Israel Press Office
Resnicow Schroeder Associates, New York
Juliet Sorce / Chelsea Beroza
Ayelet Shiloh Tamir to be appointed Acting Director of the Israel Museum
April 5, 2017
Following the decision of Dr. Eran Neuman to remain in his position as Head of the School of Architecture at Tel Aviv University, the Board of Directors of the Museum decided that Ayelet Shiloh Tamir, currently the Deputy Director, will become Acting Director. The search committee will renew its activities in the coming days in its search of a new Director.
The Board of Directors of the Israel Museum appointed Ayelet Shiloh Tamir as Acting Director the Museum following Dr. Eran Neuman’s decision to remain Head the School of Architecture at Tel Aviv University and continue to head the David J. Azrieli Central Archives and Israeli Research Center for Architecture at the Tel Aviv Museum of Art. The decision was taken following differences of perception in his role and working conditions. The Museum's Board of Directors thanks Neuman for his willingness and support of the museum over the past two months.
The Board of Directors decided that the Search Committee will resume its search for the new Director in the coming days.
The Israel Museum, Jerusalem awards biennial prizes in art and design to outstanding artists who are prominent in their fields, in recognition of their work and encouragement of their creative practice.
The winners of the 2015-2016 prizes are:
• Sigalit Landau, The Sandberg Prize for Israeli Art
Sigalit Landau (b. 1969) is a groundbreaking Israeli artist who possesses the rare ability to create iconic images in a variety of media, including video and installation. In the 2002 exhibition “The Country,” she presented an ambitious installation with a strong political message dealing with life on the margins of survival in extreme conditions. Over the past 15 years, the Dead Sea has served as a rich source of inspiration for her work, which addresses political issues, current events, and ancient myths.
• Ido Michaeli, The Beatrice Kolliner Prize for a Young Israeli Artist
Ido Michaeli (b. 1980) is an interdisciplinary artist whose work combines aspects of contemporary art, ethnography, and traditional arts. Examining the sociological characteristics of identity, his work is a curious hybrid of conflicting outlooks and ideologies that celebrates the intersections of East and West, past and present, and sacred and profane.
• Tamir Zadok, The Gerard Levy Prize for an Emerging Photographer
Tamir Zadok (b. 1979) employs a wide range of artistic tools, such as photography and video, to explore identity, politics, and narrative construction in Israeli society. His works draw on humor and aspects of popular culture to examine representations of Orientalism, Arab identity, and masculinity.
• Pesi Girsch, The Enrique Kavlin Lifetime Achievement Award
Pesi Girsch (b. 1959) is a prominent Israeli photographer whose work spans over four decades, and who received the Israel Museum’s Gerard Levy Prize in 1989. Her unique artistic language and diverse body of work highlight a fascination with beauty, death, and the links between them, as well as a rich exploration of the medium of photography itself.
• Hilla Ben Ari, The Jacob Pins Prize for an Israeli Graphic Artist
Hilla Ben Ari (b. 1972) is an Israeli artist working in a variety of media, including video, sculpture, and in recent years, printmaking. Her work explores the presence of the human body in space, raising questions about its capabilities, limitations, and boundaries within varying cultural, social, and political contexts.
• Aya Bentur and Bili Regev, The Sandberg Research Grant
Aya Bentur (b. 1981) and Bili Regev (b. 1987) examine the interfaces between physical gesture and space in their ongoing project “Permanently Transitional.” Their research utilizes gesture recognition technology to build a growing archive of human gestures, as well as an installation that presents live gesture mapping and tracing. The continued development of the field in Israel and abroad will contribute valuable knowledge to design and other related disciplines.
Eran Neuman Appointed Director of the Israel Museum
Jerusalem (January 10, 2017) — The Israel Museum announced today the appointment of Eran Neuman as the Anne and Jerome Fisher Director. Neuman currently serves as Director of the David Azrieli School of Architecture at Tel Aviv University. He was unanimously elected by the Museum’s Board of Directors, chaired by Isaac Molho, following a nine-month search and extensive review process of applicants from both Israel and abroad. He assumes his position at the Museum during February, 2017.
Neuman succeeds James S. Snyder, who is ending his 20-year tenure as Director to assume the newly created role of International President, working on behalf of the extensive network of International Friends of the Museum and focusing on relationships with sister institutions and collectors worldwide.
Under Neuman’s directorship, the Azrieli School of Architecture has emerged as one of Israel’s leading architectural schools. At the School, Neuman created programs to foster professional training and scholarship, developed new academic centers and resources, and spearheaded successful fundraising initiatives. He is also the founder of the Azrieli Architectural Archive at the Tel Aviv Museum of Art, and the co-founder of Open Source Architecture (OSA), an international research collaborative.
“Eran has the right mix of leadership experience, academic rigor, intellectual curiosity, and civic values needed to guide the Israel Museum into the future,” stated Molho. “His accomplishments stand as a demonstration of the kind of vision and vigor that will foster the continuing growth and success of the Israel Museum.”
Neuman holds degrees in architecture from the Bezalel Academy of Art and Design in Jerusalem and a Ph.D. from the University of California in Los Angeles. He is internationally recognized for his scholarship in postwar architecture, in particular the exploration of the impact of new technologies on architectural design, practice, and the experience of the built environment, and also on architecture that commemorates the Holocaust. In 2014, Neuman curated "David Yannay: Architecture and Genetics" and, in 2008, he co-curated "Performalism: Form and Performance in Digital Architecture," both presented at the Tel Aviv Museum. In 2006, he co-curated “The Gen[H]ome Project,” presented at the MAK Center in Los Angeles.
Neuman has organized and participated in numerous conferences and seminars at leading academic institutions internationally, including at Princeton University; Harvard University; University of Toronto; Tongji University, Shanghai; and Monash University, Melbourne; among others. He has published several works, including Shoah Presence: Architectural Representation of the Holocaust
(Routledge, 2014); Performalism: Form and Performance in Digital Architecture
(Routledge, co-edited with Yasha Grobman, 2012); The Labyrinth: Ram Karmi and the Extension of Tel Aviv Central Station
(Tel Aviv University Press, 2013); and David Yannay:
Architecture and Genetics
(eds., Tel Aviv Museum of Art press, 2014). He has received numerous honors and fellowships from such institutions as the Technion in Haifa; Tel Aviv University; University of California, Los Angeles; Bezalel Academy of Art and Design; the Keren Sharet America-Israel Culture Foundation; the German-Israel Foundation Fellowship; the Zuk Fellowship of the American Society of Architectural Historians; and the Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies, Washington, D.C.
“I am honored to be joining the Israel Museum at such an important moment in its trajectory,” stated Neuman. “I look forward to working with the outstanding team at the Museum and with its leadership to build upon the incredible accomplishments of my predecessor, James Snyder.”
Neuman joins the Museum following the most dramatic growth since its founding. Under Snyder’s leadership, Museum attendance more than doubled over the course of the past two decades to 750,000 – 1,000,000 each year, and its endowments increased more than fivefold. Mr. Snyder also spearheaded a $100-million renewal and expansion, unifying and enhancing substantially the visitor’s experience throughout its 20-acre campus, doubling the Museum’s collection and exhibition galleries to more than 200,000 sq. ft., and creating a new model for museums internationally that are universal in scope.
“Eran is someone who knows how to build institutional resources, create collaborative initiatives, and bring new ideas to life,” noted Snyder. “He is both an innovator and a scholar, bringing essential talents to the Museum and, in turn, to the people of Israel and to our international visitors for whom the Museum reflects cultural values that resonate both locally and globally.
New Series of Work by Contemporary Israeli Photographer Ron Amir
Exploring Status of African Refugees in Israel
On Public View for First Time at Israel Museum
Companion exhibition documents the lives of Middle Eastern immigrants to Israel
in the 1970s and 1980s in iconic photographs by Yaakov Shofar
Jerusalem (December 1, 2016) — Two exhibitions by leading Israeli photographers at the Israel Museum will provide an intimate portrait of two immigrant communities whose circumstances represent an historic and contemporary account of Israel’s changing demographics. In Ron Amir: Doing Time in Holot, contemporary photographer Ron Amir presents large-format images and video documenting the lives of Sudanese and Eritrean asylum seekers currently held in Israel’s Holot Detention Center. On view concurrently is a body of work recently gifted to the Museum by photographer Yaakov Shofar depicting members of the Israeli Black Panthers, a group of second-generation Jewish immigrants living in Jerusalem in the 1970s and 1980s. These exhibitions together showcase the documentary impulse of two Israeli photographers to capture the nation’s shifting social landscape. Both exhibitions are on view from December 20, 2016 through April 22, 2017.
“These two exhibitions meaningfully extend the Museum’s pioneering commitment to Israeli photography by focusing the camera inward on events in our own region that resonate with contemporaneous phenomena on a global scale,” said James S. Snyder, Anne and Jerome Fisher Director of the Israel Museum. “The images produced by Ron Amir, amplified by those of Yaakov Shofar, are important not just as records of history, but also as works of art that probe the complex and ever-evolving relationship between social identity and place.”
Ron Amir: Doing Time in Holot
Featuring 40 large-scale color photographs and five video works, Ron Amir: Doing Time in Holot depicts the lives of more than 3,500 refugees from Sudan and Eritrea who are currently held in the Holot Detention Center. These migrants, who fled their home countries to escape violence and oppression, are not authorized to live or work legally in Israel. While they can move freely beyond Holot during the day, they are required to sign in and out of the center in the mornings and evenings.
