The Israel Museum, Jerusalem
   Jan-June 2011  
Jan-June 2011
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About the Israel Museum, Jerusalem

The Israel Museum is the largest cultural institution in the State of Israel and is ranked among the world’s leading art and archaeology museums. Founded in 1965, the Museum houses encyclopedic collections, including works dating from prehistory to the present day, in its Archaeology, Fine Arts, and Jewish Art and Life Wings, and features the most extensive holdings of biblical and Holy Land archaeology in the world....More

Contacts

Major Retrospective of Israeli Artist Micha Ullman on View at the Israel Museum

Due to Popular Demand, William Kentridge: Five Themes Extended Until July 30

Rare Treasures of Ancient Glass Displayed Together for First Time

Renowned American Artist Roxy Paine Inaugurates Inversion (2008) at the Israel Museum, Jerusalem on May 12, 201

Works by Virtuoso Photographer Helmar Lerski in First-Time Display at the Israel Museum

How to Live Your Life, Courtesy of the Israel Museum

Passover at the Museum

Royal Collection of European Masterworks in New Exhibition at the Israel Museum - Works by Rembrandt, Poussin, Dürer, and Lorrain on display from April 1

Survey of Contemporary South African Artist William Kentridge

Israel Museum Director Named One of the 50 Most Influential People in the Art World in 2010

Chilean Miners Visit Israel Museum, Jerusalem

Israel Museum Restitutes Drawing by Paul Klee

Israel Museum Attracts Half a Million Visitors since July Inaugural of Renewed Campus

Israel Museum Exhibition Explores the Seasons with Works by Pissarro, Rodin, Daubigny, Sisley, and Other Masters

Israel Museum, Jerusalem, and Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego Jointly Purchase Ann Lislegaard Video Installation

Israel Museum to Launch New Arts Education Program for Jerusalem Schoolchildren, December 15, 2010

Israel Museum Presents Survey of German Artist Jakob Steinhardt Featuring New Gifts to the Museum from the Artist’s Estate

Braginsky Collection of Rare Illuminated Hebrew Manuscripts and Books Premieres in Israel at Israel Museum, December 1, 2010


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About the Israel Museum

The Israel Museum is the largest cultural institution in the State of Israel and is ranked among the world’s leading art and archaeology museums. Founded in 1965, the Museum houses encyclopedic collections, including works dating from prehistory to the present day, in its Archaeology, Fine Arts, and Jewish Art and Life Wings, and features the most extensive holdings of biblical and Holy Land archaeology in the world. In just 45 years, thanks to a legacy of gifts and generous support from its circle of patrons worldwide, the Museum has built a far-ranging collection of nearly 500,000 objects, representing the full scope of world material culture.

In the summer of 2010, the Israel Museum completed the most comprehensive upgrade of its 20-acre campus in its history, featuring new galleries, entrance facilities, and public spaces. The three-year expansion and renewal project was designed to enhance visitor experience of the Museum’s collections, architecture, and surrounding landscape, complementing its original design by Alfred Mansfeld and Dora Gad. Led by James Carpenter Design Associates of New York and Efrat-Kowalsky Architects of Tel Aviv, the project also included the complete renewal and reconfiguration of the Museum’s Samuel and Saidye Bronfman Archaeology Wing, Edmond and Lily Safra Fine Arts Wing, and Jack, Joseph, and Morton Mandel Wing for Jewish Art and Life.

Among the highlights of the Museum’s original campus is the Shrine of the Book, designed by Armand Bartos and Frederick Kiesler, which houses the Dead Sea Scrolls, the oldest biblical manuscripts in the world, as well as rare early medieval biblical manuscripts. Adjacent to the Shrine is the Model of Jerusalem in the Second Temple Period, which reconstructs the topography and architectural character of the city as it was prior to its destruction by the Romans in 66 CE, and provides historical context to the Shrine’s presentation of the Dead Sea Scrolls.

The Museum’s celebrated Billy Rose Art Garden, designed for the original campus by Japanese-American sculptor Isamu Noguchi, is counted among the finest outdoor sculpture settings of the 20th century. An Oriental landscape combined with an ancient Jerusalem hillside, the garden serves as the backdrop for the Israel Museum’s display of the evolution of the modern western sculptural tradition. On view are works by modern masters including Jacques Lipchitz, Henry Moore, Claes Oldenburg, Pablo Picasso, Auguste Rodin, and David Smith, together with more recent site-specific commissions by such artists as Magdalena Abakanowicz, Mark Dion, James Turrell, and Micha Ullman.

The Ruth Youth Wing for Art Education, unique in its size and scope of activities, presents a wide range of programming to more than 100,000 schoolchildren each year, and features exhibition galleries, art studios, classrooms, a library of illustrated children’s books, and a recycling room. Special programs foster intercultural understanding between Arab and Jewish students and reach out to the wide spectrum of Israel’s communities.

In addition to the extensive programming offered on its main campus, the Israel Museum also operates two off-site locations: the Rockefeller Archaeological Museum, an architectural gem built in 1938 for the display of archaeology from ancient Israel; and Ticho House, which offers an ongoing program of exhibitions by younger Israeli artists in a historic house and garden setting.

Contacts:

Israel:
The Israel Museum, Jerusalem

PO Box 71117
Jerusalem 91710
Dena Scher Bartra, Foreign Press Officer
denasc@imj.org.il Tel: 972-2-6708935 

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

USA:
Resnicow Schroeder Associates, Inc.
Tel: 212-5950515
Fax: 212-5958354
Leah Sandals / Jocelyn London
lsandals /
jlondon@resnicowschroeder.com
212-6715154 / 5157


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Summer 2011 at the Israel Museum!

Jerusalem, June 22, 2011 – The Israel Museum announces its program for summer events and activities, which offers something for all audiences – children and adults, music-lovers and wine connoisseurs, kite-flyers and armchair travelers, locals and tourists alike – in honor of the first anniversary of the renewed Israel Museum.

Evening events

Contact Point

Thursday, July 14, 8:30 pm – 2 am

 Contact Point presents exciting one-time encounters between art and artists, in conjunction with the Jerusalem Season of Culture. For the second year in a row, Contact Point offers museumgoers, for one night only, an entirely different experience. The event features live works of art in dance, music, spoken word, and performance, as well as a magical Wi Party – a wireless headphone party in complete silence under the open sky.

 Included in Museum admission; tickets: (02) 677-1300

Complete program available online a week prior to the event at: www.jerusalemseason.com.

Chava Alberstein in Concert

Thursday, July 21, 9 pm

This acoustic performance traces the musical journey of award-winning artist Chava Alberstein

NIS 130; NIS 120 for members, soldiers, and students, on presentation of valid identification

Seated performance; warm clothing recommended; space is limited

Tickets on sale on the Museum website or by phone at (02) 677-1300

Yoni Rechter

Thursday, August 11, 9 pm

For nearly four decades, Yoni Rechter has developed an extensive repertoire, establishing his status as one of Israel's most important and interesting musicians. This concert showcases his rich and varied oeuvre in songwriting, adaptation, and composition.

