JERUSALEM, ISRAEL.- The Israel Museum, Jerusalem announced today its partnership with the Martin- Gropius-Bau and the Berliner Festpiele in Berlin to produce the exhibition "The New Hebrews: A Century of Art in Israel," featuring over seven hundred works reflecting the diverse influences, styles, and media that have informed the evolution of Israeli Art over the past century. Commemorating the 40 th anniversary (1965-2005) of formal diplomatic relations between the Federal Republic of Germany and the State of Israel, this exhibition, on view from May 19 through September 5, 2005, tells the story of modern Israeli culture from its origins in the early twentieth century through the present day.Key archaeological objects from ancient times, such as the Temple Scroll, which have had an impact on the language of Israel’s modern visual culture, are also included.
“We are pleased to work with the Martin-Gropius-Bau in the presentation of this momentous exhibition,” said James S. Snyder, Director of the Israel Museum. " The New Hebrews" is an important opportunity for the Israel Museum to mount in this major European venue an in-depth assessment of the development of the modern visual arts in Israel, beginning with their ancient antecedents. It offers an equally important opportunity to share this rich visual history with the German public in recognition of forty years of productive engagement, between the cultures of our two countries.”
"The New Hebrews" surveys a century of culture as it has evolved in modern Israel. Over seven hundred works in such wide-ranging media as painting, sculpture, photography, architecture, graphic design, film, and documentary material, cover a broad spectrum of topics including: Zionism, the relationship between the Orient and the Occident; the Holocaust and its commemoration in Israel’s first, second, and third generations; Diaspora Jews and Israelis, and relationships between Israelis and Arabs. Sixteen contemporary Israeli artists are creating new site-specific works especially relating to the exhibition.
The Temple Scroll, selected from among the Qumran scrolls found in caves near the Dead Sea between 1947 and 1956, is presented along with other major archaeological finds as an introduction to the exhibition. Serving as a bridge to the Jewish past, this archaeology links Biblical forefathers and modern-day Israelis. The Dead Sea Scrolls and their discovery-an event of global significance at the time-had a major impact on the fashioning of new Israeli culture, giving legitimacy to its identity and generating a sense of continuity from ancient to modern times. A three-meter section of the Temple Scroll is currently undergoing restoration for the exhibition, where it will be shown in Europe for the first time.
“"The New Hebrews" is the first major exhibition on Israeli visual arts to take place in Germany and has been prepared by the Israel Museum, with the Berliner Festspiele as a partner,” said Gereon Sievernich, Director of the Martin-Gropius-Bau. “I am certain that there will be great interest in Germany in learning about the development of the arts in Israel over the last century. We are pleased to be the exclusive venue for this exhibition.”
" The New Hebrews: A Century of Art in Israel" is organized by the Israel Museum in cooperation with the Martin-Gropius-Bau. It is curated by Doreet LeVitte Harten and co-curated by Yigal Zalmona, Chief Curator-at-Large at the Israel Museum. An advisory board of cultural historians and museum curators has participated in the project. A major German-language catalogue, fully illustrated and containing 600 pages and 20 articles by major Israeli writers and researchers, accompanies the exhibition.