Amir’s photographs document activities outside the center’s gates, where the refugees have developed a culture based on their unique circumstances. Using found objects such as sticks, sand, and stones from the Negev Desert, and inspired by the aesthetics of their home countries, they have built makeshift communal huts, tea shops, benches, gyms, ovens, and other amenities. While the refugees themselves are not visible in the photographs, their creativity, ingenuity and cultural aesthetics are evident in Amir’s depictions of the landscape, imprinted with activity from their everyday lives.
Amir’s project also highlights the deeply personal relationship between photographer and subject. In the video work Don’t Move, Amir struggles to keep his sitters still long enough to photograph them, a prolonged process due to the exposure time required by his large-format photographic technique. At the same time, the individuals who grow restless from posing use their own mobile phones to photograph Amir. This interaction lasts until sunset, when the image on the screen can hardly be seen and the refugees must return to the detention camp. The video introduces a dialogue about the history of photography, juxtaposing the “obsolete” large-format camera with more modern technologies.
Ron Amir: Doing Time in Holot marks the first time these works have been presented to the public, as well as Amir’s first presentation at the Israel Museum. The exhibition is accompanied by a comprehensive catalog of the same name. It includes an exploration of Amir's work by exhibition curator Noam Gal, an analysis of migration and globalization by philosopher Arjun Appadurai, and a demographic overview of migration in contemporary Israel.
Yaakov Shofar: Born in Israel
In dialogue with Amir’s work, the Museum showcases Born in Israel, a collection of some 30 black and white photographs by Israeli photographer Yaakov Shofar. The images, taken between 1978 and 1982, are intimate portraits of the Israeli Black Panthers, a group of second-generation Jewish immigrants hailing from Arab countries. Inspired by the Black Panther Party in the United States, these activists staged protests in Israel during the 1970s and 1980s, opposing what they viewed as discriminatory policies against Middle Eastern immigrants.
Shofar’s subjects appear both theatrically playful and candidly exposed as they are interviewed and photographed inside their Jerusalem neighborhoods. Shofar's masterful camera work highlights the power of community-based documentary photography and reflects upon the specific circumstances of immigrant communities.
In 2015, in honor of the Israel Museum’s 50th anniversary, Shofar gifted his entire Born in Israel collection to the Museum’s Department of Photography. The collection has been shown only once, at the Haifa Museum of Art in 1983, after which Shofar abandoned his photographic career.
Ron Amir: Doing Time in Holot and Yaakov Shofar: Born in Israel are curated by Noam Gal, Horace and Grace Goldsmith Curator of Photography in the Noel and Harriette Levine Department of Photography.
Major Exhibition of Francisco Goya Paintings and Prints
Examines Development of Artist’s Subject Matter
And Technique with Works Never Before Displayed in Israel
Opening December 10, Exhibition Marks the Most Extensive Collaboration to Date between the Israel Museum and the Prado Museum, Celebrating 30 years of Spanish-Israeli Diplomatic Ties
Jerusalem (November 29, 2016) — Exploring the stunning range of painting and print-making created by Francisco José de Goya y Lucientes (1746-1828), this exhibition at the Israel Museum showcases the breadth of Goya’s technical expertise and the diversity of his subject matter, inspired by the changing social, religious, and political realities of the times in which he lived. From light-hearted, idyllic depictions of life in Spain to intense, unforgiving criticisms of Spanish society, the subjects of the works featured in the exhibition reveal many phases of Goya’s artistic development. On display are over 135 prints from the Israel Museum’s holdings, together with 10 master paintings on loan from the Museo Nacional del Prado in Madrid on view in Israel for the first time. The exhibition marks a two-fold celebration: the most extensive collaboration between the Israel Museum and the Prado Museum to date and 30 years of diplomatic relations between Israel and Spain. The exhibition is on view from December 10, 2016, through April 18, 2017.
“Showcasing Goya’s artistic virtuosity and demonstrating the breadth of the Israel Museum’s partnerships with its sister institutions worldwide, ten major paintings from the Prado Museum in Madrid will be displayed alongside important works on paper from the Israel Museum’s own extensive holdings,” said James S. Snyder, Anne and Jerome Fisher Director of the Israel Museum. “We are grateful to the Prado Museum for partnering with us in our most important collaboration yet, as we celebrate 30 years of diplomatic and cultural relations between our two countries, and especially with works by Goya that are as meaningful as these, rendering with such power the breadth of personal to social to political life in Spain during his time.”
The centerpiece of the exhibition is 10 oil paintings from the Prado Museum, displayed in Israel for the first time. Five of these works were commissioned by the Spanish Royal Court during Goya’s earlier career. These paintings are light-hearted and romantic, depicting domestic and pastoral scenes that showcase Goya’s masterful use of light and shadow. Eager to please his patrons and guided by the promise of public approval and financial stability, Goya rendered these works as cartoons for tapestries to be hung in the palaces of Spanish royalty. Other paintings demonstrate the artist’s delicate treatment of Christian themes, as well as his darker, more somber representations of the occult. Highlights include The Parasol (1778), Children Playing at Soldiers (1779), and The Straw Manikin (1792).
The exhibition also features a complete set of the first edition of Los Caprichos, the series of 80 aquatints and etchings Goya published as an album in 1799, are on extended loan in the Israel Museum from the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot, Israel. This work is a cynical commentary on Spanish society in the 18th century, including criticisms of the Inquisition, the deteriorating morals of the general public, and the rise of superstition over rationality. Accompanied by amplifying captions written by Goya himself, these works depict the world as grotesque and nightmarish, a perspective likely influenced by the artist’s high position in the Royal Court in Madrid, as well as by his awareness of the new social order that emerged during the French Revolution in 1789.
Other major prints from the Israel Museum’s collections will also be on display, including selections from The Disasters of War (1810 – 1820), Goya’s moral response to the Franco-Spanish War and its aftermath; La Tauromaquia (1815-1816), an exploration of the history, performance, and spectatorship that define the rituals of the Spanish bullfight; and Proverbs (1815 – 1823), the enigmatic, dream-like series with titles which are mostly aphorisms, created in the late years of Goya’s life.
Exhibition Organization and Brochure
Francisco Goya: Daydreams and Nightmares is curated by Shlomit Steinberg, Hans Dichand Senior Curator of European Art. The exhibition is accompanied by a publication in Hebrew and English, written by Shlomit Steinberg, together with Manuela B. Mena Marqués, Head of the 18th Century and Goya Paintings Department at the Prado Museum and Dr. Virginia Albarrán, Curator of 18th Century Paintings and Goya .
Exhibition Surveys Depictions of Jesus in Jewish and Israeli Art in Works Spanning the 19th Century to the Present Day
Opening December 20, Behold the Man: Jesus in Israeli Art Showcases the Power of Religious Symbolism to Transcend Historical, Political, and Artistic Boundaries
Jerusalem (November 11, 2016) — A new exhibition opening at The Israel Museum, Jerusalem, will explore for the first time the figure of Jesus as a significant, multifaceted, and pervasive symbol throughout the history of Jewish and Israeli art. The exhibition, Behold the Man: Jesus in Israeli Art, surveys works in a variety of media by prominent artists working from the second half of the 19th century until today. These works showcase the evolving attitudes of Jewish, Zionist, and Israeli artists toward a figure whose place in Jewish history has been negotiated and reinterpreted over more than two millennia. On display are 150 works by some 40 artists, ranging from Reuven Rubin, to Marc Chagall, to Sigalit Landau, and coming from the Museum’s collections and from private and public collections in Israel and internationally, among them the National Museum, Warsaw, and Centre Pompidou, Paris. The exhibition is on view from December 20, 2016, through April 22, 2017.
“This exhibition extends the Museum’s ongoing commitment to Israeli art and puts forth critical scholarship that provides insight into the Jewish people’s complex and multi-dimensional relationship with the subject of Jesus,” said James S. Snyder, Anne and Jerome Fisher Director of the Israel Museum. “Demonstrating the fundamental power of visual expression, these works transcend time, place, culture, and even religion, revealing the universal impulse to define one’s own identity by appropriating symbols from collective world history.”
Among the selection of works featured in the exhibition are artworks by 19th- and 20th-century Jewish European masters such as Marc Chagall and Maurycy Gottlieb, who used the image of Jesus both as a bridge of reconciliation between Jews and Christians and as an emblem of the persecuted Jew. Working in countries that were dominantly Christian, Jewish artists of the time struggled to maintain their religious and cultural traditions while faced with the threat of oppression. By depicting the figure of Jesus, they linked their suffering with his in order to identify their place in society. They were also attempting to assimilate into the European art world, where Jesus was a widely interpreted motif, by placing his image in a distinctly Jewish context.
Other works in the exhibition extend the depiction of Jesus as a symbol of resurrection, representing the revival of the Jewish people in the land of Israel in the early 20th century. Works by artists such as E.M. Lilien and Reuven Rubin address the revolutionary nature of the early Zionist movement, which called for a departure from the Diaspora where Jews had lived for centuries. Through these works, which place Christian-inspired images in Zionist settings, Jesus becomes a metaphor for the rebirth of the Jewish people in the Promised Land.