NIS 130; NIS 120 for members, soldiers, and students, on presentation of valid identification

Seated performance; warm clothing recommended; space is limited

Tickets on sale on the Museum website or by phone at (02) 677-1300

Israeli Wine-Tasting Festival

Monday – Thursday, August 15–18, 7–11 pm

A celebration of wine tasting from the leading wineries in Israel

NIS 70 per person per evening

Ticket includes a wine glass, unlimited tasting, and admission to the Museum galleries until 9 pm on Tuesday

Warm clothing recommended; space is limited

Tickets on sale on the Museum website or by phone at (02) 625-9703

VOCA PEOPLE

Thursday, September 8, 9 pm

A humorous theatrical-vocal show of international acclaim. Using their voices only, the performers create a wide range of musical effects – trumpet-tooting, guitar-strumming, drum-beating, and beat-box – all incorporated into this a cappella performance of nearly 70 hits, from classical music to popular tunes and movie soundtracks.

NIS 135; NIS 120 for members, soldiers, and students, on presentation of valid identification

Seated performance; warm clothing recommended; space is limited

Tickets on sale on the Museum website or by phone at (02) 677-1300

Events and Activities for the Whole Family

Free admission for children on Tuesdays and Saturdays in July and every day in August

Aged 17 and under (excluding groups)

Kuntz the Jester

Tuesday, July 5, 5 pm

Kuntz the court jester is banished from the kingdom by the king, who seeks to replace him with someone younger and more talented. But Kuntz is determined to return to the kingdom.

The Orna Porat Theater for Children and Youth

NIS 60; NIS 35 for members

Ages 5–10; tickets: (02) 670-8855

Art Happening for the Whole Family

Tuesday, July 26, 4:30–9 pm

4:30–7 pm: Installation by internationally known artist Noa Haim, with audience participation

4:30–8 pm: Art and music performances

8–9 pm: The Israeli Revolution Orchestra in an original performance of music and animation, in collaboration with the Holon Mediatheque and the Bezalel animation program

Included in Museum admission.

Look What a Bit of Color Can Do… August* in the Youth Wing!

Sun, Mon, Wed, Thurs 10 am – 3:45 pm

Tues 10 am – 2 pm; 4–6:45 pm

Fri 10 am – 12:30 pm

*through August 26

This year the Youth Wing's Activity Yard is being splashed with every color of the rainbow! Learn about the importance and significance of color in works of art and try your hand at a number of activities:

·         Extract color from natural sources

·         Make paint: tempera, oil paint, watercolor, and pastel

·         Paint with different types of media

·         Prepare Japanese and Chinese dishes according to traditional rules of color

Ages 7 and up; in the Youth Wing Activity Yard

NIS 30; NIS 25 for Family Membership holders

Journey to Faraway Lands

August (through August 26)

Sun – Thurs 12 noon; 2:30 pm

Fri 12 noon

Discover distant lands and cultures in an active tour of the Israel Museum galleries!

Participants receive a passport, postcards, and stamps to share their impressions of the journey throughout the Museum world.

Ages 5 and up

NIS 15 per participant; NIS 10 for Family Membership holders

The 26th Annual Kite-Flying Festival

Tuesday, August 23

A colorful kite-flying event, a long-standing tradition at the Israel Museum

10:30 am – 7 pm: Workshops (extra charge)

4–7 pm: Kite-flying and musical parade of giant puppets

 Included in Museum admission; weather permitting

Major Retrospective of Israeli Artist Micha Ullman on View at the Israel Museum

Exhibition of 120 Works Spanning Israel Prize Laureate’s; Fifty-Year Oeuvre Opens June 22

Jerusalem, June 16, 2011 – The Israel Museum is proud to present the first museum retrospective of the work of Israeli artist Micha Ullman, spanning the artist's fifty-year career in sculpture, drawing, and installation. Sands of Time: The Work of Micha Ullman brings together approximately 120 works, dating from the 1970s through the present, including a 200-square-meter site-specific installation created by Ullman in celebration of the exhibition using his own distinctive sand-throwing technique. The exhibition features nearly 50 of Ullman’s indoor sculptures made of iron and sand, and 70 works on paper from the Israel Museum, together with loans from collections from Israel and abroad.

Micha Ullman, born in Tel Aviv in 1939, is known for his subterranean outdoor installations, some of which barely protrude from the ground, and his sculptures made of iron and sand, which address such universal themes as home and place, and absence and emptiness. He achieved international recognition for his deeply moving underground library void, created as a Holocaust memorial in Berlin’s Bebelplatz (1995), where the Nazis burned thousands of books on May 10, 1933. In 2009, Ullman was awarded the prestigious Israel Prize, among other international honors received throughout his career. His site-specific installations can be found around the world, in countries including Australia, Germany, Italy, Israel, and Japan.

A highlight of the current exhibition is Ullman's 200-square-meter Wedding installation, created at the Israel Museum on June 5, 2011, using nearly one hundred volunteers who served as participants in a fictional wedding ceremony. Ullman used his signature sand-throwing technique to freeze the ceremony in time, capturing the footprints left in the sand by the attendees, as well as the imprints of wedding furniture including the traditional wedding canopy, tables, and chairs. Volunteers included Israel Museum staff and Jerusalem-based art students.

“Through this unique collaborative project, our extended community was able to engage with Ullman’s art-making process and ‘leave their footprints’ in our renewed museum, capturing a simulated and fleeting moment fashioned by the artist,” said James S. Snyder, Anne and Jerome Fisher Director of the Israel Museum. “In this first museum retrospective for Ullman, Wedding, along the rest of the works on display, illustrates the dualities that infuse artist’s works, simultaneously conveying a sense of the intangible and celestial, as well as the tactile and earthbound.”

The exhibition also includes an installation of films screened in an adjacent gallery, including two created especially for this retrospective, documenting Ullman's major outdoor works in Europe and Israel. Another film documents the creation of Equinox (2005-2009), Ullman’s site-specific outdoor sculptural installation inaugurated in 2009 in the Museum's Billy Rose Art Garden.

The exhibition, curated by Chief Curator-at-Large Yigal Zalmona, is on view from June 22 through November 12, 2011, and is accompanied by a 450-page Hebrew-language catalogue, including 350 reproductions.

 

Due to Popular Demand, William Kentridge: Five Themes Extended Until July 30

About the exhibition: This major traveling survey of recent work by the renowned South African artist William Kentridge spans the 1980s to the present, with particular emphasis on projects completed since 2000. The presentation features nearly 100 works in a variety of mediums—including drawing, print, animation, theatrical design, books, and sculpture—and is structured around five primary themes that have engaged Kentridge over the course of his career, tracing the development of his subject matter from a specifically South African context to the exploration of more universal subjects.

