Museums in Israel

Current Exhibitions

Mike Darnell

Museums in IsraelThis year many crews will arrive to cover Israel’s 60 Years of Statehood. Make sure not to miss out on some of the interesting cultural events that accompany this celebration.

Mike Darnell is one of Israel’s leading independent digital artists. An autodidact at heart, he briefly studied Industrial Design at Hadassah College in Jerusalem. Mike Darnell’s work pays tribute to the digital revolution, which he says to be the most influential factor in his life. His work has been showcased in numerous art galleries around the country. Mike works as a consultant and lecturer, and he is a member of staff at Holon Institute of Technology. For more information on this inspiring artist and current exhibitions, please follow this link: – your place to browse and buy fine original pop art giclee prints with biblical, Israeli, Jewish, mythical, and political themes.



Ticho House – Homes of Others

Museums in IsraelThe Ticho House is one of the oldest and most beautiful houses in Jerusalem and situated in Jerusalem’s downtown area. It is named after its owners, Dr. Avraham Ticho and his wife Anna Ticho, one of Israel’s beloved painters. The house hosts still hosts a permanent exhibition of Anna Ticho’s works, but also temporary exhibitions.

The newest exhibition at the Ticho House explores through photography and video art the emotional echoes of houses, whose occupants are absent. Well-known contemporary Israeli artists have contributed to Homes of Others, reflecting on themes such as family, private space, memories, and intrusion in various ways. Homes of Others is open from March 7 through May 14, 2008 and is curated by Aya Miron. The Ticho House also hosts the Little Jerusalem Cafe, which offers delicious food and special weekly events.

Beno Rottenberg – Photography Exhibit

The Eretz Israel Museum in Tel Aviv recently opened a photography exhibit dedicated to the works of Beno Rottenberg. Rottenberg arrived in Israel from Germany in 1933 at the age of 19. The exhibit is a collection of 300 fascinating photographs taken by Rottenberg between the years 1947 and 1957. The collection includes photographs of the War of Independence, life in Tel Aviv during the war, the Luna Park in Jaffa, immigrants arriving in the Haifa port, life in immigrant communities across Israel, day to day life in Jerusalem, and archeological digs. The photographs in the exhibit document some of the most significant aspects of life in Israel during the first decade of its existence.

Exhibit open until October 30, 2007

Museums in Israel Museums in Israel

Landscape of Longing: Avraham Ofek’s Early and Late Works

The Israel Museum in Jerusalem is opening a new exhibit on March 16 that will be on view through June 18, 2007, featuring the works of Israeli artist Avraham Ofek. The exhibit contains some seventy paintings and drawings, focusing on Ofek’s early works from the 1950’s and their relationship with his later works before his death in 1990. His later works often feature the Jerusalem landscape and reflect a sense of loss and despair.

“Surrealism and Beyond” at the Israel Museum

The Israel Museum in Jerusalem is opening a new exhibit entitled “Surrealism and Beyond,” that will be on view from February 27 – June 30, 2007. The exhibit consists of various works from the museum’s collections dealing with surrealism – its roots in the Dada movement, and its reflection in contemporary art. Artists on display include Dali, Duchamp, Magritte, and Man Ray, as well as the contemporary American artist Mark Dion whose works were especially commissioned for this exhibit. “Dion’s installation shows the artist’s lively engagement with Dada and Surrealist preoccupations,” says Adina Kamien-Kazhdan, Acting Curator of Modern Art at the Israel Museum and curator of the exhibition. The exhibit is divided into sections based on common themes found in surrealist art including: Automatism and Its Evolution, Desire, Illusion and Dreamscape, Biomorphism and Metamorphosis, and Marvelous Juxtapositions.
For more information see the museum’s web site:
Telephone: 02-670-8811

Prophets and Visionaries Reuven Rubin’s Early Years: 1914 1923

On exhibit in the Israel Museum in Jerusalem, is a collection of Reuven Rubin’s early work. Rubin, an Israeli artist born in Romania, is mostly known for his Israeli art, but in the exhibit you will find some of his early works from his life in Romania. The paintings depict personal religious experiences, Biblical themes, Zionist ideas, and the image of Jesus.
Closing: 10/2/07

New Exhibit at the Eretz Israel Museum, Tel Aviv:
Coffee Shops in Tel Aviv 1920-1980

Coffee shops of all shapes and sizes have been a central part of Tel Aviv life for many years. This new exhibit at the Eretz Israel Museum tells the story of the abundant cafes that have lined the city’s streets and at the same time reveals a fascinating side of the city and the development of Israeli culture. The exhibit begins in 1920 when coffee shops first appeared and continues through the 1970s. It looks at a range of coffee shops, including Arab coffee houses in Jaffa where people sat on low stools and smoked hookah, to the fancy cafes on the beachfront that appeared with the advent of the large hotels. Over the years European immigrants streamed into the city, changing the nature of the coffee shops, which eventually became entertainment centers where people would meet to dance and socialize. The exhibit constitutes the first attempt to explore in-depth Tel Aviv coffee shops through the use of different media.
Open until May 20th, 2007

