when a body of work was discovered in a hidden storage niche in her son's apartment. In 2000, he gave the entire archive – including some 1,400 photographs – to the Israel Museum. The exhibition showcases Grschebina’s distinctive oeuvre and illuminates the phenomenon of émigré avant-garde artists who arrived in Palestine following the rise of the Nazi regime in Germany. Place: Ticho House, Upper Level Gallery

Ticho House Hours and Information > > >
Curator: Judith Caplan, Associate Curator of Photography
  Reflections of the Temple: Images and Ideals

 October, 2008 - February 14, 2009

Following the display of the Isaiah Scroll in the focus exhibition Swords into Plowshares: The Isaiah Scroll and Its Message of Peace, the Israel Museum continues a program of installations in the Shrine of the Book, showcasing singular objects of Biblical history and Jewish archeological and historical importance using collection treasures and loans. The next in this series is a display of artifacts relating to the theme of the Second Temple, including the largest section of the Temple Scroll, never before on view in Israel; a piece of incised plaster bearing one of the oldest known representations of the Temple Menorah from the first century BCE, found in the Jewish Quarter; a selection of coins from the Hasmonean and Bar-Kochva periods featuring images from the Temple; and two gold-glass medallions from the fourth century CE, adorned with iconic imagery of the Holy Ark, the Lions of Judah and the Menorah. The installation 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.


Arie Aroch
Works from the Israel Museum

November 1 – December 13, 2008

Artists House (external venue)
In honor of the centenary of the birth of Arie Aroch, the exhibition celebrates the work of an artist considered a founding father of Israeli art whose importance and influence continues to reverberate in the local artistic landscape today. Drawn from the Israel Museum’s collection, as well as from the private collection of the Aroch family on long-term loan to the Israel Museum, the works on view follow the stylistic process of abstraction and formal development of Aroch's entire artistic career, which spanned from 1940s through his death in 1974. The exhibition will feature approximately 40 works in a large range of media: oil on canvas, oil, pencil and collage on wood and paper, painted reliefs and oil stick on reproductions. The exhibition is curated by Timna Seligman, Curator of Ticho House.


First Show
Contemporary Art from The Israel Museum, Jerusalem

September 28 – November 30, 2008
Mani House, Tel Aviv


In a landmark event, the Israel Museum brings to Tel Aviv, for the first time, a selection of new acquisitions of Israeli and international contemporary artworks, as part of Art TLV 2008, the city's first major international contemporary art event. Mani House, a historic building, was renovated by Bank Leumi and transformed into a visitors center and exhibition space. The artists represented, among them leading figures on today’s art scene, address such issues as the tension between nature and culture or reality and illusion, archetypal myths, and the individual and collective unconscious. They make use of a varied range of techniques and materials, at times entering into dialogues with different disciplines and artists. Responding to its unusual setting, the encounter of a plurality of approaches and mediums charges this century-old building with new spirit. The exhibition is curated by Amitai Mendelson, Curator of Israeli Art, and Talia Amar, Associate Curator of Contemporary Art.

Secrets and Ties: Wondrous Connections in the Israel Museum Collections

To the online exhibition >>>
Closes November 22  2008

Mark Wallinger, Ecce Homo, 1999

With its campus renewal project fully underway, the Museum begins a program of changing installations in its Youth Wing to showcase masterpieces from its collections in Fine Art, Archeology, and Judaica and Jewish Ethnography, to ensure that major works from the Museum’s vast holdings of 500,000 objects are always available for its visitors.

The first such exhibition presents major works from the collections, representing different cultures and periods in dialogue with one another, connected by a common theme – representations of the human being. A "Zionist" carpet, a Dutch family, an Egyptian foot, and avant-garde furniture – all are presented here together, revealing that despite their disparate origins, they are tied visually and thematically to each other.

Secrets and Ties proposes to create new connections among works of art and evoke personal interpretations of works already familiar to the public.

Place: Weinstein Gallery, Ruth Youth Wing
Curator: David Ibgui, Chief Curator of the Ruth Youth Wing



The Israel Museum Ben-Yitzhak Award for
the Illustration of a Children's Book, 2008

Original works from books that earned their illustrators an award: David Polonsky (Gold Medal); Batia Kolton (Silver Medal); Lena Guberman, Yana Bukler, Ofra Amit, and Yaniv Shimony (honorable mentions).