 

Rare Treasures of Ancient Glass Displayed Together for First Time

Signed Works by 1st-Century Master Glassworker Ennion on Display from May 31

The Israel Museum presents an exceptional group of ancient mold-blown glass vessels, many of them made by Ennion, a master glassworker who was the first to put his name on his art. Ancient glass bearing the name of the artist is exceedingly rare, and never before have so many examples been gathered in a single display. The exhibition Made by Ennion: Ancient Glass Treasures from the Shlomo Moussaieff Collection brings together 43 pieces, nine of them signed, including a number of pieces that rank among the highest achievements in glassworking of all time. Approximately half of the works are on loan from the rich collection of Shlomo Moussaieff and are exhibited to the public for the first time.

 A few decades after the discovery of glassblowing in the mid-1st century BCE, glassworkers came up with the technique of blowing glass directly into molds. This method became extremely popular due to its affordability and striking beauty. The greatest producer of mold-blown glass was Ennion, active in the mid-1st century CE and presumably the owner and master craftsman of a glass atelier in Sidon, an important glassworking center at the time. Ennion was among the first few glass artists to sign their works, incorporating the prominent Greek inscription, "Ennion Made (It)," in the design.

In Made by Ennion, signed masterpieces are presented alongside unsigned works assumed to have been made by Ennion, as well as mold-blown vessels produced by other artists of the time. Complementing the rare works of glass from the Shlomo Moussaieff Collection are important vessels belonging to the Israel Museum, as well as outstanding loans from Dr. David and Jemima Jeselsohn, Zurich, the Eretz Israel Museum, Tel Aviv, and the Israel Antiquities Authority. The exhibition, on view through January 28, 2012, is curated by Natalya Katsnelson, Curator of Ancient Glass. A Hebrew-English catalogue by Yael Israeli, former Chief Curator of Archaeology, will be available.

 
Renowned American Artist Roxy Paine Inaugurates Inversion (2008) at the Israel Museum, Jerusalem on May 12, 2011

May 13, 2011 - American artist Roxy Paine inaugurated his monumental tree-like stainless steel sculpture Inversion (2008) in the Billy Rose Art Garden at the Israel Museum, on May 12, 2011.  

Part of Paine’s “Dendroid” series of life-size stainless steel trees, Inversion is the first such work created to stand upside-down, supported by its limbs. The 42 feet high x 35 foot wide sculpture was hand-wrought through a complex fabrication process that welded together more than 7,000 metal plate, pipe and rod elements.

Inversion was first shown in the Public Art Projects section of Art Basel 39, in Basel, Switzerland, in June 2008. It has been donated to the Israel Museum by Jill and Jay H. Bernstein of Old Westbury, New York, to celebrate the campus renewal project, and is the second work by Paine to enter the Museum’s collection.

ABOUT THE ARTIST: Roxy Paine (b.1966) uses both mechanical means and the innate logic of natural forms to create his "Dendroid" tree-like sculptures. His meticulous research and observation of a variety of tree species help him to understand the "language" of how a tree grows, and from there he creates fictional tree species that grow to a logic of their own. In his body of work, Roxy Paine mirrors natural processes, drawing increasingly on the tension between organic and man-made environments, between the human desire for order and nature's drive to reproduce.His highly detailed simulations of natural phenomena include an ambitious series of hand-wrought stainless steel trees, vitrines of mushroom and plant life in various states of decay and several large-scale machines designed to replicate creative processes. Collectively, his works demonstrate the human attempt to impose order on natural forces, depicting the struggle between the natural and the artificial, the rational and the instinctual.

Roxy Paine's work has been internationally exhibited and is included in major collections such as the Museum of Modern Art, New York, the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, and the Hirschhorn Museum, Washington D.C. In 2009, he created a massive installation for the roof of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The artist lives and works in Brooklyn and Treadwell, NY.

ABOUT THE BILLY ROSE ART GARDEN: Designed by Japanese-American sculptor Isamu Noguchi, the Billy Rose Art Garden is counted among the finest outdoor sculpture settings of the 20th century. An Oriental landscape combined with an ancient Jerusalem hillside, the garden serves as the backdrop for the Israel Museum’s display of the evolution of the modern western sculptural tradition. On view are works by modern masters including Jacques Lipchitz, Henry Moore, Claes Oldenburg, Pablo Picasso, Auguste Rodin, and David Smith, together with more recent site-specific commissions by such artists as Magdalena Abakanowicz, Mark Dion, James Turrell, and Micha Ullman.

 

 

Works by Virtuoso Photographer Helmar Lerski in First-Time Display at the Israel Museum

Jerusalem, April 27, 2011 The Israel Museum, Jerusalem, presents the work of the avant-garde portrait photographer Helmar Lerski in a new exhibition opening on May 3. Over 150 modern digital prints from negatives in the Museum collection, the majority unpublished photographs Lerski took in Palestine between 1932 and 1948, are on view for the first time in Helmar Lerski: Working Hands Photographs from the 1940s. The images focus primarily on working people and their hands in particular and display the exceptional artistic and aesthetic value achieved by a virtuoso who had mastered the camera and used it to the best of its technical abilities.

Helmar Lerski, alias Israel Schmuklerski (1871-1956), is considered by specialists and art historians as one of the most important portrait photographers of the 20th century. He was an influential figure in this field, with a rich visual language and inspiration drawn from a number of sources, including the European avant-garde, the Soviet montage and German Expressionism. Lerski arrived in Palestine in 1931 and spent the better part of the next two decades documenting working men and women, the pioneers of Jewish settlements, among them Givat Brenner, Givat Hayim, Gvat, Nahalal, Sarid, Shiller Group and Yarkon. These images are a mixture of portraits and studies of hands, which underline his Romantic-Socialist ideology and express his particular interest in the importance of creative labor.

Helmar Lerski: Working Hands features 154 negatives by Lerski in the Israel Museum's collection made during his stay in the country until 1948. This unique body of 6 x 6 cm celluloid frames left behind by Lerski when he finally departed from Palestine and definitively abandoned photography is reproduced here in its entirety. They were recuperated, and donated to the Museum by the late Dan Hoffner, who was an acquaintance of the photographer.

The exhibition is on view through July 14 and is curated by Nissan N. Perez, Horace and Grace Goldsmith Senior Curator of the Noel and Harriette Levine Department of Photography.

