|Address:||Museum of Art, Ein Harod 18965 Israel|
(This text was reprinted from the Museum’s first collection catalogue, written by Zusia Efron and printed in December 1971)
The collection now includes over 1,000 paintings, 8,000 drawings and prints, 300 pieces of sculpture, and 1,000 objects of Jewish folk art from thirty countries.
At the end of the nineteenth century, Jewish artists were mainly portraying the life of the Jews in Eastern Europe. Their paintings, whether romantic or realistic, expressed the toil and poverty of the Ghetto, its religious fervour, Jewish childhood, pogroms, and self-defence. Works by many of these pioneers, the first Jewish painters, such as Maurycy Gottlieb, Horowitz, Hirschenberg, Watchtel, Minkowski, Markowicz, Pilichowski, Kaufmann, and others are on permanent exhibition in the special hall of Jewish genre painters.
The Impressionist and Realist schools are represented by Rosa Bonheur, Jozef Israels, Max Liebermann, Lesser Ury and Isaac Israels from Western Europe; and by Isaak Levitan, Brodski and Robert Falk from Russia. The Expressionists and Cubists of Russia, Central Europe and the Paris school have a prominent place in the collection, in the works of Meidner, Jankel Adler, Ryback, Pascin, Mane-Katz, Mintchine, Kisling, Leopold Gottlieb, Menkes, Milich, Kremegne, Kikoine, Atlan, and many others. The English school is represented by Gertler, Kramer, David Bomberg, Meninsky and Joseph Herman; American painting, with its manifold styles, and especially the neo-realists with a social tendency, are represented by painters such as Walkowitz, Manievich, Max Weber, Raphael Soyer, Moses Soyer, Lichtenstein, Kirk, Raskin, Lozowick, Kopman, Adolph Gottlieb.
Hundreds of Jewish artists perished in the Nazi Holocaust; a whole generation vanished from the art centers of Europe – in Paris, Poland, Germany, Austria, Holland, Belgium, Yugoslavia and Greece. A collection of the works of these artists has been gathered in the Mishkan LeOmanut to commemorate their lost lives and works. Among those represented are Barczynsky, Weinles, Trembcz, Neuman, Mundlak, Kramsztyk, Korzen, Spigel, and the brothers Efraim and Menashe Seidenbeutel from Poland; from paris, the painters Henri Epstein, Zylberberg-Zber (his graphic work), Feder, Kars, Slodki, Weingart, Mordkin, and Rudolf Ernst from Berlin, Jessurun de Mesquita and Pinkhof from Holland; Bora Baruh, Ozmo, Kabiljo, and the sculptor Slavko Bril from Yugoslavia, along with many others.
Israeli art has close ties with the school of Paris, groups of Jewish painters in Eastern Europe and the experimental aesthetic movements of Central Europe. It developed and acquired its distinctive character, however, in the country itself. The gallery of Israel art in the Museum illustrates the half-century of its growth from its beginnings to our own time, and includes paintings by Rubin, Zaritzky, Gutman, Litvinovsky, Ardon, Janco, Kahana, Lubin, Krize, Bezerm, Mokady, Atar, and many others. The works of Shemi and Atar are part of the permanent exhibition.
The graphic arts collection contains drawings and graphic works by Pissarro, Modigliani, Pascin, Chagall (almost all his graphic work), Lilien, Hecht, Kolnik, Abram Krol from Central Europe and Paris; Luzzati from Italy; Mosha Pijade from Yugoslavia; Anatoli Kaplan, Marc Klionski and Samuel Rozin from the Soviet Union; Lasar Segall from Brazil; Ben Shahn, Baskin and Rattner, from the United States; and among the Israelis, Aschheim, Arikha, Budko, Krakauer, Steinhardt, Ticho, Shraga Weil, Ofek, Pins, Bacon, Rikman, and others.
Many Jewish sculptors from all parts of the world, beginning with Antokolski, are represented in the collection. In the sculpture courtyard there are works by Chana Orloff, Jacob Epstein (the works he bequeathed to the Museum), Glicenstein, Loutchansky, Constant and Indenbaum from Western Europe; Glid from Yugoslavia; Zorach, Gross and Harkavy from the United States; and most of the outstanding sculptors of Israel : Ben-Zvi, Lishansky, Ziffer, Lehmann, Feigin, Sternschuss, Palombo ( who executed the iron gate of the Museum), Aldouby, Yehiel Shemi, Aharon Bezalel, Hava Mehutan, Tumarkin.
In the section of Jewish Folk Art are shown ritual objects of daily use, dating from the fifteenth century to the present, from most of the Jewish communities in the near East and North Africa, as well as from Sephardic and Ashkenazi communities in Europe. The main hall of this section is a replica of an Eastern European synagogue.
Among the items exhibited are the following: Torah Scrolls ( Scrolls of the Law), including a unique collection of Torah Scrolls from various Jewish ethnic groups; Torah decorations, curtains and embroideries; Sabbath decorations and prayer objects; ornaments for the high holidays – Rosh Hashana, (New Year), Yom Kippur ( Day of Atonement), Succoth ( Feast of the Tabernacles), Simchat Torah ( Feast of the Joy of the Torah); Hanukka lamps for the Feast of Light, ornaments for the Purim Feast, ceremonial utensils and Haggada Books for Pesach ( Passover), and decorations for Shavuot ( Pentecost). Also displayed are illuminated Ketubot (marriage contracts), paper-cuts,wood carvings and metal work.
The section’s archives contain a collection of Hebrew lettering and printing, and drawings and photographs of synagogues and tombstone decorations in Eastern Europe, the Balkan countries, and North Africa.