Founded in 1965, The Israel Museum is the country’s preeminent encyclopedic museum. It houses the Shrine of the Book, where the 2,000-year-old Dead Sea Scrolls rest, as well as an impressive collection of archeological artifacts and displays about Jewish art and life, and an extensive contemporary art collection. Its 20-acre campus, magnificently renovated in 2011 by James Carpenter Architects, includes Isamu Noguchi’s Billy Rose Art Garden and work by Anish Kapoor, James Turrell, and Olafur Eliasson.
Museum on the Seam
Located on the seam between east and west Jerusalem, Museum on the Seam presents contemporary art that explores the unique aspects of Israel’s socio-political reality. It was founded by Raphie Etgar in 1999 who remains the Artistic Director and Curator. Between May 2005 and June 2008 the Museum presented a series of notable exhibitions on the theme of human rights.
Al Ma’amal Foundation
“Al-Ma’mal” is an Arabic word meaning “workshop” or “small factory,” and was also the name of a factory that made traditional handmade floor-tiles in the old city of Jerusalem at the turn of the century. The foundation was established in 1998, having grown out of the commercial gallery, Anadiel. A group of Palestinian artists, architects and active individuals in the cultural scene established the foundation with the primary aim of promoting, instigating, disseminating and making art in Palestine. Al-Ma’mal is a catalyst for realizing art projects with local and visiting artists through residencies, educational outreach, and exhibition programs.
A collective gallery founded in 2005 by five artists, Barbur Gallery is an independent, nonprofit space that functions as a platform for critical debate on social issues, while developing projects within local communities. The gallery’s framework consists of monthly exhibitions and weekly screenings, lectures, workshops, music performances and other events. As part of its local programming, Barbur Gallery is developing a community garden in its backyard and a lending library of books and films.
Bezalel Academy of Art and Design
Boris Schatz, the “grandfather” of Israeli art, founded the Bezalel School of Arts and Crafts in 1906 in Jerusalem. Now known as the Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design, it remains the leading educational art institution in Israel, and its graduates are among Israel’s most prominent.
Founded by Sala-Manca Group and the Jerusalem Foundation with the mission creating a forum for collaboration between artists of different media, as well as curators, architects, designers, and researchers to collaborate, The Mamuta Project is housed in the Daniela Passal Art & Media Center in Ein Kerem. It is comprised of artists’ workspaces that include a video, sound, and electronics labs, guest apartments, and a wood, metal, and plastics workshop. Focusing on collaboration and technology, The Mamuta Project creates work on site, and in collaboration with institutions and individuals in Israel and abroad.
MUSLALA is an art project in the form of a walking tour of Musrara (“Morasha” in Hebrew), neighborhood that sits on the seam between Jewish and Arab Jerusalem. Maps are provided at the lobby of Lev Ram Building, where The Ministry of Education is housed, which functions as the starting point of the route. Visitors are also welcomed to print a map directly from Muslala’s website.
Founded by Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design, Yaffo 23 is located on the 3rd floor of an old post office building in downtown Jerusalem dating to the time of the British Mandate. Their 10,000 sq. ft. facility showcases experimental practices in art and design that combine research, theory, and action.