Also on view are works by 20th- and 21st-century Israeli artists who saw Jesus as a symbol of personal and universal suffering. As the modern-day threat facing the Jewish people shifted from
persecution in Europe to conflict with Israel’s Arab neighbors, the emblematic image of Jesus, already engrained in the collective Jewish consciousness, found its way increasingly into contemporary Israeli art. Major artists such as Menashe Kadishman and Igael Tumarkin, and later, Sigalit Landau and Adi Nes, used the likeness of Jesus to express their own feelings about private and collective sacrifice and grief, as well as to embody the artist’s struggle against the establishment. For many, this was also a way to transcend the local sphere and join the ongoing dialogue of Western art history, which was so well-grounded in Christian narratives and imagery.
Exhibition Organization and Catalogue
Behold the Man: Jesus in Israeli Art is curated by Dr. Amitai Mendelsohn, Senior Curator of the David Orgler Department of Israeli Art. The exhibition is accompanied by an illustrated publication, available in both Hebrew and English.
Sweeping Survey Celebrates 100 Years of Dada
from Marcel Duchamp to Andy Warhol to Sherrie Levine
Opening February 23, 2017, No Place Like Home transforms Israel Museum galleries
into a domestic interior with artworks inspired by everyday household objects
Jerusalem (October 13, 2016)— In celebration of Dada’s 100th anniversary in 2016 and the centennial of Duchamp’s Fountain in 2017, the Israel Museum presents a major exhibition tracing the artistic appropriation of domestic objects, from the early 20th century through the present day. No Place Like Home examines how artists over the past century have incorporated commonplace household items into their work, removing them from the context of the home in ways that subvert everyday experience. Transforming its galleries into a quasi-domestic interior, the Museum will place works by artists ranging from Marcel Duchamp and Man Ray, Claes Oldenburg, Andy Warhol, and Martha Rosler, to Louise Bourgeois, Mona Hatoum, and Ilit Azoulay back into a home setting in order to trigger new thoughts and perspectives on the familiar. The exhibition is on view from February 23, 2017 through July 29, 2017.
“The emergence of Dada profoundly changed the vocabulary of creative expression and challenged tradition by elevating everyday objects into icons of 20th-century art,” said James S. Snyder, Anne and Jerome Fisher Director of the Israel Museum. “As one of the leading international centers for the research and display of Dada and Surrealist art, it is a privilege for us to celebrate the wellspring of creativity that Dada provoked a century ago with a pioneering exhibition inspired by the spirit of the movement itself.”
Curated by Dr. Adina Kamien-Kazhdan, No Place Like Home unites 120 art objects, 70 of which are drawn from the Museum’s own collections, together with loans from sister institutions including the Centre Pompidou, Paris; Museum of Modern Art, New York; and Tate, London; as well as from private collections, galleries, and artists worldwide. The exhibition will be organized as a series of “rooms,” suggesting a traditional domestic interior, with artworks installed in corresponding galleries labelled “bedroom,” “living room,” “bathroom,” and other living areas.
The exhibition layout and the range of works on view will create an experience of a “home” that is at once familiar and disorienting. The placement, proportion, and hybridization of objects encourage viewers to reconsider their meaning—both as works of art and as functional objects. Rather than being an actual space for habitation, the galleries will become charged with concepts that are negotiated in the domestic sphere, including gender roles, housework, and questions of place and displacement. Highlights include:
• A dozen works by Marcel Duchamp, including his pioneering Fountain (1917/editioned replica 1964), exemplifying the conceptual revolution of the readymade through the artist’s act of appropriating and designating a porcelain urinal as a work of art;
• Six objects by Man Ray, including Cadeau (1921/editioned replica 1963), which highlights the Dadaist impulse to render practical objects useless; in this instance, by adding nails to the flat surface of an iron;
• A range of works by Pop artists of the 1960s that celebrate commercial goods and commonplace food products, such as Andy Warhol’s silkscreened Brillo Box (1964) and Campbell’s Tomato Juice Box (1964) and Claes Oldenburg’s soft sculptures, among them Lunch Box (1961), for which the artist created a larger-than-life sandwich composed of painted fabric;
• Artworks by women artists from the 1970s through today that focus on household imagery to express gender politics, such as Yayoi Kusama’s 1963 Ironing Board, combining domestic and phallic imagery to convey a desire for peace and pleasure; and Louise Bourgeois’ Arched Figure (1993), which explores the phenomenon of hysteria;
• A range of contemporary artworks that highlight the many manifestations of the readymade since its conception, including Sherrie Levine’s Dada (2008), which investigates questions of authorship and references Dada’s origins; and Robert Therrien’s oversized No title (Table leg) (2010);
• Artworks focusing on issues of migration and displacement such as Doris Salcedo’s La Casa Viuda VI (1995); Mona Hatoum’s Grater Divide (2002); and Do-Ho Suh’s emotionally suffused architecture, Closet-I (2003).
“What is a home? It is a place or an idea?” asks Kamien-Kazhdan. “These are just a few of the questions raised by this exhibition, whose artworks, quasi-home space, and IKEA-inspired catalogue aim to create a holistic experience for the visitor to reflect on the realm of the domestic in modern and contemporary art practice.”
About the Israel Museum’s Vera and Arturo Schwarz Collection of Dada and Surrealism
The Israel Museum is recognized as a leading international repository for the research and display of Dada and Surrealist art, thanks to a consistent history of gifts since its founding 51 years ago. First and foremost is Arturo Schwarz, who in 1972 gifted a complete set of readymades by Marcel Duchamp, followed in 1991 by his further gift of a rare holding of Dada and Surrealist documents, periodicals, books, manuscripts, and letters; and in 1998, on the occasion of Israel’s 50th Anniversary, the donation of his collection of more than 800 works of Dada, Surrealist, and pre-Surrealist art, including unparalleled holdings of individual artists such as Duchamp and Man Ray within a total ensemble of works by over 200 artists. Remarkable in quality and breadth, the Vera and Arturo Schwarz Collection comprises a central core of the Museum’s Dada and Surrealist holdings.
No Place Like Home is curated by Dr. Adina Kamien-Kazhdan, the Israel Museum’s David Rockefeller Senior Curator in The Stella Fischbach Department of Modern Art. The exhibition is accompanied by an IKEA-inspired catalogue, featuring essays by contributing architects and art historians that shed light on the varied interpretations of the domestic object and on topics ranging from the relationship between architecture and psychoanalysis, gender, and the domestic object; and an exploration of place and displacement. The catalogue is made possible by Nancy Wald, Oxford, in honor and in memory of her parents, Benjamin and Frances Miller.
The exhibition is generously supported by IKEA Israel and Matthew Bronfman, New York, with additional support from Grace Frankel and Hanns Salzer Levi, and the Museum’s 2017 Exhibition Fund.
Distinct Visions of Four Abstract Artists
Otto Freundlich, Len Lye, Lygia Clark, and Blinky Palermo
Examined in Rare Presentation at Israel Museum
Jerusalem (July 27, 2016)— Highlighting the unique contributions of four abstract artists—Otto Freundlich, Len Lye, Lygia Clark, and Blinky Palermo—a major exhibition opening in December at the Israel Museum celebrates their enduring legacy in the field of abstraction throughout the 20th century. While each represents a different generation and regional perspective, these artists are united by their distinct and autonomous approaches toward abstraction, and together they offer an alternative interpretation of its origins and influences. Surveying these artists’ paintings, sculptures, films, and works on paper, the exhibition highlights their shared interest in spatial and social relationships. The Shadow of Color: Otto Freundlich, Len Lye, Lygia Clark, and Blinky Palermo is on view from December 20, 2016 through April 22, 2017.
“Although from different parts of the world, these four artists each emerged from the Constructivist movement to create abstract works that would bridge the relationship between object and viewer,” said James S. Snyder, Anne and Jerome Fisher Director of the Israel Museum. “The notable autonomy that each exercised within the field of abstract art, is deserving of closer examination, and we are proud to bring their names to the fore, based on the insightful research of our contemporary art curator Rita Kersting. Her original work adds to the canon of art historical research and also extends our own commitment to drawing connections across time and place in the continuing narrative of the history of visual culture.”
“With the emerging recognition of these artists’ importance within the modernist canon—and their growing influence among younger generations of artists today—this exhibition provides a timely platform for re-examining their accomplishments together,” said Rita Kersting, Landeau Family Curator of Contemporary Art of the Israel Museum. “I am eager to introduce audiences to the innovative perspectives of these four artists, whose work collectively took an important step forward in the progression of modern to contemporary art history and yet has never been shown together and will also be presented now for the first time in Israel.”
Featuring nearly 60 works across a variety of mediums, The Shadow of Color is organized by artist in order to offer visitors an in-depth view of each artist’s individual practice:
• German Jewish painter and sculptor Otto Freundlich (1878-1943) worked in a Constructivist style comprised of individual swaths of color placed in pulsating, rhythmic patterns. He was influenced by his close friend Wassily Kandinsky, although Freundlich’s stylistic repetition was more geometric in its abstraction. The Nazis considered Freundlich’s art “degenerate” and destroyed many of his works. He eventually died in a concentration camp in Lublin in 1943.
The exhibition features selected examples of his paintings, gouaches, and sculptures, including his 1929 monumental bronze The Ascension from the Israel Museum’s collection.
• Len Lye (1901-1980) was an experimental filmmaker and kinetic sculptor, whose work was dominated by his aim to capture motion. Born in New Zealand, Lye took inspiration from the visual traditions of the indigenous peoples of Australia, Africa, and Oceania with whom he lived before moving to London (1926) and New York City (1944). In his early drawings and paintings, Lye documented the process of motion and later expanded on this practice by painting directly onto film itself to create moving pictures.