The Noel and Harriette Levine Department of Photography at the Israel Museum

Since its opening in 1965, the Israel Museum has maintained a focus on the exploration and exhibition of photography, and its comprehensive collection marks the Museum as a leader among encyclopedic museums in developing its holdings in the medium. Over the years, through selected acquisitions, as well as gifts from key donors such as Arnold Newman, Arturo Schwarz, and Noel and Harriette Levine, the department’s collection has grown to comprise over 55,000 works from the earliest days of photography to contemporary times. Areas of expertise include pioneering 19th-century practitioners and photography of the Dada and Surrealist movements, as well as in-depth representations of such historically significant artists as Manuel Alvarez Bravo, Andre Kertész, and Man Ray. The department also promotes contemporary Israeli photography through an active program of acquisitions as well as through individual and group exhibitions dedicated to the work of Israeli photographers. In addition, the department awards three photography prizes, the Gérard Lévy Prize for a Young Photographer, the Kavlin Photography Prize for life achievement, and the recently created Shpilman International Prize for Excellence in Photography.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How to Live Your Life, Courtesy of the Israel Museum

A Lesson in Instructions through Art in the Youth Wing from April 12

Jerusalem, April 10, 2011 – This year, the Israel Museum's Ruth Youth Wing for Art Education is all about instructions: how to peel a banana, how to assemble a truck, how to prepare gefilte fish, where to find Yoske the plumber. A new family-oriented exhibition, Life: A User's Manual, displays the works of prominent contemporary artists from Israel and abroad alongside objects from the Museum's encyclopedic collections, exploring the culture of "Do It Yourself" and the role of instructions and regulations in daily life. Among the participating artists: Guy Ben-Ner, Aya Ben Ron, Mircea Cantor, Marcel Duchamp, Damian Ortega, Gil Marco Shani, Andy Warhol, Julita Wójcik, and Yuval Yairi.

 We are beset by instructions from every direction – some are imposed on us, as guidelines or regulations, while we choose to incorporate others into our lives, in the form of assembly kits, recipes for success, and other instructions. In most of the works in Life, instructions are subverted, emphasizing the absurdity and internal contradictions often found in reality. Visitors find instructions throughout the exhibition, which they may either follow or ignore.

Among the works on display:

·   In Treehouse Kit (2005), Guy Ben-Ner uses parts of wooden furniture from Ikea, the store that embodies the build-it-yourself-made-easy phenomenon, in building a tree. Ignoring Ikea's instructions, Ben Ner takes the wood back to nature.

·   Mexican artist Damian Ortega takes the 62 chrome parts of a semi-trailer truck in Materialista (2008) and suspends them from the ceiling, as if showing the viewer how to put the truck together.

·   An 1856 print and watercolor from Vienna illustrates the instructions for the kosher ritual slaughter of animals, passing down the laws that have been used for millennia.

The exhibition name was inspired by George Perec's La Vie mode d'emploi, 1978; in English Life A User's Manual, trans. David Bellos (London: Vintage Books,  2003)Hebrew translation by Ido Bassok (Tel Aviv: Babel Publishers, 2005).

Life: A User's Manual is on display from April 12, 2011, through February 18, 2012, and is curated by Aya Miron, Associate Curator in the Israeli Art Department.

 

Royal Collection of European Masterworks in New Exhibition at the Israel Museum

Works by Rembrandt, Poussin, Dürer, and Lorrain on display from April 1

 
Jerualem, March 29, 2011 – The Israel Museum presents a new exhibition of over 100 works on paper from the collection of Hungarian prince and art patron Nikolaus II Esterházy (1765–1833), on loan from the Museum of Fine Arts in Budapest. The first in a series of exhibitions showcasing private art collections in public institutions, The Prince and the Paper: Masterworks from the Esterházy Collection, Museum of Fine Arts, Budapest, displays a selection of works from what was once considered one of the finest private collections in Central Europe. The prints and drawings, dating from the 16th to the 18th century, include works by Italian, German, Dutch, and French masters such as Claude Lorrain, Albrecht Dürer, Hans Hoffmann, Nicolas Poussin, Rembrandt, and Giovanni Domenico Tiepolo.

 The splendid collection of Prince Nikolaus II of Esterházy (1765–1833), third generation of a family of art patrons, was formed in his native Hungary. Rich in high-quality pieces, the collection comprises mostly prints, drawings, and books, but also sculptures and paintings. The collection reveals the aristocratic standing and taste of its founder, who sought the advice of experts and managed to acquire outstanding works by celebrated artists. It also reflects the prince's frequent visits to Paris, Vienna, Berlin, and London, as well as his special predilection for Italy and its masters. Following the prince's death the financial position of the Esterházy family deteriorated, and in 1870 they sold the collection of more than 50,000 prints and 3,000 drawings to the National Picture Gallery, direct predecessor of the Museum of Fine Arts.

 The Prince and the Paper is curated by Meira Perry-Lehmann, Michael Bromberg Senior Curator of Prints and Drawings, and is on display from April 1 – July 1, 2011.



Survey of Contemporary South African Artist William Kentridge

On View at Israel Museum March 5 - June 18, 2011

The Israel Museum, Jerusalem, is to present a major survey of work by the contemporary South African artist William Kentridge (b.1955) from March 5 through June 18, 2011. Featuring approximately 40 works in a range of media—including animated films, drawings, prints, theater models, sculptures, and books—the exhibition explores five major themes that have engaged Kentridge over the past three decades, such as colonial oppression and social conflict, loss and reconciliation, and the ephemeral nature of both personal and cultural memory.

William Kentridge: Five Themes has been organized by the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and the Norton Museum of Art in Florida and curated by Mark Rosenthal, adjunct curator of modern art at the Norton, in close collaboration with the artist.  The presentation at the Israel Museum has been organized by Suzanne Landau, Yulla and Jacques Lipchitz Chief Curator of Fine Arts and Landeau Family Curator of Contemporary Art.

"The Israel Museum has been committed to the work of William Kentridge for a long time, sensing a strong resonance between many of his dominant subjects and issues which are central to the ethos of Israel’s existence and to the social and cultural complexities that are pervasive in Israel today," said James S. Snyder, Anne and Jerome Fisher Director of the Museum. "We are pleased to be on the world tour of this major exhibition, and especially pleased to provide Jerusalem’s powerful and meaning-rich landscape as a backdrop for its presentation here and to give our audiences the opportunity to respond to the mournful beauty that Kentridge’s work evokes."

Kentridge first achieved international recognition in the 1990s with his series “Drawings for Projection”—short animated films portraying daily life under apartheid. Since that time Kentridge has expanded the thematic range of his work beyond his immediate locale of South Africa to examine other political conflicts from around the world. His oeuvre reveals the complexities of postcolonial histories, and the residual traces of devastating policies and regimes, exploring the ambivalent and often contradictory dynamic between perpetrators, bystanders, and victims.

Kentridge remains one of the few artists to successfully bridge the fields of visual art, film, and theater. The exhibition highlights his broad artistic practice and in particular his longstanding interest in theater—nurtured in Johannesburg in the 1970s, when he co-founded the Junction Avenue Theatre Company, and invigorated by his more recent collaborations with the Handspring Puppet Company. Kentridge populates his artistic narratives with archetypal characters. drawn from varied historical and literary sources, who dramatize a complex universe where good and evil are complementary and inseparable forces. The artist himself appears as a character – the draftsman and cinematic auteur – in his work from recent years. Larger in scope and more varied in form, his latest productions continue to explore unscripted passages and transitions, whether between the camera and the drawing or between actors and their projected images. At the same time, Kentridge moves beyond the manipulations of animation, emphasizing a conception of the world as a theater of memory.

