Israel is home to over 200 museums of all types, making it the country with the highest number of museums per capita in the world. From major institutional ones like the Israel Museum in Jerusalem and the Tel Aviv Museum of Art, to smaller museums dedicated to fashion, design, science, geology, and natural history, there are literally hundreds to choose from across the country.
There are also thousands of exhibitions at any given time that explore everything from Islamic art, Judaica, comics, and prehistoric beings.
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NoCamels is taking a closer look at six exhibitions that are worth a visit this year.
Hide and Seek by Martin Baas at the Design Museum Holon
At the crossroad of art, design and theater, this exhibition, open until April 27, looks at the works of renowned designer Maarten Baas, from his limited edition pieces to conceptual objects. Baas has gained world-wide recognition for his portfolio of imaginative projects.
Displayed across the Museum are a variety of installations, objects, and video performances by Baas. The Lower Galley of the Museum displays more expressive, extroverted works that take visitors through a number of bright and multicolored installations. The Upper Galley showcases more introverted works. This ‘introvert and extrovert’ combination embodies a game of Hide & Seek and a play on the title of the retrospective, the Museum says.
Reflecting on this retrospective exhibition, the designer says that “hiding and seeking is my character and my way of working, providing two extremes of contemplative and expressive works. Presenting in Design Museum Holon will differ from my previous exhibitions and will reflect these two extremes.”
Maya Dvash, Chief Curator of Design Museum Holon, says: “Maarten Baas’ works, which lie on the border between art and design, show our audiences a different spectrum of design culture through his compelling, inspiring, and surprising projects.”
‘Fashion Statements: Decoding Israeli Dress’ at the Israel Museum
Opened in June 2018 and on view until April 6, this large-scale exhibition at the Israel Museum explores, for the first time, a century of dress in Israel.
Visitors are taken through a visual journey of “the late 19th-century indigenous pre-Zionist fashion, the opposing forces of Europeanism and Orientalism that converged in the early decades of the state, and, finally, the place that Israeli creativity holds on the global fashion scene today,” a statement said.
Clothing, fashion sketches, films, and fashion photography are displayed in the exhibition providing an illustrative representation of Israel’s broad scope of fashion. From its historical roots to its most modern and contemporary expression, ‘Fashion Statements: Decoding Israeli Dress’ fosters a dialogue between old and new, an intertwine of “tradition and modernity, myth and reality, and conflicting ideologies.”
The exhibition presents 150 items of clothing by 60 designers and companies, along with photographs and videos ranging from the time of the establishment of the state to present day.
Fashion Statements was curated by Daisy Raccah-Djivre, Curator-in-charge, Efrat Assaf-Shapira, and Noga Eliash-Zalmanovich, Tamara Yovel-Jones, who first developed the concept of the exhibition.
Modern Times At The Tel Aviv Museum Of Art
Modern Times spans across ninety years of European art, from the late 19th century to the mid-twentieth century, featuring a variety of themes, from landscapes and village scenes to portraits, by some of the greatest masters of modern art. The exhibition “allows one to trace the revolutionary development of art in the Modern age – from early Impressionism to the beginning of the avant-garde – while offering a rare opportunity to enjoy some of art history’s greatest moments,” the Museum says.
The exhibition features a collection of works by some of the masters of impressionism and modern art, including Vincent Van Gogh, Salvador Dalì, Claude Monet, Pablo Picasso, Paul Cézanne, Edgar Degas and Henri Matisse.
“Despite the differences in their artistic visions, time periods and art movements, all the works on view encapsulate the spirit that Charles Baudelaire defined in his famous essay The Painter of Modern Life (1984),” the museum says.
The exhibition is organized by the Philadelphia Museum of Art in collaboration with the Tel Aviv Museum of Art and will be on view until February 2nd.
Freud of the Rings at The Israel Museum
The father of psychoanalysis and the mastermind behind the Ego (Conscious), Id (Unconscious) and Superego (Preconscious) Sigmund Freud left a heritage of theoretical treasures behind him and a tradition of psychoanalytical knowledge that has laid the path for extensive study in the years that followed him.
The doctor/philosopher has also left a number of physical treasures, some in the form of a collection of six rings that has made its way to the Israel Museum and is now featured in the “Freud of the Rings” exhibition.
The six rings are all set with ancient gems engraved with images from Roman mythology and were donated by Freud to his students.
This exhibition is the brainchild of museum curator Morag Wilhelm, who noticed a gold ring in the Museum’s storage that came with a note from the donor explaining that it had been a gift from Freud. Freud gave this specific ring as a gift to Eva Rosengeld, one of his students, who then donated it to the Israel Museum.
Objects from Freud’s antiquities collection, related to psychoanalytic theory and his personal life, are also displayed in the exhibition, together with an accompanying video that shows how Freud’s personal possessions are all invested with power.
Migdalor by Sheila Hicks at The Magasin III Jaffa
On view until February 15 in the Magasin III satellite space in Jaffa, the Migdalor by Sheila Hicks exhibition “features a series of Hicks’ distinctive and vibrantly-colored sculptures, created from materials ranging from the traditional and natural – such as linen and cotton – to newly researched industrial materials based on new technologies.”
An internationally-renowned American artist now based in Paris, Hicks “is constantly innovating, and her brightly colored works transform and adapt to each new environment.”
The exhibition title – Migdalor meaning Lighthouse in Hebrew – refers to the artist’s “search for meaning of lasting value in different cultures.”
The exhibition, in greater detail, features three significant works by the artist: the colossal installation Saffron Sentinel, made of bundles of pure pigmented fiber assembled into mounds of textured and colored masses; the Comets Sculpture, consisting of multiple circular disks in a range of sizes, hand wrapped with tinted yarns and textile fragments; and the Menhir, a soft column made of linen strands.
Migdalor by Sheila Hicks is curated by Karmit Galili.
Maimonides: A Legacy In Script At The Israel Museum
On display until April 28, this exhibition assembles the writings of Maimonides, the 12th century philosopher and physician, considered one of the most prolific and influential scholars in Jewish history.
Maimonides is renowned for his approach which combines “general studies with Torah studies; making Jewish law accessible to all; his encouragement of moderation in all aspects of life; and even his guidelines on nutrition and preventive medicine,” the museum says.
Maimonides: A Legacy in Script, a collaboration between the Israel Museum and The National Library of Israel, aims to shed light on the multi-faceted persona that was Maimonides, delving into his legacy through some of his manuscripts such as Mishneh Torah, a work that codified Jewish law and made it accessible, as well as some of his philosophical treatises that highlight the connection between science, general studies, and Torah.
The exhibition also draws attention to the philosopher and physician’s model of leadership, his authority within his own community and worldwide, and his contribution to medical practice.
Ido Bruno, Director of The Israel Museum, says: “We are excited to be bringing such a comprehensive collection of this pivotal scholar’s work to the Israel Museum. The exhibition will provide a detailed look at the depth and breadth of Maimonides’ influence across centuries of Jewish culture through a remarkable assembly of manuscripts, exploring issues that still bear relevance in our own time.”