On view in the exhibition will be Lye’s landmark film The Colour Box (1935), which showcases this innovative technique with vibrant abstractions that appear synchronized to dance music by Don Baretto and his Cuban Orchestra. Also on view is Lye’s black and white film Free Radicals (1958), for which Lye scratched designs into the emulsion of black film stock to create dramatic flashes of lines.
• Brazilian born Lygia Clark (1920-1988) explored abstract perspective, dimension, and depth in painting as well as in sculpture. A leader of the Neo-Concretist movement in Brazil, Clark became interested in engaging viewers as participants in her work. She is best known for her foldable metal sculptures, known as “Bichos” (critters or small animals), which viewers could reconfigure into endless variations.
A selection of Clark’s monochromatic paintings and moveable sculptures will be on view, illustrating the artist’s shift from two dimensions toward participatory artworks.
• German artist Blinky Palermo (1943-1977) studied under Joseph Beuys at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf in the 1960s. Interested in the spatial relationships between color and form, Palermo worked with textiles, creating fabric paintings and paintings on metal, canvas, and wood. He eventually moved away from traditional rectangular canvases to other geometric shapes and remained dedicated to painting despite the emergence in his time of performance, Fluxus, and conceptual art as the new avant-garde. Palermo died unexpectedly at the age of 33.
Shadow of Color will explore the many facets of Palermo’s oeuvre, from fabric and metal paintings and silk screens to sculptural canvases.
The Shadow of Color: Otto Freundlich, Len Lye, Lygia Clark, and Blinky Palermo is curated by Rita Kersting, the Israel Museum’s Landeau Family Curator of Contemporary Art and assistant curator Orly Rabi.
The Israel Museum's Pablo Picasso Exhibition chronicles the artistic development of one of the 20th century's most influential figures
A showcase of artistic highlights from the father of modern art, a figure who has impacted and inspired contemporary artistic creation like no other. For nearly 80 of his 91 years, Picasso devoted himself to artistic production that contributed significantly to modern art—and paralleled key political transformations in the 20th century.
Jerusalem, Israel (July 4, 2016) — The Israel Museum, Jerusalem, presents a diverse collection chronicling the development of one of the world's artistic masters – known for his technical inventiveness, his radical departure from classical methods, his political expression and unparalleled impact on modern art forms. On view from July 5 through November 19, 2016, Pablo Picasso: Many Faces details the exciting evolution of this towering figure, from his despairing "Blue Period” at the turn of the twentieth century through the “Rose Period,” “Cubism,” “Surrealism” and later works which delved into contemporary political motifs.
Renowned for endlessly reinventing himself and switching between styles, experts have observed that Picasso's works appear to be the product of five or six great artists rather than just one. Pablo Picasso: Many Faces reflects on the artist's dynamic output, as seen through 250 drawings and prints from the Israel Museum’s own holdings (consisting of 800 Picasso works), amplified by important loans from other museum collections, including Musée national Picasso, Paris; Museo Reina Sofía, Madrid and the Museum of Modern Art, New York.
The exhibit consists of four outstanding portfolios:
La Suite des Saltimbanques (1904-1904): A series of fourteen loosely-related etchings and drypoints created from late 1904 through 1905. Picasso’s first major body of work in printmaking, these circus-themed prints mark the beginning of the artist's Rose period.
The Vollard Suite (1930-1937): The complete collection of one of the most important series of prints executed in the 20th century. Including 100 etchings created for his dealer Ambroise Voller.
The Dream and Lie of Franco (1937): Two sheets of prints that are regarded as Picasso's first overtly political work and prefigures his iconic political painting Guernica. The etchings satirise Spanish Generalissimo Francisco Franco.
Suite 347 (France, March-October 1968): Around 100 of the artist's last hand-signed etchings are on view. The series is a reprisal of Picasso’s artistic autobiography, replete with references to art historical influences and to his own life’s work.
Pablo Picasso: Many Faces also displays paintings, prints, and etchings on recurring favourite motifs, including minotaur (mythical creatures), women, and corrida (bullfights). Highlights include:
• Buste de femme/ Bust of a Woman (1907): Oil on canvas, on loan from the Musée Picasso, Paris,
• Head of a Sleeping Woman (1907): Oil on canvas, demonstrating Picasso’s early experimentation with the female figure. On loan from The Museum of Modern Art, NY,
• Girl with a Mandolin (Fanny Tellier) (1910): Oil on canvas, highlights the pinnacle of Picasso’s Analytic Cubism. On loan from The Museum of Modern Art, NY,
• Figures by the Sea I (1932): Oil on canvas, from the Museo Reina Sofia, Madrid, demonstrates Picasso's shift from sculptural Surrealism in painting to the distortion and abstraction that marks such works as:
• Femme assise aux bras croisés (1937),
• Portrait of Dora Maar (1937), from the Musée Picasso, Paris
• Sitting Woman (1949) from the Israel Museum’s own holdings
The exhibition is curated by Tanya Sirakovich, Michael Bromberg Head Curator, Ruth and Joseph Bromberg Department of Prints and Drawings at the Israel Museum.
First Ever Exhibition Exploring Rich Cross-Cultural Dialogue between
Egypt and Canaan during 2nd Millennium BCE
Opens at Israel Museum in March 2016
Unprecedented Display of Approximately 680 Ancient Artifacts
Illustrates Untold Story of Exchange
Jerusalem, Israel (November 24, 2015)—A major exhibition opening at the Israel Museum will provide audiences with an unprecedented opportunity to explore the cross-cultural ties between Egypt and Canaan during the second millennium BCE. On view March 4 through October 25, 2016, Pharaoh in Canaan: The Untold Story presents more than 680 objects that reflect the cross-fertilization of ritual practices and aesthetic vocabularies between these two distinct ancient cultures. From large-scale royal victory stelae and anthropoid coffins to scarabs and amulets, the display features an array of archaeological artifacts discovered in Israel and Egypt—including many drawn from the Museum’s own collections, together with major loans from the Metropolitan Museum of Art, N.Y.; the Louvre Museum, Paris; the Kunsthistorisches Museum; Vienna; the Egyptian Museum in Turin, Italy; and numerous other collections.
amulet of a schematic nude
goddess in Egyptian style, Tell el-Ajjul, 15th century BCE, gold
“This exhibition explores a crucial, yet forgotten chapter in the history of ancient civilizations. Pharaoh in Canaan tells the revelatory story of the cross-cultural dynamics between Canaan and Egypt and the resulting and often astonishing aesthetic, ritual, and cultural affinities that developed between these two distinct peoples,” said James S. Snyder, the Anne and Jerome Fisher Director of the Israel Museum. “It is especially appropriate that the Israel Museum tell this remarkable archaeological story from its setting in Jerusalem and with its rich collections that trace the ancient roots of the region around us.”
The story of Egypt and Canaan is most commonly known from the biblical narratives of Joseph and Moses in Egypt. The exhibition expands this story by examining two crucial periods in history: the settlement and rise of a Canaanite dynasty in the eastern Egyptian Delta during the Middle Bronze Age (circa 1700-1550 BCE); and the extended period of Egyptian rule over Canaan by the Pharaohs during the Late Bronze Age (circa 1500-1150 BCE), both of which led to the commingling of deities, arts, rituals, and technologies between the two cultures.
The exhibition will feature a variety of Egyptian and Egyptian-inspired objects from Canaanite sites as well as illustrative objects from Egypt, ranging from large-scale architectural reconstructions to small-scale personal effects.
Exhibition highlights include:
• Egyptian Scarabs: Bearing divine and royal names and images, these objects were found in Canaanite tombs, reflecting the adaptation of Egyptian burial customs by the local Canaanite elite.
• Egyptian Private Stelae: Made locally by Egyptians stationed at the Canaanite site of Beth Shean, these stelae depict Egyptians worshipping Canaanite gods, among them the goddess Anat, who was also worshipped in Egypt at that same time, and the god Mekal, a local god of Beth Shean.
• Fragment of a Monumental Sphinx of Mycerinus: The only Old Kingdom royal statue found in the Levantine region, this fragment was likely an official gift either to a local ruler or to the temple at Hazor when it was a site of great power during the Late Bronze Age.
• Tutankhamun Inscribed Solid Gold Ring: The only object excavated in Israel bearing the name of this king, the ring was found in an elaborate tomb in Tell el-`Ajjul together with other Egyptian and Egyptian-style jewelry that reflects the local emulation of Egyptian aesthetic traditions.
• Statue of Ramesses III: Placed in a temple at Beth Shean—one of the most important Egyptian strongholds in Canaan during the time of the empire—this is the only evidence of a locally made royal statue in Canaan—and a stunning example of Egyptian cultic activity in Canaanite temples.
• Royal Stelae: Two stelae of Seti I erected at Beth Shean commemorate victorious military campaigns of the king to suppress local rebellions and reinforce Egyptian control over Canaan.
• Anthropoid Coffins: Locally made Egyptian-style clay coffins, found mainly at Egyptian sites in Canaan, served both Egyptians stationed at these bases as well as Canaanites working in their service.
