An integral component of the Israel Museum’s campus renewal project is the complete reconstruction and reinstallation of its three collection wings for archaeology, the fine arts, and Jewish art and life, each now centrally accessible through the new gallery entrance pavilion. Merging the Museum’s new curatorial vision together with innovative installation design, the renewed galleries enable 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.
Samuel and Saidye Bronfman Archaeology Wing
The Archaeology Wing tells the story of the ancient Land of Israel – home to peoples of different cultures and faiths – using unique examples from the Museum’s collection of Holy Land archaeology, the foremost holding in the world. Organized chronologically, from prehistory through the Ottoman Empire, the transformed wing presents seven “chapters” of this archaeological narrative, weaving together momentous historical events, cultural achievements, and technological advances, while providing a glimpse into the everyday lives of the peoples of the region. This narrative is supplemented by thematic groupings highlighting aspects of ancient Israeli archaeology that are unique to the region’s history, among them Hebrew writing, glass, and coins. Treasures from neighboring cultures that have had a decisive impact on the Land of Israel – such as Egypt, the Near East, Greece and Italy, and the Islamic world – are on view in adjacent and connecting galleries. A special gallery at the entrance to the wing showcases new findings and other temporary exhibition displays.
Details and highlights
Edmond and Lily Safra Fine Arts Wing
The Fine Arts Wing reflects the wide-ranging, interdisciplinary nature of the Museum’s collections, encompassing works of art from across the ages in Western and non-Western cultures. The wing has been reorganized to highlight connections among works from its diverse curatorial collections, which include: European Art; Modern Art; Contemporary Art; Israeli Art; the Arts of Africa, Oceania, and the Americas; Asian Art; Photography; Design and Architecture; and Prints and Drawings. Installations are organized to underscore visual affinities and shared themes and to inspire new insight into the arts of different times and places, as well as an appreciation of the common threads of human culture. The reconfigured wing includes the Museum’s first permanent galleries for Israeli art; more than doubled gallery space for the Museum’s extensive collections in modern art; providing meaningful connecting points between Western and non-Western holdings; and a full 2,200-square-meter (7,200-square-foot) gallery floor devoted to changing displays from the Museum’s collection of contemporary art.
Details and highlights
Jack, Joseph, and Morton Mandel Wing for Jewish Art and Life
The Wing for Jewish Art and Life presents the material culture of Jewish communities worldwide, from the Middle Ages to the present day, and is conceived to provide a view of Jewish life that integrates both its sacred and its secular dimensions. Showcasing the aesthetic value of objects as well as their social and historical significance, the comparative display unfolds in five themes that highlight the individual and the communal, the sacred and the mundane, and the heritage of the past, and the creative innovations of the present. The reconfigured wing includes a new Synagogue Route, unique to the Israel Museum, containing four synagogue interiors from the continents of Europe, Asia, and the Americas; a dramatic introductory display focusing on the Jewish life cycle that features singular treasures from the collections relating to the ritual ceremonies of birth, marriage, and death; a new gallery space to showcase the Museum’s holdings of rare illuminated manuscripts; and the integration of works of contemporary art and Judaica.
Details and highlights
The Ruth Youth Wing
The Ruth Youth Wing coordinates all of the cultural education programs in the Israel Museum, Jerusalem. Here, the goal of attracting the public to the Museum and the cultural values, knowledge, and beauty it embodies, prompts the birth of ideas and development of programs. It is one of the largest and most prominent art education venues of its kind in the world. Many in the field of museum education travel here to draw on the Ruth Youth Wing's years of experience. They find a unique and magical place, which integrates professionalism with learning, play, and fun.
The Youth Wing's staff includes some 80 teachers, instructors, lecturers, and administrators, who share a common vision: to serve as a center for study and creation, which stimulates artistic and cultural dialogue and endeavor, inspired by the original works housed in the Israel Museum.
The Ruth Youth Wing for Art Education
In addition to the renewed galleries, the renewed Israel Museum features:
The Shrine of the Book
The Second Temple Model
The Billy Rose Art Garden
Rockefeller Archaeological Museum