The Israel Museum is the largest cultural institution in the State of Israel and is ranked among the leading art and archaeology museums in the world. Founded in 1965, the Museum houses encyclopedic collections in its four departments – the... Read More
The Israel Museum is the largest cultural institution in the State of Israel and is ranked among the leading art and archaeology museums in the world. Founded in 1965, the Museum houses encyclopedic collections in its four departments – the Bezalel Art Wing, the Bronfman Archaeology Wing, the Judaica and Jewish Ethnography Wing and the Ruth Youth Wing – and includes the most extensive holdings of biblical and Holy Land archaeology in the world. In just forty years, the Museum has built a far-ranging collection of nearly 500,000 objects thanks to a legacy of gifts and the support from its circle of patrons worldwide.
The uncontested stars of the Museum’s collection are the Dead Sea Scrolls, the oldest biblical manuscripts in the world. Housed in the Shrine of the Book, the scrolls date from the 2nd century BCE to the 1st century CE and include books of the Hebrew Bible as well as other non-canonical texts. The Shrine of the Book also houses rare early medieval manuscripts of the Bible, an auditorium and an information and study center.
One of the most recent and exciting additions to the Museum is the Second Temple Era model of Jerusalem. The model reconstructs the topography and architectural character of the city as it was prior to 66 CE, the year in which the Great Revolt against the Romans erupted, leading to the eventual destruction of the city and the Temple. Originally constructed on the grounds of Jerusalem’s Holyland Hotel, the model is now a permanent feature of the Museum’s twenty-acre campus, adjacent to the Shrine of the Book.
Counted among the finest sculpture gardens of the twentieth century, the Museum's Billy Rose Art Garden, designed by the Japanese-American sculptor Isamu Noguchi, is a synthesis of different cultures—those of the Far East, the Near East and the West—against the backdrop of Jerusalem’s dramatic landscape. The collection displayed in the garden includes works by the great sculptors Menashe Kadishman, Henry Moore, Claes Oldenburg, Pablo Picasso, Auguste Rodin and James Turrell, among others.