Exhibition Organization and Catalogue
Pharaoh in Canaan: The Untold Story is curated by Dr. Daphna Ben-Tor, Jeannette and Jonathan Rosen Curator of Egyptian Archaeology, and Dr. Eran Arie, Frieder Burda Curator of Iron Age and Persian Period Archaeology. The exhibition is accompanied by a comprehensive catalogue in Hebrew and English with introductory chapters arranged chronologically and thematically, each accompanied by associated object entries, and two appendices dealing with the Biblical narrative and with the birth of the Alphabet. The exhibition is made possible in part by The William Davidson Foundation, Troy, MI.
James S. Snyder assume newly created role of International President for the Israel Museum's worldwide activities
Starting January 1, 2017
After serving as Director for 20 years
Museum Transformed under Snyder’s Leadership with Unprecedented Growth in Attendance, Collections, Programming, Facilities, Endowment, and Global Profile
Museum Board Commences Search for New Director
Jerusalem, Israel (February 28, 2016) — The Israel Museum today announced that James S. Snyder, Anne and Jerome Fisher Director of the Museum, will assume the newly created role of International President for the Museum’s worldwide activities, effective January 1, 2017. In his new capacity, Mr. Snyder will spearhead the ongoing development of the Museum’s extensive international network of Friends organizations, which has played an unprecedented role in the growth of the Museum, its programming, collections, and facilities. Mr. Snyder will also continue his work on building the Museum’s relationships with sister institutions worldwide and will support the Museum’s next director in strategic planning, professional staff development, and program planning.
The Museum has formed a committee that is commencing its search for Mr. Snyder’s successor. Upon the appointment of the new director, effective January 1, 2017, Mr. Snyder will also be awarded the title of Director Emeritus.
“James has transformed the Israel Museum in every way, firmly establishing it as one of the world’s great museums,” stated Isaac Molho, Chairman of the Board of Directors. “His signature leadership and warmth have created an institution that stands as a remarkable living legacy for the people of Israel and the world. His future role as International President will ensure that the Museum continues to strengthen the benefits it provides to the audiences we serve today and for future generations.”
“I want to express my deepest gratitude to all of my colleagues on the staff of the Israel Museum and to our Board of Directors and our International Friends around the world for being such wonderful partners in advancing the success of this amazing institution,” stated Mr. Snyder. “I look forward to continuing our work together in this great and meaningful venture.”
Mr. Snyder joined the Museum as director in 1997, leading it through the most dramatic growth since its founding and strengthening its stature as one of the world’s foremost museums. Under his leadership, annual attendance has grown from 400,000 ten years ago to more than 800,000, and the Museum’s endowment has increased more than fivefold to $200 million. Mr. Snyder also spearheaded a comprehensive series of major infrastructure and architectural upgrades, culminating in 2010 with a $100 million expansion and renewal of the entire Museum, designed to enhance and unify the visitor experience throughout the Museum’s 20-acre campus. That project also included the complete reinstallation of the Museum’s collection galleries, doubling them in scale from 100,000 to 200,000 square feet, while installing 30% fewer works to give clarity to the Museum’s universal narrative.
During Mr. Snyder’s tenure, the Museum greatly expanded its encyclopedic holdings across all of its collecting areas, with the addition of more than 55,000 individual objects, works of art, and collections, culminating with a collection-building campaign during the Museum’s 50th anniversary in 2015, which alone attracted gifts of more than 20 collections numbering several thousand objects and nearly 500 works of art. Among the acquisition highlights during the past two decades have been: in Archaeology, the Renée and Robert Belfer Collection of Ancient Glass and Greek and Roman Antiquity and the Demirjian Family European Bronze Age Collection; in Jewish Art and Life, an illuminated Mishneh Torah of Maimonides (ca. 1457), acquired jointly with the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the restored 18th Century Tzedek ve-Shalom Synagogue from Paramaribo, Suriname; and, in the Fine Arts, Nicolas Poussin’s “Destruction and Sack of the Temple of Jerusalem” (1625), Rembrandt van Rijn’s “St. Peter in Prison” (1631), the Arturo Schwarz Collection of Dada and Surrealist Art, Jackson Pollock’s “Horizontal Composition” (1949), the Noel and Harriette Levine Collection of Photography, and Gerhard Richter’s “Abstraktes Bild” (1997); together with an active and ongoing program of acquisitions in contemporary art, including site-specific commissions by such artists as Olafur Eliasson, Anish Kapoor, and Doug and Mike Starn.
Mr. Snyder also focused on strengthening the Museum’s regional and international impact, exemplified by an ambitious series of temporary exhibitions in Jerusalem and traveling exhibitions worldwide, extending to North and South America, Europe, and Asia. These have included 50th Anniversary year exhibitions such as A Brief History of Humankind (2015), featuring 14 pivotal objects from across the Museum’s collections from prehistoric times through the present day, complemented by signature works from the Museum’s contemporary holdings, and Twilight over Berlin: Masterworks from the Nationalgalerie, 1905-1945 (2015); and, in recent years, James Turrell: Light Spaces (2014); Dress Codes: Revealing the Jewish Wardrobe (2014); Herod the Great: The King’s Final Journey (2013); A World Apart: Glimpses into the Lives of Hasidic Jews (2012); William Kentridge: Five Themes (2011); Looking for Owners and Orphaned Art (2008), two ground-breaking exhibitions on art looted during World War II; and Surrealism and Beyond (2007), which completed major international tours in 2009 and then again in 2014-15.
Mr. Snyder also fostered the advancement of the Museum’s network of International Friends organizations, helping to expand its presence across 16 countries worldwide and strengthening the Museum’s global foundation of support for building collections and funding annual operations, capital development, and exhibitions, projects, programming, and events for all of the Museum’s diverse audiences worldwide.
Dan Handel Appointed Curator of Design and Architecture at The Israel Museum, Jerusalem
Jerusalem, Israel (February 17, 2015) – The Israel Museum, Jerusalem, announced today the appointment of Dan Handel as its new Curator of Design and Architecture. A curator, critic and professor, Handel is a founding editor of Manifest, an annual journal of American urbanism and architecture, and a member of the faculty at the Bezalel Academy of Art and Design in Jerusalem. He also served as co-curator of the Israel Pavilion for the Architecture Exhibition at the Venice Biennale in 2012. At the Israel Museum, Handel will oversee the Museum's Design and Architecture Department, further developing its unique international perspective from the vantage point of the disciplines of design and architecture in Israel. He will begin his new role at the Museum in June, 2016.
“Dan brings with him a cross-disciplinary expertise and a professional background both in Israel and internationally that will enable him to advance the Museum’s local and global perspective in the rapidly changing fields of architecture and design,” said James S. Snyder, the Anne and Jerome Fisher Director of the Israel Museum. “His vision as a curator is deepened by a strong grounding in contemporary visual culture, and we are delighted to broaden our curatorial reach with his special combination of talents.”
Handel has curated numerous exhibitions internationally, including projects in Canada, Israel, Italy, the Netherlands, and the United States. Handel is currently curating Organization Man, an exhibition investigating the themes surrounding the work of Israeli architect Avraham Yasky at The Tel Aviv Museum of Art. Earlier exhibitions included Wood: The Cyclical Nature of Materials, Sites, and Ideas at the Het Nieuwe Instituut, Rotterdam (2014), which explored links between wood in design and architecture and the economic, political, natural, and cultural cycles that surround its production, circulation, and consumption. Handel was also co-curator of Aircraft Carrier, an exhibition that debuted at the Israel Pavilion of the 13th International Architecture Exhibition at the Venice Biennale and traveled subsequently to The Israel Museum, Jerusalem, and to the Storefront for Art and Architecture in New York City. Featuring work by Assaf Evron, Fernando Guerra, Florian Holzherr, Nira Pereg, and Jan Tichy, the exhibition examined American influences on the dramatic architectural and design changes in the Middle East region between 1973 and the present. Handel earned his Master’s Degree in architecture at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design and his Bachelor’s Degree in architecture at the Bezalel Academy of Art and Design.
"I am honored to accept the position of Curator of Design and Architecture at the Israel Museum,” said Dan Handel. “Many groundbreaking exhibitions were created by this department throughout its history, and I look forward to continuing that tradition and to working with the talented team at the Museum. My hope is to further the department’s role as a platform for discussion, reflection, and display in the fields of design and architecture in Israel and around the globe.”
In the last several years, the Israel Museum has expanded its design collection through new acquisitions and gifts by leading international and emerging designers and has continued its tradition of presenting exhibitions on timely subjects both in design and in architecture. Currently on display, and in celebration of the Museum’s 50th anniversary, is New Types: Three Pioneers of Hebrew Graphic Design, an exploration of the European origins of modern Hebrew typography and of the graphic language of the modern State of Israel. During the second half of 2016, the Museum will explore another dimension of the evolution of Israel’s modernist aesthetic heritage in Architecture in Palestine during the British Mandate (1917 –1948), examining the significant impact of early 20th-century European modernism on the architectural language of Palestine during the period of the British Mandate.
About The Department of Design and Architecture
The Israel Museum’s Department of Design and Architecture was established in 1973 by Izika Gaon, who for more than two decades brought the latest international trends to local Israeli audiences. Alex Ward, who served as curator from 1999 through 2012, brought the Museum’s presentation of design and architecture to new levels of originality at the Museum.
