50th Anniversary Exhibitions at the Israel Museum

Everyone is invited to celebrate the Israel Museum’s 50th anniversary on May 11.

By JERUSALEM POST STAFF
April 30, 2015 17:51
The Israel Museum.

Brief History of Humankind: Pebble figurines, Sha'ar Hagolan and Munhata, Jordan Valley, 8000 years old.. (photo credit: IAA)

 
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1965 TODAY
Return to a simpler time and take a look at the country as it was through original everyday objects, art pieces and film. Israel’s emerging art scene is presented, with more than 50 artworks created by leading Israeli artists of the time. Sit and watch Geva and Carmel newsreels that Israelis saw at the cinema or take in a few personal home movies, which add an authentic voice to the soundtrack of the time.

A BRIEF HISTORY OF HUMANKIND
Inspired by Yuval Noah Harari’s best-selling book, the exhibition presents pivotal objects from the Museum's collections that tell the story of civilization, weaving rare archeological finds and historically significant objects with contemporary artworks: See the first signs of the use of fire some 800,000 years ago, the earliest evidence of the agricultural revolution, the invention of writing, up to Albert Einstein’s Special Theory of Relativity and the revolution it caused in our worldview.

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HAPPY BIRTHDAY
This fun and thought-provoking exhibition explores the colorful and enticing packaging surrounding the exciting annual event. Take part in a rainy birthday party without getting wet, be a guest in a guest-less birthday party or participate in a celebration for animals only. Featuring photographs of birthdays – real and imagined – this exhibition presents a reflective look at the celebration and its participants. (See article on p. 14)

ISRAELI ART – THE RENEWED COLLECTION GALLERIES
Presenting works by some of Israel’s foremost artists from the beginning of the 20th century to the present, the renewed galleries convey the wealth of movements and voices that make up the history of Israeli art. Featured artists include Itzhak Danziger, Yosef Zaritsky, Lea Nikel, Naftali Bezem, Mordecai Ardon, David Reeb, Larry Abramson, Ruth Schloss, Assem Abu Shakra, Dalia Amotz and Michael Gross.

6 ARTISTS 6 PROJECTS
This group of six solo exhibitions by Israeli artists features remarkably original and inspiring projects on view to the public for the first time. In Apollo and the Chimney-Sweeper, Uri Gershuni takes a visual stroll through photography pioneer William Henry Fox Talbot’s hometown. Gilad Ratman’s Five Bands from Romania follows five heavy-metal bands that perform with their amplifiers buried in the ground. A series of photographs creates a panoramic, almost pastoral, view of the Gaza skyline in Roi Kuper’s Gaza Dream. Dana Levy’s Literature of Storms is brewing within the pages of a 1920s design magazine.

Ido Michaeli’s Bank Hapoalim Carpet was handwoven in Afghanistan and features 100 images of Israeli icons. Tamir Lichtenberg’s Package Deal contains artworks sold to collectors inside closed packages.

TOGETHER AGAIN:
A Renaissance Mishneh Torah from the Vatican Library and the Israel Museum



On display for the first time in Jerusalem are two volumes of a rare illuminated manuscript of the Mishneh Torah by Maimonides (1135–1204). Produced in northern Italy circa 1457, it is considered to be one of the most beautifully illuminated manuscripts of work.

ARISTOCRATIC TASTE – ANCIENT ART FROM THE BELFER COLLECTION
This major collection of more than 300 ancient Roman and Near Eastern artifacts on display to the public for the first time, was kept in Robert and Renée Belfer’s home in New York. “Aristocratic Taste” includes exquisite glass vessels, pottery, sculptures and mosaics that offer a glimpse into the life of ancient Roman nobles whose sumptuous villas were adorned with similar treasures.
Opens June 2

EXHIBITION-IN-A-BOX
Dozens of boxes containing works from 50 years of annual Youth Wing exhibitions are dispersed and stacked in the galleries and visitors are invited to peek inside, reminisce about past exhibitions, find the hidden surprise and reflect on the past 50 years and in the art world.

REMBRANDT, FROM AMSTERDAM AND JERUSALEM
On special loan for the museum’s 50th anniversary is The Prophet Jeremiah Lamenting the Destruction of Jerusalem, an exquisite painting from the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam. It is displayed alongside the museum’s own Rembrandt masterpiece, St. Peter in Prison, together with prints by Rembrandt depicting Bible and New Testament themes, oils by Rembrandt’s teacher and prominent pupils.
Opens June 3

AND THEN THERE WAS NANO – THE SMALLEST BIBLE IN THE WORLD
The world’s tiniest version of the Hebrew Bible contains more than 1.2 million letters and is engraved into a gold silicon chip the size of a grain of sugar.

This hi-tech miracle was created at Haifa’s Technion Israel Institute of Technology in honor of the 50th anniversary of the Shrine of the Book, home of the Dead Sea Scrolls. The text engraved on the chip needs to be magnified 10,000 times in order to be legible. The exhibition writes a new chapter in the journey of the Book of Books from antiquity to the present – from the 2,000-year-old Dead Sea Scrolls to the 21st-century Nano Bible.

BAROQUE AND ROCOCO TREASURES
French Paintings from the Alexis Gregory Collection Displayed to the public for the first time is a selection of 30 artworks from the private collection of New York collector Alexis Gregory, featuring works by some of the greatest French painters of the 17th to the early 19th centuries: Jean-Honoré Fragonard, François Boucher and Charles Le Brun.

Other exquisite objets d’art from this rich and important collection are also on display.
Opens June 8

THE ARTIST AND THE STUDIO
Spanning more than 400 years, this exhibition explores the intimate surroundings in which great artists create their works.

On display are works from the 16th and 17th centuries by Baroque masters such as Annibale Carracci, Rembrandt and Anthony van Dyck alongside modern works by artists including Max Libermann, Leonid Pasternak and Gabriele Münter and by Israeli artists Avigdor Arikha, David Ginton and David Wakstein.

THE ARCHITECTURE OF THE SHRINE OF THE BOOK
Marking the Shrine of the Book’s 50th anniversary, this exhibition is devoted to the design of the Shrine itself – an icon of modernist architecture – and to its architects, Frederick Kiesler and Armand Bartos. On display are Kiesler's preliminary sketches of the Shrine, shown to the public for the first time, and examples of his “co-realistic” furniture that illustrate a distinctive approach to design and architecture.

The exhibition's photographs document the Shrine’s building process and its early years, when it served as a site of pilgrimage to photographers and to the public at large.

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