The exhibition is organized into the following five thematic sections:

Parcours d'Atelier: Artist in the Studio

The first section of the exhibition examines Kentridge’s use of the classic genre of self-portraiture to explore the unfolding of his artistic process within the parameters of the studio. Here he becomes his own unabashed subject, dramatizing and portraying his creative work. This theme is epitomized by the large-scale multiscreen projection 7 Fragments for Georges Méliès (2003), which depicts Kentridge at work in his studio or interacting with his creations, in homage to the early French film director who often combined performance with drawing.

Thick Time: Soho and Felix

The second section is dedicated to Kentridge’s two iconic fictional characters: Soho Eckstein, a domineering industrialist and real estate developer whose troubled conscience reflects certain aspects of contemporary South Africa; and his sensitive alter ego, Felix Teitlebaum, who pines for Soho’s wife and often functions as a surrogate for the artist himself. The characters were introduced in 1989 with the creation of Johannesburg, 2nd Greatest City after Paris, commencing a cycle of short animated films exploring the political and social climate of Johannesburg during the final decade of apartheid.

Occasional and Residual Hope: Ubu and the Procession

In 1975 Kentridge acted in Ubu Rex, an adaptation of Ubu Roi, Alfred Jarry’s 1888 satire about a corrupt and cowardly despot. Twenty years later Kentridge returned to this material, grounding it in a new context: the public hearings held by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in the mid-1990s to investigate human rights abuses under apartheid. He began with a series of eight etchings, collectively entitled Ubu Tells the Truth (1996), and in 1997, made an animated film of the same name, as well as a number of related drawings.

Sarastro and The Master’s Voice: The Magic Flute

The drawings, films, and theater models presented in this section evolved from Kentridge’s 2005 production of Mozart’s opera The Magic Flute for La Monnaie, the leading opera house in Belgium. The artist’s video projection Learning the Flute (2003), which started the Flute project, shifts between images of black charcoal drawings on white paper and white chalk drawings projected onto a blackboard, forming a meditation on darkness and light. The alternating projections in this section create an extended theatrical cycle, which explore the dualistic terms of Enlightenment morality originally dramatized by Mozart.

Learning from the Absurd: The Nose

Kentridge’s most recent work relates to his staging of The Nose, a Metropolitan Opera production that premiered in New York in the spring of 2010. First performed in 1930, Dmitri Shostakovich’s opera, based on Nikolai Gogol’s absurdist short story of 1836, concerns a Saint Petersburg official whose nose disappears one morning, only to turn up as a higher-ranking official who refuses to return to his face. Kentridge's related work I am not me, the horse is not mine (2008), is a room-size installation of projected films that use Gogol’s story as the basis for examining Russian modernism and the suppression of the Russian avant-garde in the 1920s and 1930s.



Israel Museum Director Named One of 50 Most Influential People in the Art World in 2010

James Snyder Featured in Le Journal des Arts Annual Top 100 List

Jerusalem, Israel, February 28, 2011 – Israel Museum Director James S. Snyder has been included in a prestigious list of the 100 most influential people in the art world compiled annually by the Journal des Arts, the French sister-edition of The Art Newspaper. American-born Snyder was ranked 46th on the power list, which includes, among others, collectors Eli Broad and Leonard Lauder; museum directors Glenn Lowry of The Museum of Modern Art and Neil MacGregor of the British Museum; artists Damien Hirst and Anish Kapoor; architects Frank Gehry and Zaha Hadid; designers Ron Arad and Philippe Starck; and gallerists Larry Gagosian and Arne Glimcher.  

James S. Snyder has served as the Anne and Jerome Fisher Director of the Israel Museum since 1997. Under his leadership, the Museum recently completed a comprehensive $100-million, three-year campus renewal project. Designed by James Carpenter Design Associates, New York, and Efrat-Kowalsky Architects, Tel Aviv, to resonate with the Museum’s original architectural plan and to unify and enhance the facilities throughout the campus, the project was the most comprehensive capital undertaking since the Israel Museum’s founding in 1965. The Museum opened its renewed facilities in July 2010 to critical acclaim and has since welcomed nearly 600,000 visitors. 

During Snyder’s tenure, the Museum has also strengthened its international presence with an ambitious program of important exhibitions in Jerusalem and traveling exhibitions worldwide; continued to expand its holdings across all of its collecting areas; developed its network of International Friends organizations, now operating in fourteen countries worldwide; and launched a campaign to double its endowment to $150 million.

Prior to his appointment at the Israel Museum, Mr Snyder held positions at The Museum of Modern Art, New York, culminating as Deputy Director from 1986 to 1996. He is a graduate of Harvard University and a Loeb Fellow of Harvard’s Graduate School of Design.

Chilean Miners Visit Israel Museum, Jerusalem

Museum Director James Snyder Welcomes Chilean Miners and their Families to the Renewed Museum

Jerusalem, Israel, February 25, 2011 - Israel Museum Director James S. Snyder welcomed 31 of the Chilean miners and their families to the Israel Museum on Friday as part of their eight-day tour of Israel. The miners were accompanied by an entourage of Chilean officials, journalists and members of Israel's Ministry of Tourism, which has sponsored the visit. The rescued miners are participating in a 'Pilgrimage of Thanks in the Holy Land', which includes visits to various Christian holy sites as well as places of interest across the country. Jerusalem was the first stop on the tour for the group of miners.

Upon their arrival at the Museum, Mr Snyder greeted the group and explained that when he arrived in Israel to become the Director of the Israel Museum in 1997, he quickly became captivated by Jerusalem and by the beauty of the Museum setting. He said he hoped that the miners would also be engaged by the magic and the beauty of the city, and in particular by this amazing hilltop setting.

"It is inspiring for us in the Israel Museum to have the opportunity to host such heroic individuals as yourselves. You have each come to Israel to seek your own sources of inspiration.  I wish there was more time to talk personally to each of you, so that I could appreciate your individual stories," said Israel Museum Director James Snyder in his address.

During their visit to the Museum the miners were shown the Model of Jerusalem in the Second Temple Period, and were guided around the Shrine of the Book, home to the oldest Biblical manuscripts in existence - the Dead Sea Scrolls. They then ate lunch at the Modern restaurant, situated in the Entrance Pavilion of the Museum.

Among the group of miners was Richard Villarroel, 27, carrying his four-month old son, also named Richard, who was born six days after he was rescued in October 2010.

Israel Museum Restitutes Drawing by Paul Klee
To Estate of Pre-World War II Owner

 
Veil Dance, 1920, Received in 1950 from JRSO by the Israel Museum’s Precursor, Transferred to Magen David Adom UK

Jerusalem, September 29, 2010 – The Israel Museum announced today the restitution of the Paul Klee drawing Veil Dance, 1920, to the estate of German art collector Harry Fuld Jr. Fuld owned the work from 1932 until 1941, when it was confiscated in war-time Germany. The drawing was received in 1950 by the Israel Museum’s precursor, the Bezalel National Museum, through the Jewish Restitution Successor Organization (JRSO), established after World War II to distribute looted works of art whose owners or heirs were unknown to cultural organizations around the globe. The restitution was facilitated by the firm of the late German restitution expert Dr. Jost Von Trott zu Solz, after new research brought the drawing’s provenance to light. Veil Dance is now donated, as a part of the estate of Mr. Fuld’s heir, Gita Gisela Martin, to Magen David Adom UK, Israel’s equivalent service to the Red Cross.