For more information > > >

Batia Kolton - The Golden Chain: Best Hebrew Poems for Children - selected and edited by Nira Harel

Place: Ruth Youth Wing Library
Curator: Nurit Shilo-Cohen, 
Curator of Illustration

Swords into Plowshares
The Isaiah Scroll and Its Message of Peace

The Isaiah Scroll (1QIsaa), Qumran, cave 1, circa 100 BCE
Explore the Isaiah Scroll > > 

On the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the State of Israel, the Israel Museum presents the longest, best preserved, and most complete Dead Sea Scroll document ever found, in a special installation in the Shrine of the Book. Never before shown in an extended public display, this 2.60 meter-long section of the Isaiah Scroll comprises the first twenty-eight chapters of the Book of Isaiah, including Isaiah’s celebrated message of peace: "They shall beat their swords into plowshares…" (Is. 2:4). In order to illustrate this important message, iron tools from the days of the prophet Isaiah (8th century BCE) will be displayed alongside the Scroll. A Hellenistic seal depicting a dove carrying an olive branch, newly excavated and never before displayed, will also be on view.

Closed September 16, 2008

An international conference on Dead Sea Scrolls research was held July 6-8, 2008, and was scheduled to coincide with the exhibition.

Place: The Shrine of the Book
Curator: Adolfo Roitman, Head of the Shrine of the Book and Curator of the Dead Sea Scrolls, and Michal Dayagi-Mendels, Chief Curator of Archaeology 


Song of the Sea: An Unknown Scroll Fragment from the 8th Century

A rare Torah manuscript from "the silent period" – some 500 years, between the 3rd and 8th centuries, from which almost no Hebrew biblical manuscripts have been found. Apparently written in Egypt, this fragment of a Torah scroll contains a section of the book of Exodus, including one of the earliest and most beautiful examples of biblical poetry, the Song of the Sea. The text of the manuscript is strikingly similar to the traditional Masoretic version familiar from later Bible codices (dating from the 9th century on). It constitutes a link between these medieval manuscripts and more ancient texts from the late Second Temple period, found in the Judean Desert. This special exhibit is on loan courtesy of the Rare Book Department at Duke University, North Carolina.

Place: Shrine of the Book Campus
Curator: Adolfo Roitman, Head of the Shrine of the Book and Curator of the Dead Sea Scrolls








Orphaned Art:
Looted Art from the Holocaust in the Israel Museum


Closed August 23, 2008

Search the JRSO inventory of looted works >>> 

Moritz Daniel Oppenheim, Marriage Portrait of Charlotte von Rothschild, 1836
Received through JRSO

Showcasing some forty paintings, drawings, prints, and books, together with two dozen examples of recovered Jewish ceremonial objects, this exhibition tells the story of art that was looted by the Nazis during World War II, discovered by the Allies in hiding places throughout Germany after the war, and brought to Israel during the early 1950s by the Jewish Restitution Successor Organization (JRSO). The works – including paintings by Jan Both, Marc Chagall, Moritz Daniel Oppenheim, Egon Schiele, and Alfred Sisley – arrived with little if any documentation of prior ownership and have been held in custody by the Israel Museum since it inherited the holdings of the Bezalel National Museum in 1965.

Catalogue in French and English
Place: Beningson Gallery, Ruth Youth Wing
Curator: Shlomit Steinberg, Hans Dichand Curator of European Art

International Conference: 

Justice Matters
Restituting Holocaust- Era Art and Artifacts
19 – 20 May 2008
in conjunction with the exhibition
See conference website


Real Time: Art in Israel 1998–2008

Sigalit Landau, born 1969
RomaManai and Iranian Atom, 2008
in The Dining Hall, Kunst Werke, Berlin, 2007 


As part of the project "Sixty Years of Art in Israel", six major Israeli museums are each presenting artwork from one of the decades of the nation’s history. The Museum’s exhibition, which presents a comprehensive survey of Israeli art from the past ten years, includes pieces by some forty artists working in the mediums of painting, sculpture, photography, video, and installation; among these works are several created especially for the exhibition. All the artists featured here made their debut on the artistic scene within the last decade, bringing with them a new creative spirit. Dread of global catastrophe and a yearning to escape to distant borders – real or imagined – characterize many of their works. The artists seem to be seeking refuge in wild, primordial, or sublime landscapes and in fantastic, mythological worlds. Those works that do deal with local contexts do so either from above, framing the political present in mythical time, or by revealing dark undercurrents hidden beneath the impassive surface of Israeli society.
The exhibition comprises works by artists such as Sigalit Landau, Yehudit Sasportas, Guy Ben-Ner, Adi Nes, Gal Weinstein, Eliezer Sonnenschein, Zoya Cherkassky, Yael Bartana, and Gil Marco Shani.