Major gifts in tribute to Museum’s 50th anniversary deepen holdings across curatorial wings
Jerusalem, Israel (January 25, 2016) – The Israel Museum, Jerusalem, today announced a series of important collections and singular works of art acquired on the occasion of its 50th anniversary year. From transformative gifts that elevate the Museum’s holdings in archaeology to contemporary works that bolster its representation of leading practitioners in Israel and internationally today, these acquisitions extend the Museum’s commitment to reflect universal and local narratives throughout its collections. Totaling more than 400 individual works and 21 complete collections of ancient glass, Greco-Roman sculpture, Judaica, French painting, and more—these 2015 acquisitions are part of a multiyear initiative culminating with the Museum’s 50th Anniversary in 2015-2016, highlighting the breadth of support worldwide that has contributed to the ongoing growth of the Museum’s encyclopedic holdings.
“As we look to our next half-century, we are grateful to the many patrons and collectors whose generosity has been foundational for our standing as one of the most comprehensive encyclopedic collections in the world, strengthening our unique ability to draw meaningful connections between cultures that transcend time and place,” said James S. Snyder, the Anne and Jerome Fisher Director of the Israel Museum.
“Throughout our 50th Anniversary year, we have placed a special focus on expanding the depth and breadth of our holdings, amplifying our narrative of the broad history of human civilization alongside our specific history of visual culture here in Israel. This special year’s acquisitions expand on that tradition, furthering our position as a global resource of world cultural heritage.”Highlights among the Museum’s acquisitions in 2015 include:
Cyprien Gaillard, born Paris 1980, lives in Berlin and New York
35 mm film 12 min. loop, HD video transferred to 35 mm
Ed. 1 AP (5/5)
The Barbara and Eugene Schwartz Contemporary Art Acquisition Endowment Fund
The French artist Cyprien Gaillard traveled to Babylon to film Artefacts, reflecting on this ancient civilization’s mythical status through a series of documentary recordings of today’s post-conflict Iraq. Interspersed with images of the city’s ancient heritage, the refrain of David Gray’s song Babylon hauntingly accompanies Gaillard’s romantic, and yet washed-out and dystopian images. The biblical narrative of the destruction of ancient Babel forms an underlying script for the film, which goes on to reference the further damage inflicted over time by Alexander the Great, by the German archaeologists who transferred Nebuchadnezzar’s Ishtar gate to Berlin, by Saddam Hussein, and by the ongoing conflict affecting the region.
Ellsworth Kelly, American, 1923–2015
White Relief Over Black (EK905), 2002
Oil on canvas, two joined panels
Gift of Jo Carole and Ronald S. Lauder, New York, to American Friends of the Israel Museum
White Relief Over Black is a continuation of Kelly’s studies in form and color, representing an important example of his late-career work. The artist’s trademark saturation of hues is reduced to two rectangular canvases—one painted a deep shade of black and the other pure white, placed on top of the first panel to create a new three-dimensional form.
Sol LeWitt, American, 1928–2007
Modular Cube/Base, 1967
Promised gift of Agnes and Edward Lee, London
Sol LeWitt’s Modular Cube/Base is a prime example of the minimalist principles that underpinned the artist’s ongoing interest in geometry and space. Consisting of a stacked, three-dimensional gridded structure placed precisely atop a flat, two-dimensional grid, this work embraces the purity of the square—a form LeWitt revisited throughout his career, beginning with his earliest works from the mid-1960s.
Doris Salcedo, Colombian, born 1958
Wall installation with drywall, shoes, cow bladder, and surgical thread, 120 x 198 cm
Gift of Ninah and Michael Lynne, New York, to American Friends of the Israel Museum
Doris Salcedo’s Atrabiliarios is a large-scale, process-driven wall installation that evokes the feelings of absence and loss inspired by the sudden disappearances that commonly occur in her home country of Colombia. In this work, Salcedo carves niches into a plaster wall and fills those niches with worn shoes donated by families of loved ones who have vanished. Carrying the imprint of the owner’s body, these shoes are then entombed within the wall and encased with cow membrane, symbolizing the process of internalizing memory. Barely visible through the membrane, the shoes become a haunting evocation of their absent owners.
Max Ernst, American and French, born Germany, 1891-1976
Loplop Presents, 1929
Oil on board, wooden cage, painted plaster
Gift to American Friends of the Israel Museum in memory of Edwin A. Bergman and Betty L. Bergman, Chicago
Surrealist artist Max Ernst identified with birds from the age of 14, when “one of his best friends, a most intelligent and affectionate pink cockatoo,” died on the same day his youngest sister was born. Over two decades later, in 1928, Ernst created his alter-ego Loplop, the "Bird Superior," referencing his own bird-like features with smooth fair hair, piercing eyes, and sharp nose. Loplop is typically shown presenting something or someone in the role of a narrator or commentator. Here, Loplop gestures toward a cage-like structure attached to the dense plaster surface of the painting, containing red and yellow geometric shapes representing three abstracted imprisoned birds.
Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, French, 1964–1901
Old Man at Celeyran, 1882
Oil on canvas, 54 x 46 cm
Promised gift of Marty Peretz, New York, to American Friends of the Israel Museum
This early work by Lautrec was painted the same year the artist moved from Albi to Paris. Studying under academic painter Fernand Cormon (1845–1924)—who encouraged his pupils to find subjects on the streets of Paris—Lautrec developed a personal, humanistic approach that prefigured the legendary posters he became associated with during his brief, yet prolific career. Old Man at Celeyran demonstrates the psychologicial insight Lautrec captured in his sitters and augments the Museum’s Post-Impressionist holdings with an important example of the artist’s rhythmic compositions.
25 French Paintings from the Collection of Alexis Gregory
François Boucher, French, 1703-1770
Allegory of Autumn: Putti Playing with a Goat, early 1730s
Oil on canvas, 72 x 72 cm
Promised gift of Alexis Gregory, New York, to American Friends of the Israel Museum
The collection of Alexis Gregory, New York, focuses on French paintings from the mid-17th to the early 19th century, including several of the most significant French painters working in this period, among them François Boucher, Jean-Honoré Fragonard, Charles Le Brun, and Simon Vouet. Although each of the artists represented were affiliated with the Royal Academy—including four painters serving as Premier peintre du roi under Louis XIV, Louis XV, or Louis XVI—the subjects of their works are extremely varied, ranging from biblical stories to portraits, landscapes, historical narratives, and allegorical scenes.
Among the paintings gifted in honor of the Museum’s 50th anniversary, François Boucher’s Allegory of Autumn: Putti Playing with a Goat (early 1730s) showcases the graceful and sensuous aesthetic of the artist, who played a fundamental role in developing the style made popular during the reign of Louis XV. This example was likely created shortly after Boucher’s return to Paris from Rome and references his experience touring the remains of the classical world.
A collection of 55 works of contemporary Israeli photography and video art
Purchased through the gift of Michael G. Jesselson, New York; Nathalie and Jean-Daniel Maman-Cohen, Paris; Marion and Guy Naggar, London; Lauren and Mitchell Presser, New York; and Roselyne C. Swig, San Francisco
Adding depth to an important chapter in the Museum’s extensive photographic holdings, this collection includes 55 works by contemporary Israeli photographers Ilit Azoulay, Micha Bar-Am, Deganit Berest, Yossi Breger, Dor Guez, Michal Heiman, Yehudit Sasportas, Assaf Shacham, and Rona Yefman, among others. This acquisition extends the Museum’s longstanding tradition of collecting the photographic work of new and established Israeli practitioners, further distinguishing it as one of the world’s leading holdings with more than 75,000 works spanning the history of the medium from the time of its invention to the present and reflecting developments in the medium both in Israel and worldwide. These newly acquired works will be on view beginning in May 2016 in the Museum’s annual New in Photography display.
Shiro Kuramata, Japanese, 1934–1961
Glass Chair, 1976
Glass and adhesive, limited edition 37/40
Gift of Richard Schlagman, Locarno
Manufactured by Mihoya Glass Co. Ltd., Tokyo
One of the most prominent designers in post-WWII Japan, Shiro Kuramata forged an aesthetic that combines Japanese minimalism with European Post-Modernism. An important example of his design approach, Glass Chair plays with viewers’ perceptions of functionality. The fragility of the chair’s glass material is offset by its durable physical properties, and its capacity to bear the weight of a seated person creates an element of surprise that transforms the automatic act of sitting into a conscious, cautious, and mindful experience.
Hotei Gosei, Japanese, active 1804–1844
Tea Harvesting in Uji near Kyoto, mid-1820s
Ink and natural pigment on paper; six-panel pair of screens
Gift of the Gitter-Yelen Collection, New Orleans and New York, to American Friends of the Israel Museum
This screen depicts the harvesting of the first tea leaves in early spring. By the early nineteenth century, Japan’s exclusive tea culture of the Imperial court became widespread, with Uji tea leaves being highly prized among city dwellers. In this panoramic view of endless tea fields, a group of fashionable women tour the protective tea sheds, where stylish workers seem to carry out with ease the arduous labor of picking tea leaves. An inscription reveals that the screen was commissioned by Senshuken, who was most likely a tea or sake merchant, as indicated by the family crest painted on the flags in the background. This work was gifted in honor of the Museum’s 50th Anniversary, along with Zen Buddhist Japanese scroll paintings from the early 15th to early 16th century by Lu Ji, Bian Jingzhao, Wu Jishan, and Wang Zhao, also from the Gitter-Yelen Collection.