“The Israel Museum strives to serve as a model for responsible restitution, and we are pleased to do so now by restituting this work in exemplary fashion, as we have in other instances in the past,” said James S. Snyder, Anne and Jerome Fisher Director of the Israel Museum. “As part of a notable series of works on paper by Klee, Veil Dance amplified an important dimension of the Museum’s collection, which includes his masterful Angelus Novus, 1920, along with eighteen other works on paper by the artist. However, it is gratifying that, in restituting this work, it is donated to Magen David Adom UK, an organization that supports a major charitable cause in Israel.”

Veil Dance was among the works of art Mr. Fuld deposited with the transportation firm Gustav Knauer when he fled Nazi persecution in 1937, with the intention of taking his collection with him to England. In 1941, following a new law by which Jewish citizens who had left Germany lost their German nationality and property, his citizenship and assets were revoked, and his art collection was confiscated by the Third Reich. In 1948, works of art and Judaica that were identified as having been looted from Jews or Jewish communities but were heirless and unclaimed were released from their central collecting points in Germany and given to JRSO, which undertook a systematic program to distribute this cultural legacy among museums, synagogues, and other Jewish organizations worldwide. 

Veil Dance was one of roughly 250 paintings, 250 works on paper, and 700 objects of Judaica deposited by JRSO for safekeeping at the Bezalel National Museum, precursor to the Israel Museum, which, following its establishment in 1965, became their custodian. Through the years, the Museum has exhibited and published many of these works, all of which are catalogued and accessible on the Museum’s website, in order to facilitate their identification and, where possible, restitution to their original owners or their heirs. Veil Dance has been exhibited and published in conjunction with Israel Museum exhibitions throughout the past 45 years.

The restitution of Veil Dance continues the Museum’s history of responsible restitution, including most recently the restitution of two ancient Roman gold-glass medallions to the heirs of the Dzialynska Collection at Goluchow Castle in Poland in 2008. The Museum reacquired one medallion for its collection, and the second was purchased and placed with the Museum on extended loan. Among other examples in recent years, in 2005, Edgar Degas’ charcoal drawing Four Nude Female Dancers Resting (ca. 1898) was restituted to the heirs of Jacques Goudstikker, a noted Dutch art dealer who died while fleeing the Nazi invasion of the Netherlands. And in 2000, the Museum returned Camille Pissarro’s Boulevard Montmarte (1897) to the heir of Holocaust victim Max Silberberg, who placed the painting on long-term loan to the Museum.

Israel Museum Attracts Half a Million Visitors since July Inaugural of Renewed Campus

500,000 Local and International Museum goers Visit since Completion of Campus Project in July 2010

Jerusalem, January 19, 2010 – The Israel Museum, Jerusalem has welcomed more than half a million visitors since it inaugurated its renewed campus on July 26, 2010. In just under six months, the renewed Museum has welcomed unprecedented numbers, including first time visitors from across the country and tourists from around the world, through an engaging program of exhibitions, guided tours, public events, and educational activities.

"Thanks to the beauty of our renewed campus and the strength of our program of exhibitions and special events, Museum attendance has reached well beyond our expectations. The response from both first-time visitors and long-standing friends has been overwhelmingly positive, and we are grateful to the public for this notable display of interest and support," said James S. Snyder, Director of the Israel Museum.  

Current attendance statistics more than double those counted during the three-year expansion and renewal project when the average number of visitors annually was 500,000 -- the highest number recorded since the year 2000. Total attendance for 2010 was 718,000. The Museum's current attendance rate suggests that in 2011 the Museum can expect up to one million visitors, the highest number recorded in its history. In 2010, the updated Museum website also received 33,915,950 'visits' from users in 134 different countries, compared to 26,929,400 in 2009. In the last six months, Museum membership has also grown to include 12,000 new individual members, and 1600 student members, more than tripling Museum membership before the campus project began.

Since completing the comprehensive renewal of its 20-acre campus, with new galleries, service facilities, and public spaces, the Museum has been able to expand its public offerings to serve a broader and more diverse audience. Visitors are drawn to newly displayed collections in its Archaeology, Fine Arts, and Jewish Art and Life Wings, and to temporary exhibitions such as Still/Moving and Artists' Choices, highlighting both new acquisitions and long-held masterpieces from the Museum collections. Two new site-specific installations – Olafur Eliasson’s Whenever the Rainbow Appears (2010) and Anish Kapoor’s Turning The World Upside Down, Jerusalem (2010), are also proving to be notably popular, and a full program of public events including guided tours, family activities, concerts, films and late-openings is attracting impressive audiences.



Israel Museum Exhibition Explores the Seasons with Works by Pissarro, Rodin, Daubigny, Sisley, and Other Masters

The Four Seasons

December 28, 2010 – December 2011

Jerusalem, December 23, 2010 – The Israel Museum, Jerusalem, opens a new exhibition exploring the visual depiction of the four seasons in European art from the 16th century onward. The Four Seasons, on view from 28 December 1, 2010 through December 2011, examines the connection among art, mythology, and folklore in agrarian societies dependant on the cycle of the seasons. More recent works demonstrate changes in this theme's depiction by artists in modern urban society. The exhibition includes approximately 30 paintings, prints, sculptures, photographs, and porcelain figurines, drawn largely from the collections of the Israel Museum.

The depiction of the seasons has been a popular genre throughout the history of art, and especially during the Renaissance and Baroque periods, based on an academic approach that used a standard set of landscapes and symbols. In the 16th -18th centuries, painters, print-makers, and porcelain artists explored the changes in weather and the passing of time through the changes in landscape, and in man's attire, and through well-known events connected with each season, such as winter sports or summer courting.

Beginning in the 19th century, as artists more frequently left their studios to paint outdoors, the portrayal of seasons became more colorful and impressionistic, 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 Peter Breughel the Younger, Isaac Levitan, Camille Pissarro, Auguste Rodin, Jacob Ruysdael, Lesser Ury, and others. These works are complemented by contemporary works by such artists as Eldar Farber, Noa Shai and Yuval Yairi created in the style of the Old Masters.

Among the highlights on view are:

The New Church, Amsterdam, oil on canvas, 1641, by Jan Abrahamsz Beerstraten, the Dutch painter noted for his winter scenes of 17th century Amsterdam.
 
Scandinavian Landscape, oil on canvas, 1650, by Dutch artist Allaert van Everdingen, one of the first painters to depict nature as a Romantic experience, before the style became popular in the late-18th – early-19th century.
 
The Last Snow, oil on canvas, 1884, by Isaac Ilyitch Levitan, the eminent Russian landscapist who significantly influenced modern Russian art. This is a rare example of his melancholic landscapes.
 