Place: Weisbord Pavilion
Curators: Amitai Mendelsohn, Curator of Israeli Art, and Efrat Natan, Guest Curator

To the online exhibition > > > 

Exhibitions in Venues Abroad

Vulture Standard, Nahal Mishmar, Chacolithic Period, 4th mill. BCE, Collection of Israel Antiquities Authority
Vulture Standard, Nahal Mishmar, Chacolithic Period, 4th mill. BCE, Collection of Israel Antiquities Authority

This exhibition reviews the history of profound social change brought about by metallurgy, including the birth of Mediterranean farming, the creation of the first temples and cemeteries, and the emergence of complex societies. The exhibition is based on a National Geographic expedition organized by Professor Thomas Levy (University of California, San Diego), who led a group of international scientists across the deserts of Jordan and Israel to reconstruct ancient trade routes, mining methods, and ore smelting practices that were first used more than 6,000 years ago. Produced by the San Diego Museum of Man and the Israel Museum, Jerusalem, in partnership with the Israel Antiquities Authority, the National Geographic Museum, the University of California, San Diego (UCSD), and Calit2, the California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology, the exhibition is curated by Prof. Thomas Levy of UCSD and Osnat Misch-Brandl, Curator of Chalcolithic and Canaanite Periods at the Israel Museum. 

Picturing Jerusalem

James Graham and Mendel Diness, Photographers
December 4, 2007 – April 6, 2008
Exhibition at the Yeshiva University Museum, New York

Mendel Diness, Syrian Patriarch of Jerusalem, 1850s 
Mendel Diness, Syrian Patriarch of Jerusalem, 1850s

This important exhibition, showcasing works by 19th century photographers James Graham and Mendel Diness, features seventy-five rare vintage prints of the Holy Land. Drawn from the Israel Museum's extensive holdings of vintage 19th century photography of the Holy Land, the exhibition includes the remarkable trove of Diness’ glass plate negatives, silver prints, notebooks and other photographic material accidentally discovered at a Minnesota garage sale in 1989 and now in the collection of the Israel Museum. The exhibition also showcases a unique album of eighty-seven wax paper images by James Graham, taken between 1853 and 1857, and today owned jointly by the Israel Museum and the Center for Jewish History, New York. Following its presentation at the Yeshiva University Museum, the exhibition will travel, with a final showing at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem.

Curator:  Nissan Perez, Senior Curator of Photography


Two Landmark Exhibitions on the Fate of Stolen Art

Underscoring ongoing initiatives to conclude the saga of art and artifacts lost in World War II and the shared significance of this subject for the international museum community, these two exhibitions present works of art that became orphaned during the Nazi era and highlight efforts to reconstruct their history.
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International Conference: 

Justice Matters
Restituting Holocaust- Era Art and Artifacts
19 – 20 May 2008
in conjunction with the exhibition
See conference website

Looking for Owners: Custody, Research, and Restitution of Art Stolen in France
during World War II

February 18 - June 2, 2008

On display in Israel for the first time, fifty-three paintings by major European artists from the collection known as MNR (Musées Nationaux Récupération) from France, including works by Paul Cézanne, Jean- Baptiste-Siméon Chardin, Aelbert Cuyp, Edgar Degas, Eugène Delacroix, Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres, and Claude Monet. Organized jointly by the Museums of France and the Israel Museum, this exhibition focuses on the complex history behind the MNR holdings – which were taken away from France during the Second World War and are held today in custody by the French National Museums – and on the research conducted over the last decade to trace their history of possession and to identify rightful ownership.

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Catalogue in French and English
Place: Weinstein Gallery, Ruth Youth Wing

The Homes of Others: Video Art and Photography
by Contemporary Israeli Artists







 March 7 - May 9, 2008

Aya Ben Ron,  Margalith, 2007 Video, 19 mins, Collection of the artist

Seven contemporary Israeli photographers and video artists investigate the emotional echoes heard in vacated homes. In some cases, the inhabitants are gone for good, and the focus is on real or imagined memories that permeate the emotionally charged space. In others, the residents are only away temporarily, and the artists become voyeurs who have “invaded” their living space. The inhabitants’ absence, the intrusion of the camera, and the way in which other people’s homes are simultaneously familiar and alien – all of these contribute to the emotional tension at the core of the show. Added meaning comes from the particular setting: Ticho House, once a private dwelling, now a public space. Featured artists: Aya Ben Ron, Uri Gershuni, Noa Gross, Dana Levy, Ruti Nemet, Pavel Wolberg, and Yuval Yairi.