Arts of Arts of Africa, Oceania, and the Americas
Edo people, Court of Benin, Nigeria
Benin Royal Bracelet, 16th century
Gift of the Faith-dorian and Martin Wright family, New York, to American Friends of the Israel Museum in memory of their son, Jordan M. Wright
This rare bronze bracelet from the Court of Benin in Nigeria features a relief and incised casting depicting a human face, assumed to be that of an Edo king. The abstract curvilinear forms radiating from this central design may represent the tails of mudfish, an important motif in Benin culture symbolizing eternal life. The Royal Bracelet adds to the Museum’s holdings in African art, whose earliest works date from the sixth century BCE to the third century CE with the latest dating from the late 19th to the early 20th century.
Five Precolumbian textiles, including textile panels, and textile strip
Paracas, Wari, and Lambayeque, Peru
Textile Panel with Fishing Scene, 900–1350 CE
Camelid, cotton, pigment
Gift of Charles and Valerie Diker, New York, to American Friends of the Israel Museum
Among five Precolumbian textiles gifted to the Museum in 2015, this narrative panel underscores the llama’s centrality to Lambayeque culture and ritual as an Andean symbol of fertility and abundance. Flanking the god are four attendants shown in profile with llama motifs on their headresses. Their formation recalls the natural occurance of female llamas herding or gathering around another female in labor in order to protect her from potential predators. This gift further enriches the Museum’s significant collection of Andean textiles, which includes examples ranging from 200 BCE to the 15th century.
Jewish Art and Life
26 objects of European Jewish Ritual Art from the Collection of Charles Michael
16th – 19th century
Gift of Charles Michael, San Francisco, to American Friends of the Israel Museum
This donation covers a wide range of silver ritual objects from Eastern Europe, Germany, Holland, Italy, and the United Kingdom, dating from the 16th century through the 19th century. The collection consists of ceremonial artifacts typically used in the synagogue, including a Torah crown, finials, shield and pointers; private ritual objects such as spice containers and Kiddush cups; together with objects which relate to the philanthropic realm of Jewish life, including a monumental decorative German beaker with a burial society inscription dated 1590, the earliest cup of its kind in the collection. Other highlights include a rare pair of eighteenth century Torah finials manufactured by the "Queen of English Silversmith," Hester Bateman of London, in the neo-classical style and a late 18th century Torah shield from Lemberg, Austrian Empire, engraved with a depiction of the Binding of Isaac and a detailed plan of the Second Temple of Jerusalem.
Continuing the legacy of his parents, Charles Michael's gift is a major addition to the Museum’s holdings, further enhancing its position as the world’s most comprehensive collection of Jewish Art and Life.
Ancient Greco-Roman art and Roman and Near-Eastern glass vessels
Promised gift of Renée and Robert Belfer, New York, to American Friends of the Israel Museum
Considered among the most significant private holdings of antiquities in the world, the collection of Renée and Robert Belfer, New York, features hundreds of ancient Greco-Roman and Near-Eastern glass vessels—recognized as some of the most impressive specimens of their kind—as well as important examples of Greco-Roman sculpture in bronze and marble. The Belfer Collection enables the Museum to strengthen its archaeological representation of the important history of ancient Israel’s neighboring cultures and the foundational role that Greco-Roman civilization played in the history of the region.
The collection is particularly notable for its exceptional holdings of ancient glass from the earliest stages of glass production in the Late Bronze Age through the Islamic period, including extremely rare and exquisitely preserved pieces, which are a significant addition to the Museum’s holdings, given the role of ancient Israel in the history of early glass production. Other key works in the collection include Greek, Southern Italian, and Etruscan pottery; Greek and Roman sculpture and relief work; and frescoes and mosaics.
Israel Museum Announces 2016 Exhibition Highlights
Exhibitions in Archaeology, Fine Arts, and Architecture
Reflect on Cross-Cultural Exchange Spanning Millennia
Jerusalem, Israel (January 7, 2015) –The Israel Museum, Jerusalem today announced its upcoming program of exhibitions for 2016, following the conclusion of its 50th Anniversary celebrations throughout 2015. From focused presentations of international contemporary artists to exhibitions exploring cross-cultural themes, the Museum’s 2016 program embraces topics spanning continents, genres, and time periods.
Georges Adéagbo, Preparatory installation, 2015
Highlights from the 2016 season include:
Georges Adéagbo: Africa in Jerusalem, February 17 - May 6, 2016
Benin-based artist Georges Adéagbo creates a site-specific installation for the Israel Museum’s Focus Gallery. A strong, distinctive voice in the contemporary art world since the mid-1990s, Adéagbo’s floor and wall installations present a complex network of concepts and associations reflected in materials collected during extensive stays in Israel and Benin. Using his own texts, found objects, and books, as well as paintings and sculptures created by his studio colleagues in Cotonou, Adéagbo constructs complex collages—termed by him as “Horizontal Archaeology”—that explore how individuals interpret cultures and the history of a place based on their own experiences. For his installation at the Israel Museum, the artist traveled throughout Israel, merging findings from his trip with his own idiosyncratic narratives and visual associations.
The exhibition is curated by Rita Kersting, Landeau Family Curator of Contemporary Art.
Efrat Natan, Sunflower for Tamar, 1994
Efrat Natan: Tar and Lime, April 20 – October 29, 2016
This retrospective exhibition surveys more than four decades of creative output by the Israeli multi-disciplinary artist Efrat Natan, including works from the early 1970s, alongside new works not previously exhibited. Born in 1947 and raised in Kibbutz Kfar Rupin, Natan is one of the pioneers of conceptual and body art in Israel. Throughout her career, Natan has created a vocabulary of powerfully charged visual imagery that draws upon her own biography, the collective Israeli experience, and events in Israel today, as well as on Western and non-Western art historical traditions.
The exhibition is curated by Aya Miron, Associate Curator, David Orgler Department of Israeli Art.
The Distance of a Day: Connections and Disconnections in Contemporary Art,
April 20 – October 29, 2016
This exhibition presents a selection of works recently acquired for the Museum’s collection of contemporary art by some of today's most creative practitioners, among them Nina Canell, Jesse Darling, Petrit Halilaj, Lyle Ashton Harris, David Horwitz, Tala Madani, Roman Ondak, Seth Price, and Paloma Varga-Weisz. Exploring images of linkage and connection, as well as of interruption and detachment in both material and conceptual manifestations, the exhibition takes its title from The Distance of the Day (2013), a video work by David Horwitz presented on two iPhone screens showing the rising and setting of the sun as filmed by the artist and his mother simultaneously on two sides of the globe.
The exhibition is curated by Rita Kersting, Landeau Family Curator of Contemporary Art.
Wire(Less) Connections, May 25, 2016 – March 18, 2017
Thread, yarn, string, fiber, wire, cord, and rope—whether thin or thick, fine or coarse, natural or man-made, they share the ability to join things together. This year’s annual exhibition in the Ruth Youth Wing for Art Education highlights the essential role that connecting threads play in life both today and throughout the centuries. Featuring contemporary and historical works drawn primarily from the Museum’s collections, the exhibition explores notions of connection from biological and familial ties to social and technological connections in today’s wireless world.
The exhibition is curated by Daniella Shalev, Curator of Educational Programs & Events.
Pierre Huyghe, June 2 – September 24, 2016
The most recent video work by acclaimed contemporary artist Pierre Huyghe, Human Mask (2014)—a mesmerizing and disconcerting 19-minute film—responds to a YouTube clip entitled Fuku-chan Monkey in wig, mask, works Restaurant!, depicting an actual incident in which a monkey—outfitted with the mask of a young girl—was trained to work as a waitress at a restaurant in Fukushima, Japan. Following the nuclear disaster in 2011, Huyghe used a drone camera to scale the site’s wreckage and to document scenes of the monkey alone in its habitat, silhouetted against a dark and empty restaurant interior. In this dystopian setting, the monkey acts out the human condition as she endlessly repeats her unconscious role, highlighting the artist’s ongoing exploration of the relationship between animals and humans.
The exhibition is curated by Rita Kersting, Landeau Family Curator of Contemporary Art.
Picasso on Paper: From the Israel Museum Collection, July 1 – November 12, 2016
Tracing Picasso’s artistic development, this extensive presentation features over 200 drawings and prints from the Israel Museum’s own holdings, amplified by important loans from other museum collections. On view will be the complete production of Picasso’s Vollard Suite—considered one of the most important series of prints executed in the 20th century—revealing the artist’s developing interest in classical sculpture and including 100 etchings realized by the artist between 1930–1937 for his dealer Ambroise Vollard. The complete set of Suite 347, among the last hand-signed etchings Picasso ever created, will also be on view. Produced with rapid speed by the artist in Mougins, France, between March and October 1968, this set of 347 etchings reprises Picasso’s artistic autobiography, replete with references to art historical influences and to his own life’s work, all merged together through Picasso’s signature stream-of-consciousness. Throughout the exhibition, paintings from the Museum’s own extensive holdings together with important loans from The Museum of Modern Art, New York, and the Musée Picasso, Paris, will signal the chapters in Picasso’s unparalleled creative history.
The exhibition is curated by Tanya Sirakovich, Michael Bromberg Head Curator, Ruth and Joseph Bromberg Department of Prints and Drawings.