The exhibition is curated by Shlomit Steinberg, Hans Dichand Curator of European Art.

Israel Museum, Jerusalem, and Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego Jointly Purchase Ann Lislegaard Video Installation

Jerusalem, December 14, 2010 – The Israel Museum, Jerusalem, and the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego (MCASD) today announced the joint acquisition of Ann Lislegaard’s Crystal World (after J.G. Ballard) (2006), a silent two-screen video installation from a trilogy of three-dimensional animations based on science fiction novels. Inspired by J.G. Ballard’s dystopian 1966 book The Crystal World, which tells of a landscape and its inhabitants slowly petrifying into crystal, the video installation depicts a surreal architectural landscape being overtaken by crystalline forms, and incorporates text from the novel. Like many of the artist’s works, Crystal World (after J.G. Ballard) investigates spatial perception and cognition and explores divergent narrative forms.

“This partnership allows Crystal World (after J.G. Ballard), a seminal new-media work, to be presented in the context of two unique collections and to be experienced by audiences both in the U.S. and in Israel,” said James S. Snyder, Anne and Jerome Fisher Director of the Israel Museum. “With this acquisition, the Israel Museum has added a second work by Ann Lislegaard to its collection, complementing her 2005 video installation Bellona (after Samuel R. Delany). Presented together in our renewed contemporary art galleries, these two works will enrich our contemporary collection by allowing for a fuller understanding of the artist’s investigations of spatial and temporal perception.” 

“We are very pleased to have this opportunity to partner with an international institution like the Israel Museum in Jerusalem on the acquisition of Ann Lislegaard’s video installation,” commented Dr. Hugh M. Davies, The David C. Copley Director and CEO of the MCASD.  “Crystal World (after J.G. Ballard) was a major highlight of our 2009 exhibition Automatic Cities: The Architectural Imaginary in Contemporary Art, and now joins our contemporary collection as a key new media artwork.”

Set in a gloomy black and white landscape with features reflecting the work of 20th century architects Bruno Taut, Lina Bo Bardi, and Oscar Niemeyer, and artists Robert Smithson and Eva Hesse, Crystal World (after J.G. Ballard) presents a world in flux. Viewers watch as a recognizable room splinters and multiplies, water pierces through walls, and furniture drifts by, leaving behind a destabilized, labyrinthine space filled with a blinding light that obscures discernable forms and spatial distinctions. The video installation, first shown at the Sao Paolo Biennale in 2006, is displayed on two screens running in 5:39-minute and 6:23-minute loops. The loops are played deliberately out of synch, creating the possibility for multiple narrative experiences. The installations Bellona (after Samuel R. Delany) (2005), currently in the collection of the Israel Museum, and Left Hand of Darkness (after Ursula K. Le Guin) (2008) complete Lislegaard’s trilogy of three-dimensional animations inspired by literary works.

The Israel Museum’s purchase was made possible by the Barbara and Eugene Schwartz Contemporary Art Acquisition Endowment Fund. MCASD’s acquisition was supported by proceeds from the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego Art Auction 2010.

About Ann Lislegaard

Ann Lislegaard (b. 1962) uses science fiction as a starting point for video and sound installations that explore surreal and alternative realms, where light interacts with space, time is unregulated, and rigid architectural constructs distort and become fluid structures. Lislegaard’s work has been exhibited widely in Europe and in the United States, and has been presented internationally at the Venice Biennale, Sao Paulo Biennale, and Istanbul Biennale. Her installations are held in public collections including those of The Israel Museum, Jerusalem; Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid, Spain; and Frac Languedoc-Roussillon, Montpellier, France. Lislegaard lives and works in Copenhagen and New York. 

The Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego

Founded in 1941, the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego (MCASD) is the preeminent contemporary visual arts institution in San Diego County. The Museum’s collection includes more than 4,000 works of art created since 1950. In addition to presenting exhibitions by international contemporary artists, the Museum serves thousands of children and adults annually through its varied education programs and offers a rich program of films, performances, and lectures. MCASD is a private, nonprofit organization, with 501c3 tax-exempt status; it is supported by generous contributions and grants from MCASD Members and other individuals, corporations, foundations, and government agencies. Dr. Hugh M. Davies is The David C. Copley Director at MCASD.

Institutional support for MCASD is provided by the City of San Diego Commission for Arts and Culture


Israel Museum to Launch New Arts Education Program for Jerusalem Schoolchildren

First grade students in the city will learn the language of art by experiencing the Museum's diverse collections

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jerusalem, Israel, December 15, 2010 – The Israel Museum, Jerusalem has developed a new, innovative arts program for first grade students in Jerusalem that will be launched at the start of 2011. The comprehensive program, which introduces students to the Museum's diverse collections in Archaeology, the Fine Arts, and Jewish Art and Life, is intended for schoolchildren of various socio-cultural backgrounds including Jewish, Arab, orthodox, secular, religious and special needs. It has been designed to develop students' creativity, critical thinking skills and powers of observation, with learning taking place through guided tours at the Museum and follow-up sessions back in the classroom.

"We believe that through proper, mediated learning experiences, we can bring the Museum closer to the local community and together teach the language of art in a positive and friendly way" said Tali Gavish, Head of the Ruth Youth Wing, which has developed this unique project.  "Our hope is that this program will enrich the cultural world of these children and give them the skills to be art and Museum lovers in the future".

Students will discover the Museum's wealth of cultural treasures by participating in an experiential guided tour of the galleries based on the Guinness Book of Records. The tour will answer questions such as: What is the oldest object in the Museum?  What is the largest object? What is the heaviest? What is the funniest? What is the Scariest? With the help of a Museum guide and a specially designed workbook, children will learn how to curate an exhibition, how to decide what objects to display, and the what is the balance between objective knowledge and subjective taste. At the end of the visit, children receive a catalogue that they have created and are given activity pages to continue back at school.

The innovative program is a joint initiative of the Israel Museum and the Education Department of the Jerusalem Municipality. It will run for three years and has been made possible by a generous grant from the Russell Berrie Foundation in the United States.  8,000 students are expected to participate in 2011, with a further 22,000 participating in the following two years.



Israel Museum Presents Survey of German Artist Jakob Steinhardt Featuring New Gifts to the Museum from the Artist’s Estate

Jakob's Dream: Steinhardt in Prints, Drawings, and Paintings 

December 1, 2010 – March 5, 2011

Jerusalem, Israel, December 1, 2010 – The Israel Museum, Jerusalem presents today a major new exhibition celebrating the work of Jakob Steinhardt (b.1887), one of two founders of the early 20th century Berlin Expressionist movement Die Pathetiker (The Exponents of Pathos). An influential figure in the German art world in the 1920s and 1930s, best known for his dramatic woodcuts, Steinhardt emigrated from Germany to Palestine with the rise of the Nazi regime and continued working and teaching there until his death in 1968. Jakob's Dream: Steinhardt in Prints, Drawings, and Paintings, on view at the Israel Museum from December 1, 2010 through March 5, 2011, sheds light on the artist’s highly versatile oeuvre with a display of approximately 120 prints, drawings and paintings from both Germany and Israel.