Museums in Israel Museums in Israel

New Exhibit at the Israel Museum: Recent Acquisitions in Contemporary Art

The Israel Museum in Jerusalem houses an eclectic collection of artwork and artifacts, and their latest exhibit reflects the museum’s broad approach to art collection. The exhibit is made up of an assortment of contemporary art pieces, gathered over the past five years from Israel and from around the world. The selection consists of sculptures, video works, installations, and photography. Some of the exhibit’s highlights include:

Efrat Natan, Israeli, born 1947

Swing of the Scythe, 2002
Lacquered iron
Sculpture of a man swinging a scythe, a symbol of the Zionist movement that believed in the supreme value of working the land. Alternatively, the scythe in European culture connotes “the Grim Reaper” and “Father time.” The sculpture is a physical, three-dimensional representation of the movement of a reaper. The sculpture is based on a film of a man reaping, which was broken down by a computer into twelve images. The artistic process Natan used is connected to the history of photography and the early days of cinema – most notably, with the chronophotography of Eadweard Muybridge and Etienne-Jules Marey, who explored human and animal movement by breaking down the flow of the motions into individual images.

Erez Israeli, Israeli, born 1974
Fields of Flowers, 2005
Glass beads threaded on plastic netting
A stunning field of wild poppies made from colored glass beads that Erez Israeli individually threaded. The work is reminiscent of a hike through a field of flowers in Israel, however the red flowers, symbolizing blood, disrupt the beauty. The work also includes an image of a grave surrounded by wild flowers.

Michaël Borremans, Belgian, born 1963
Weight, 2005
DVD, 9:44 mins.; LCD screen in oak-wood frame
The artwork consists of an image of a mysterious girl rotating in a small screen. Borremans bases his work on old photographs from the 1930s, ‘40s, and ‘50s and the images reflect this time period.

Susan Hiller, born US 1940, lives and works in London
The J-Street Project (Index), 2002–5
Wall-based installation: 303 archival color inkjets mounted on Kapaline, oak frames, map and index in adhesive vinyl

An eerie look at street signs named after Jews who were exterminated in Nazi Germany. The artist, Hiller, spent three years photographing the streets compiling 300 photographs, as well as a film and a book.

Fikret Atay, Turkish, born 1976
Lalo’s Story, 2004
DVD projection, 4:58 mins.

A tale told by a young man to the artist’s grandfather. The story is told in a manner based on Kurdish folk rituals, which includes singing, dancing, and acting. Through his work the artist explores the connection between east and west and the younger and older generations.

Cao Fei, Chinese, born 1978
City Watcher, 2004
Tussle, 2004
From the “COSPlayers” series, Digital C-print

A series of stills taken from a video work by the artist, Cao Fei, who belongs to a new generation of young urban Chinese who call themselves Xinxin Renlei (New-New Human Beings). One of the unique practices of this group of youth is to dress up like characters from Japanese video games, comics, and animated films. The game is called “COSPlayers” (short for Costume Players). When they are dressed up they reenact mythic battles to save the world from destruction. The youngsters who partake in this game and appear in Fei’s photographs come from poor neighborhoods in China.

The exhibit closes on the 27th of December 2006.
For more information on the museum:
Tel.: 02-6708811


Yad Vashem
The Martyrs’ and Heroes’ Remembrance Authority
P.O.B. 3477
Jerusalem 91034 Israel
Tel.: 02 6443400
Tel.: 1 800 25777

Since 1953, the State of Israel has attempted at the Yad Vashem Museum to at least give visitors an appreciation of the scope of the tragedy of the Holocaust. Every available artifact, document, story and picture that would give the visitor a sense of the reality of the tragedy has been presented. With more than 2,500 items on exhibit the Yad Vashem Museum has tried to include both the unique and representative. However as time went up, the directors and staff of the museum began to be concerned that the Museum would not be able to meet the challenges of contemporary events. With this in mind and at a cost of $40 million, Yad Vashem began a massive construction program in year 2000. On March 15, 2005, a new Holocaust History Museum, on 4,200 square meters was dedicated. The new Museum is even richer in authentic artifacts and documents, and the Art Museum displays the world’s most extensive collection of Holocaust Art.

The Israel Museum, Jerusalem
Ruppin Blvd., near the Knesset (Israeli Parliament).
POB 71117
Jerusalem 91710
Tel.: 02-6708811; Fax: 972-2-5631833

Since it first opened its doors to the public in 1965, the Israel Museum in Jerusalem has become one of the foremost museums for the scope and quality of its art and archaeology exhibitions: Archaeology of the Holy Land, Judaica, Jewish Ethnography, Old Masters through Contemporary Art and separate departments for Asian Art; the Arts of Africa; Oceania and Americas; Prints and Drawings.