Architecture in Palestine during the British Mandate (1917-1948),
July 1 – December 31, 2016
Exploring another dimension of European influence on the evolution of Israel’s modernist visual heritage, this exhibition examines the significant impact of early 20th-century European modernism on the architectural language of Palestine during the period of the British Mandate, which came to be known in Palestine as White Architecture. Architecture in Palestine draws inspiration from the extensive research of Israel Prize laureate architect Ada Karmi-Melamede and architect Dan Price, whose accompanying book of the same title explores not only the tectonic and functional aspects of this new architecture, but also the relationships among values, place, and form that influenced the formation of this new language in a new land. The exhibition features documentary, analytical, and interpretive drawings—a practice Karmi-Melamede revived and developed counter to the trend of the computer age—that provide an alternative understanding of modern architecture as an evolving language, together with stunning archival photography of some of the iconic architectural projects of the time.
The exhibition is curated and designed by Oren Sagiv, Chief of Exhibition Design, The Israel Museum, Jerusalem.
Jesus in Israeli Art, December 25, 2016 – March 5, 2017
This exhibition and accompanying research-based catalogue will investigate for the first time the appearance of the figure of Jesus in Israeli art as a significant, multifaceted, and ever-present phenomenon, and the evolving attitudes of Jewish, Zionist pre-state, and Israeli artists toward Jesus. With artworks spanning the period from the second half of the 19th century through today, Jesus in Israeli Art will examine the complex dimensions of the image of Jesus throughout the history of Judaism and how it has become a critical presence in the story of Jewish and Israeli art. Showcasing the evolution of this symbolic presence, from signifying the persecution of Jews and their victimhood to personifying national resurrection, the exhibition shows the figure of Jesus as a central symbol in Israeli art and provides a new perspective on Israel’s artistic progression. Featured artists include Joshua Borkovsky, Marc Chagall, Maurycy Gottlieb, Moshe Gershuni, Sigalit Landau Ephraim Moses Lilien, Motti Mizrachi, Efrat Natan, Adi Nes, Abel Pann, Reuven Rubin, and Yigal Tumarkin.
The exhibition is curated by Dr. Amitai Mendelsohn, Curator, David Orgler Department of Israeli Art.
Bronze portraits of the Emperor Hadrian, from the British Museum (left);
the Israel Museum (center); and the Louvre (right)
Photo:©Elie Posner, Israel Museum, Jerusalem
50th Anniversary Exhibitions in 2016: Hadrian: An Emperor Cast in Bronze, December 22, 2015 – June 30, 2016The only three extant bronze portraits of the Emperor Hadrian (117-138 CE) are brought together for a first-time display in the Israel Museum’s Archaeology Wing, marking a symbolic return of the Emperor to Jerusalem, whose last visit to the city was in 130 CE. From among the thousands of bronze portraits that dotted the landscape of Hadrian’s empire, only three survive. The Israel Museum’s bronze, which was found in a Roman legion camp near Beth Shean in the north of Israel, depicts the emperor in military garb with beautifully preserved body armor. It is flanked by two other extraordinary examples: one from the British Museum found in 1834 in the river Thames, which may have been created to commemorate Hadrian's visit to Britain in 122 CE; the other, from the collection of the Louvre Museum, considered to have originated in Egypt or Asia Minor. The exhibition is curated by David Mevorach, Senior Curator of Hellenistic, Roman, and Byzantine Archaeology, and Rachel Caine-Kreinin, Associate Curator, together with Thorsten Opper, Curator of Greek and Roman Sculpture, The British Museum.
Exhibition Brings Together Only Surviving 2nd-Century
Bronze Portraits of the Emperor Hadrian for the First Time
Featuring Loans from the British Museum and the Louvre in Dialogue with the Israel Museum’s Portrait Bust,
this Special Display Caps the Museum’s 50th Anniversary Celebrations
Bronze portraits of the Emperor Hadrian, from the British Museum (left); the Israel Museum (center); and the Louvre (right) Photo:©Elie Posner, Israel Museum, Jerusalem
Jerusalem, Israel (December 20, 2015) – Three extant bronze portraits of Publius Aelius Hadrianus—better known as the Emperor Hadrian (117 – 138 CE), one of the boldest and most accomplished rulers of the Roman Empire—are brought together for a first-time display in the Israel Museum’s Archaeology Wing, marking a symbolic return of the Emperor to Jerusalem, whose last visit to the city was in 130 CE. Opening December 22, Hadrian: An Emperor Cast in Bronze, concludes the Israel Museum’s celebrations of its 50th anniversary throughout 2015, and is among a series of special displays spotlighting masterworks from sister institutions loaned in tribute to the Museum and presented in dialogue with works from the Museum's own holdings.
Of the many bronze portraits of Hadrian that are known to have existed, only three survive. The Israel Museum’s bronze, which was found in a Roman legion camp near Beth Shean in the north of Israel, depicts the emperor in military garb with beautifully preserved body armor. It is flanked by two other extraordinary examples: one from the British Museum found in 1834 in the river Thames, which may have been created to commemorate Hadrian's visit to Britain in 122 CE; the other, from the collection of the Louvre, considered to have originated in Egypt or Asia Minor. Such portraits offered an important means in their time for conveying imperial authority, with statues being erected as civic and military monuments to reinforce the breadth of the Emperor Hadrian’s rule.
The return of Hadrian to Jerusalem celebrates in a way the emperor's last visit to Judea in 130 CE, contextualized through the first-time presentation of a monumental Latin dedicatory inscription erected by the 10th Roman Legion in Jerusalem in that same year. One section of the inscription was unearthed in 1903, and the other was discovered during recent excavations in 2014 by the Israel Antiquities Authority. The two parts of the inscription are joined here for the first time, on loan from The Israel Antiquities Authority and the Studium Biblicum Franciscanum Museum, Jerusalem.
“As we conclude the year-long celebrations of our 50th anniversary, we are especially grateful for our meaningful partnerships with the Louvre and the British Museum, whose loans serve as a powerful metaphor for the international and inter-cultural connections we have fostered throughout the Museum’s history,” said James S. Snyder, Anne and Jerome Fisher Director of the Israel Museum. “The dialogue with our own Hadrian created by the adjacency of these visiting masterpieces is quite extraordinary, and we look forward—especially in the complex times in which we live today—to continuing this essential level of cultural collaboration with sister institutions internationally, illustrating the remarkable and remarkably continuous history of world culture that we preserve and share together.”
“Following our loan of Princess Hélène of Adiabène’s sarcophagus in 2011, which had never left France previously, the inclusion of the Louvre's Hadrian bronze portrait in this display signifies the cooperation between the Musée du Louvre and the Israel Museum and demonstrates the desire to develop even stronger ties,” said Jean-Luc Martinez, President and Director of the Musée du Louvre.
Neil MacGregor, Director of the British Museum said, "When the British Museum mounted its exhibition, Hadrian: Empire and Conflict in 2008, the Israel Museum made outstandingly generous loans to the exhibition, which was seen by over a quarter of a million visitors. It is a great pleasure to be able to reciprocate that generosity and to celebrate the Israel Museum's 50th Anniversary by lending this great sculpture to Jerusalem."
Like his predecessors, Emperor Hadrian was immortalized in bronze and marble statues. These statues, which were sent throughout Rome’s provinces as a demonstration of Rome’s imperial power, possessed political as well as cultic significance, and some were venerated as the embodiment of the divine Caesar.
These three images are seemingly alike, yet each possesses a unique set of characteristics which highlight the multifaceted and contradictory character of Hadrian, known not only as an astute general and politician, but also as a benevolent ruler who was well-versed in disciplines such as architecture, geometry, literature, poetry, and philosophy. The display of the three portraits also stimulates a discussion of two diametrically opposed views of Hadrian’s rule: the accepted view of Hadrian as a scholarly peacemaker and protector who built the iconic wall across northern Britain, and the contrary perception in his own time of Hadrian as "the bone grinder," the destroyer of Judea.
Hadrian: An Emperor Cast in Bronze is on display through June 30, 2016. The exhibition is curated by David Mevorach, Senior Curator of Hellenistic, Roman, and Byzantine Archaeology, and Rachel Caine-Kreinin, Associate Curator, together with Thorsten Opper, Senior Curator, Department of Greece and Rome, The British Museum.
The Israel Museum is the largest cultural institution in the State of Israel and is ranked among the leading art and archaeology museums in the world. Founded in 1965, the Museum houses encyclopedic collections ranging from prehistory through contemporary art and includes the most extensive holdings of Biblical and Holy Land archaeology in the world, among them the Dead Sea Scrolls. Over its first fifty years, the Museum has built a far-ranging collection of more than 500,000 objects through an unparalleled legacy of gifts and support from its circle of patrons worldwide.
The Museum’s 20-acre campus, which underwent a comprehensive renewal in 2010 designed by James Carpenter Design Associates and Efrat-Kowalsky Architects, features the Billy Rose Art Garden, the Shrine of the Book, and more than 225,000 square feet of collection gallery and temporary exhibition space. The Museum also organizes programming at its off-site locations in Jerusalem at the Rockefeller Archaeological Museum, where it presents archaeological artifacts from the Land of Israel; and at its historic Ticho House, a venue for exhibitions of contemporary Israeli art.
The Shrine of the Book houses the Dead Sea Scrolls, among these the world's oldest biblical manuscripts, as well as other rare biblical manuscripts. This monumental structure has become an icon in Israel and around the world, its shrine-like interior affording visitors a rich spiritual experience.
The Museum is celebrating its 50th anniversary throughout 2015, with a year-long program devoted to an exploration of Israel’s aesthetic heritage in the fifty years before and after its founding.
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