The Israel Museum: 5 exciting exhibitions to catch soon

Written by
Jacob Jaffe

Get to Jerusalem's Israel Museum to see these extraordinary exhibitions while you still have the chance.

1. Emoglyphs

Picture Writing from Hieroglyphs to the Emoji

Winged scarab, Scarab, Egypt © Israel Museum

Made exclusively of symbolic pictures, hieroglyphs were developed over 5000 years ago as the world's first system of written language. During the succeeding millennia, these crude and limiting symbols were replaced by roughly 20 signs representing sounds rather than ideas, evolving into today's much more dynamic alphabet used by most of Western society. But oddly enough, the reemergence of picture writing has made a comeback in the Cyber Age in an unexpected way: the Emoji. Curated by Shirly Ben-Dor Evian, Emoglyphs examines the 21st Century phenomena of the rebirth of a seemingly abandoned practice. By presenting the metamorphosis of picture writing from Antiquity through modern times, Emoglyphs illuminates the timeless power of the picture to act as a complex and sophisticated system of communication. The exhibition is designed by Shirley Yahalomi, who uses film and multimedia projections to showcase a wealth of archeological finds from ancient Egypt within the context of contemporary Emoji use. Emoglyphs is open until October 12, 2020.

2. From Foreign to Familiar

Rare Early Islamic Pottery

This exhibition examines the origins of early Islamic motifs- specifically in pottery- and how they came to be familiar. Islamic ceramics with a traditional white background, dark, stylized lines and textile-like features are all too reminiscent of Coptic creations, showing a foreign influence in many of ancient Islam's works of art. From Foreign to Familiar discusses the commonality of certain themes within different traditions present in the Middle East and North Africa. The exhibition is open until February 20, 2020.

3. Deliberately Random

A Showcase of Khen Shish

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Israeli painter, Knen Shish is having a standalone exhibition of her new project: Deliberately Random. Kish's new body of works seeks to explore the relationship between randomness and intention through a uniquely original process involving large quantities of black ink and an eerie recollection of something similar to a Rorschach test. In a moment of unhindered creation, Shish "randomly" pours ink all over a canvas then quickly folds it in half to create a symmetrically mirrored image. The result is Shish's new starting point which she finesses in an array of gold plated leaves. Shish's art will be on display until April 18, 2020.

4. The Orthostat Temple at Hazar

A Virtual Reality Tour

Curated by Nurith Goshen, the first virtual tour at the Israel Museum takes you on a journey inside a sacred Cannonite temple which only a few select people were ever allowed to enter. The Orthoststa Temple was constructed ca. 3,400 years ago in northern Israel, any area of numerous archeological wonders. The tour was created strictly from archeological finds and gives the viewer two distinct points of observation of the temple. First being the from the entrance of the temple where the lion guards once stood. The second is a recreation of the Holy of Holies where many of the galleries display such as the statue of the god Baal, offerings bowl and the altar would have been located during antiquity. The tour is open from January 1, 2020, with no exact closure as of now.

5. Osvaldo Romberg

A look into one of Israel's most influential artists

Oswaldo Romberg, The Magic © Ofer Rosenberg Photography

Although originally born in Argentina, Osvaldo Romberg quickly rose through the ranks of new Israeli immigrants to become one of the country's most beloved and respected artists. While teaching in the fine arts department of Jerusalem's Bezalel Academy, Romberg created a vast collection of art that has helped to conceptualize Israeli art. Romberg is known for his fundamental approach to Conceptual art by constantly breaking down the artistic act into most basic components: form and color. This exhibition will examine Romberg's scientific investigations, architectural sketches and theoretical framework incorporated into his art. The exhibition is open until April 18, 2020.

The Israel Museum Opening Hours:

Sun 10am-5pm, Mon 10am-5pm, Tue 10am-9pm, Wed 10am-5pm, Thur 10am-5pm, Fri 10am-2pm, Sat 10.30am-4pm

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