Jakob's Dream has been organized to celebrate the recent bequest of the artist’s works to the Israel Museum by the Steinhardt-Bar-On family. This gift comprises 654 prints by the artist, supplementing the Museum’s existing collection of Steinhardt’s works to form a nearly complete set of his prints, including etchings, drypoints, woodcuts, wood engravings and lithographs. In addition to the prints, the family also donated 38 other works by the artist, including drawings, hand-colored monoprints, illustrated books, and oil paintings that will also be on view in the exhibition. An accompanying catalogue has been published in Hebrew and English.

“We are grateful to the Steinhardt-Bar-On family for their generous bequest,” said James S. Snyder, Anne and Jerome Fisher Director of the Museum. “This gift enriches our existing holdings of Jakob Steinhardt’s art and helps establish the Israel Museum as one of the world’s foremost repositories of the artist’s work. Our current exhibition draws from our expanded collection and provides our audience with an unprecedented look at this important artist’s range, power, and influence.”

Following his arrival in Jerusalem in the mid-1930's, Steinhardt became one of the city's leading artistic figures and an influential teacher, first in his own studio and then at the Bezalel School of Arts and Crafts. His oeuvre focuses primarily on social and biblical themes, but also explores his insightful perceptions of his hometown in eastern Germany, Bohemian life in inter-war Berlin, the life of the Jews in Lithuania's remote villages, and the neighborhoods of Jerusalem before and after the establishment of the State of Israel. Steinhardt’s expressive works clearly reflect his perception of art as a means of educating the public and transmitting political and social messages.

Among the highlights on view are:

  • Mortality, Drypoint, 1913, produced while Steinhardt was a member of the movement Die Pathetiker.

  • Jonah Preaching in Nineveh, woodcut and watercolor, 1923, an example of Steinhardt's interest in Biblical characters and his view of the importance of education through art. 
  • Returning from the Synagogue, Drypoint, 9/30, 1922

The exhibition is curated by Ronit Sorek, Associate Curator in the Israel Museum’s Department of Prints & Drawings.

About the Artist

Steinhardt was born in Zerkow, a village in eastern Germany (today Poland) in 1887. He studied art in Berlin with Lovis Corinth and Hermann Struck from 1907-1909 and later in Paris with Théophil Steinlen and at Henri Matisse’s academy from 1909 -19010. With the outbreak of World War I, he was inducted into the German army and sent to Lithuania. As a result of the war and his encounters with Lithuanian Jewry, Steinhardt became acutely aware of his own Jewish identity and introduced new themes from Jewish life to his work, alongside depictions of his secular environment in Berlin. Following his arrest and interrogation, Steinhardt fled Nazi Germany in 1933 and settled in Jerusalem.

Steinhardt was the recipient of many international awards, including the Arte Liturgica Prize at the 1959 Venice Biennale. His work has been shown in such international venues as The Art Institute of Chicago and The Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam. He remained active until his death in Nahariya in 1968


Braginsky Collection of Rare Illuminated Hebrew Manuscripts and Books Premieres in Israel at Israel Museum

A Journey through Jewish Worlds, on View December 1, 2010 – April 30, 2011,
Also Features Masterpieces from Israel Museum Collection

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jerusalem, Israel, November, 2010 – The Israel Museum, Jerusalem, will present one of the most important private collections of illuminated Hebrew manuscripts and printed books in the exhibition A Journey through Jewish Worlds: Highlights from the Braginsky Collection of Hebrew Manuscripts and Printed Books, on view from December 1, 2010, through April 30, 2011. The exhibition marks the first opportunity for Israeli audiences to experience examples from the notable library of Swiss collector René Braginsky, which includes objects ranging from a 6th-7th century Shema Yisrael (Hear O Israel) amulet to a rare early 20th century Samaritan Ketubbah (marriage contract) from Schechem. The collection comes to Israel following an international tour, which included Amsterdam and New York. Its presentation at the Israel Museum will be complemented by related objects from the Museum’s own Jewish Art and Life holdings, providing insight into a vibrant and artistic Jewish culture around the world.

“The Braginsky Collection highlights the artistic merits of the illuminated Hebrew manuscript, throughout its history and in parallel with its literary significance to the Jewish people,” said James S. Snyder, Anne and Jerome Fisher Director of the Museum. “We are pleased to have the opportunity to present these extraordinary works together with objects from our own collections, bringing to life the rich heritage of the world Jewish community throughout the ages.” 

Collector Rene Braginsky states, “I am pleased that the tour of my collection brings it now to Jerusalem—in a sense, its spiritual home—and that it will be seen in the rich context of the Israel Museum’s own holdings of important Jewish manuscripts. This is also a rare opportunity for a new generation of Israelis to enjoy this legacy of the traditions of European Jewry.”

A Journey through Jewish Worlds features 120 works spanning more than 2,000 years from Germany, Holland, Italy, Spain, and the Land of Israel. The exhibition will also broaden the audience’s knowledge of important Jewish artists, scribes, and illuminators, many of whom are unknown in the public sphere.

Among the highlights on view are:

  • A Shema Yisrael traveler's amulet, dating from the 6th – 7th century CE, inscribed with an early and unusual combination of biblical verses. It is presented alongside two singularly important items from the Israel Museum collection: a passage from the book of Isaiah from the Dead Sea Scrolls, which dates to the first century BCE and is among the oldest known Biblical texts; and a page from the Aleppo Codex, the earliest known Biblical Hebrew manuscript, from the Middle Ages. The amulet offers important rare testimony to the existence of Hebrew Biblical text during the “silent” period between the time of the Dead Sea Scrolls and the oldest surviving Medieval manuscripts. 
  • Several late 19th-century works connected to the Rothschild Family, including an especially fine Haggadah illustrated by Charlotte von Rothschild in Vienna in 1842, under the guidance of the German-Jewish artist Moritz Daniel Oppenheim, and intended as a gift to her uncle, Amschel Mayer Rothschild.
     
  • One of the most unusual manuscripts of the late 19th century—the Bouton Haggadah, copied and decorated by the artist Victor Bouton in France. Every page is illuminated with geometric designs in blue and gold, closely emulating works from a school of 16th-century Persian manuscript illumination.
     
  • An extremely rare ketubbah from Gibraltar (1830-1840) that depicts a symbolic marriage between the People of Israel and God, created for Shavuot (The Festival of Weeks). 
  • A 16th-century Italian Esther Scroll, unusual because it was illuminated by a female scribe. 

A Journey through Jewish Worlds is organized for the Israel Museum by Rachel Sarfati, curator in the Jack, Joseph, and Morton Mandel Wing for Jewish Art and Life.

A Journey through Jewish Worlds - Highlights from the Braginsky Collection of Hebrew Manuscripts and Printed Books


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