Tower of David -The Citadel
Jaffa Gate, Old City
Tel.: 02-6265333

The Citadel of Jerusalem as it appears today is a wall that has had a long history, certainly dating back to King Herod, and earlier. Now there is a museum that teaches about the history of the Citadel and Jerusalem by means of films, maps, and reconstruction models. There are excavations of the original palace and a nice courtyard with displays. The 1:599 scale model of Jerusalem is especially interesting. Its towers and ramparts afford a splendid panoramic view of Jerusalem and all the surrounding area. In the summer you can enjoy dazzling sound and light shows.

L.S. Mayer Museum of Islamic Art
2- Ha Palmach Street
Tel.: 02-5661291

The L.S. Mayer Museum of Islamic Art is well worth visiting. The permanent collection of Islamic art encompasses all the major periods of Islamic art; the visiting exhibitions are excellent. There is an outstanding display of folk craft of the region, including a wonderful collection of Palestinian costumes and embroidery, and the Islamic jewelry gallery is a pleasure for the eyes. The museum also houses a large and fascinating international collection of clocks, and famous watches. In 1999, an enchanting collection of Islamic carpets became part of the permanent exhibit.
This museum would not be the first on my schedule but for people with a special interest in its subject matter, a visit is worthwhile.

The Rockefeller Museum
Opening Hours
The Rockefeller Museum
Sultan Suleman Street
East Jerusalem (Near the Flower Gate)
Tel.: 02-628-2251 Fax: 02-627-1926

The first building constructed expressly as a national museum, the Rockefeller Museum, was funded by millionaire John D. Rockefeller Jr. and was built over a 15-year period, finally being completed in the late 1930’s. Located in Eastern Jerusalem, the fascinating museum was originally known as the Palestine Archaeological Museum. The museum’s collection includes significant finds from major excavations in Israel conducted in the early twentieth century. In addition to the main collection there are several smaller exhibition rooms, each addressing a special topic, including: stucco elements and statuary from Hisham’s Palace near Jericho; carved wood doors and panels from the Al-Aqsa Mosque on the Temple Mount; lintels from the Church of the Holy Sepulchre; and smaller rooms with collections of coins and gold jewelry. The museum stands out for its unique architecture, its history, and of course the rare artifacts that it houses.

The Menachem Begin Heritage Foundation
The Museum is open Sunday through Thursday,
First tour 9 AM – last tour 4:30 PM
Friday & Holiday Eve, first tour 9 AM last tour 12 PM
Tuesday, extended hours, last tour 7 PM
Telephone reservations: 02-5652020
Address: 6 S.A. Nahon St., Jerusalem, 94110

The Begin center was established to commemorate one of Israel’s outstanding leaders, Menachem Begin, the sixth Prime Minister of Israel and Nobel Peace Prize recipient. The center offers a multi-media museum tour about his life, and it houses an archive with materials relating to Begin (for a review of his life see the articles section of this website).
Reservations are necessary for visiting the museum and archives.

Tel Aviv

Tel Aviv Museum of Art
27 Shaul Hamelech Boulevard
Tel.: 03-6077000

The museum is home to some of the best Israeli paintings and sculpture from 1920 till today. It also has an impressive collection of 16th – 19th century European art and a major collection of Modern and Contemporary Art covering Impressionism, Post-Impressionism, and 20th century European and American Art. The museum hosts wide-ranging temporary exhibitions on art and photography and a calendar of stimulating cultural events.

Beth Hatefutsoth – Diaspora Museum
Tel Aviv University
Klausner Street, Gate 2
Tel.: 03-6408000

The museum, which is located on the university campus in Ramat Aviv, depicts the global history of the Jewish Diaspora, from the exile of the Jewish people from the Land of Israel 2500 years ago until the present day. One of the most innovative museums in the world, the Diaspora Museum enables visitors to witness and learn about the immense diversity of Jewish life through an impressive array of photographic, visual and audio exhibits. The museum also hosts temporary exhibitions. Its web site “The Museum of the Jewish People ONLINE” is a popular address for all those searching for information on the Jewish people.

Bauhaus Center
155 Dizengoff
Tel.: 03-5221010

Surprisingly, Tel Aviv has more Bauhaus buildings that any other city in the world, so many indeed that it was recently designated by Unesco as a World Heritage Site. The buildings were designed by Bauhaus architects who immigrated to Israel from Europe in the 1930s and were influenced by the work of Le Corbusier and Walter Gropius. Notable among them were Erich Mendelsohn, and Genia Averbuch designer of the famed Dizengoff Circle. All in all some 4000 Bauhaus buildings were built in the 1930s – a development which turned the city center into a quasi “open air Bauhaus museum” and earned Tel Aviv the nickname “White City.”

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