Place: Ticho House 

Bezalel Students Remember Beloved Childhood Books

Special Exhibit
Participating students in Bezalel's "Text and Image" course, led by illustrator Ora Eytan of the Department of Visual Communications, return to the books they loved as children and examine them from the perspective of young artists. Presented in the exhibition are the books in their original form, shown alongside new interpretations by the students.

Place: Ruth Youth Wing Library

Made in China - The Estella Collection

In 2001, the Israel Museum organized an exhibition entitled 100 Treasures from China, which spanned six millennia and allowed our visitors a rare opportunity to view cultural masterpieces ranging from Neolithic pottery to sixteenth-century Ming porcelain. Today, with Made in China, we are pleased to display nearly one hundred works by some sixty artists from one of the world’s largest collections of contemporary Chinese art, the Estella Collection. Thus the ongoing interest of the Museum in the culture of this ancient nation has culminated in a presentation of the most recent chapter in the history of Chinese art.

Comprising painting, sculpture, photography, installation, video, and works on paper, the exhibition offers an insight into the many currents that are energizing Chinese art today and provides an introduction to a visual culture that is making its way, at lightening speed, to a prominent position on the international art scene. And just as contemporary art from China has recently attracted great interest in the West, Chinese artists have been making skillful use of media, techniques, and forms of expression that were developed outside their country. At the same time, specifically Chinese roots – pre-modern tradition on the one hand, and the Socialist Realism prescribed by the Communist Party until the late 1970s on the other– are still evident in many of the artists’ works. Classical subjects such as landscape painting have given rise to contemporary images of nature that differ from those we know in other cultures. A technique rich in tradition, like ink-wash painting, is introduced into experimental and challenging frameworks, so that today Chinese characters are drawn on the human body and the calligraphic symbol is developed into a pure abstraction.

The breakthrough of contemporary Chinese art reflects both the globalization of art and the creative strength of a country that is being dramatically transformed and will play a preeminent role in many spheres as the twenty-first century unfolds.

The exhibition has been organized by Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Denmark. 
To the online exhibition  > > >








A Room of Her Own: Portraits of Women from the Israel Museum Collection


In A Room of Her Own, it is modern woman, distanced from the traditional mythological or religious contexts of art history, who occupies the spotlight. The Israel Museum’s rich holdings in modern and contemporary art contain exquisite examples of painting, photography, drawing, and sculpture that underscore the diversity of woman’s image from the late nineteenth century on. A major inspiration for the exhibition is its setting: Ticho House in the center of Jerusalem, where Anna Ticho lived for many years, creating her highly personal, expressive paintings and welcoming the city’s artists and intellectuals. This exhibition focusing on women thus relates organically to both the artistic history and the domestic ambience of Anna Ticho’s own rooms. Women are seen in vibrant portraits and in the serene poses of everyday life, in a broad range of perceptions that testify to the changes their image has undergone for more than a century.

The exhibition presents paintings, sculptures and drawings by the most celebrated artists of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, as well as contemporary works by artists such as Cindy Sherman and Paloma Varga Weisz. A Room of Her Own marks the first exhibition in Israel of Pablo Picasso's The Seamstress (1906) and Chaim Soutine's Young Girl in Red (1928).

Place: Ticho House
9 HaRav Kook Street
take a virtual tour of the exhibit > > >


Water in Art and Life

Water is the source of all living things. It covers most of the Earth's surface, falls from the sky, gushes from beneath the ground, mists the air, and constitutes an essential part of the bodies of all living creatures. A basic condition for human society, water defines the borders of the world's cultures. Sanctifying, purifying, healing, and refreshing, it embodies the very flow of life, but it also harbors unpredictable, destructive forces. Even though water has no color, taste, or smell, we witness its power in roaring waterfalls, tranquil pools, stormy seas, and in the drizzle of the rain. In this Youth Wing exhibition, water is presented through the eyes of Israeli and international artists, who use it as a form of expression and as a tool with which to explore environmental, social, and personal issues. Featuring interactive installations, video works and photography, objects from the Museum's collections, and research and activity corners that broaden our knowledge and expand our understanding of water.
take a virtual tour of the exhibit  > > >

Place: Ruth Youth Wing

Past exhibitions 2006 - 2007

Past exhibitions 2003 - 2005 












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