The Israel Museum is the country of Israel’s largest cultural institution, and is also considered one of the leading archaeology and art museums in the world. The museum was established in the year 1965, and features collections that include objects dating back to prehistoric times up through modern day throughout its Jewish Art and Life, Fine Arts, and Archaeology Wings. The museum also contains the world’s most extensive holdings of Holy Land and biblical archaeology. In a little more than fifty years, the Israel Museum has assembled a wide-ranging collection of almost five hundred thousand items that represent the complete scope of world material culture.


The Shrine of the Book is one of the main highlights of the original campus of the Israel Museum. Designed by Frederick Kiesler and Armand Bartos, it houses the world’s oldest biblical manuscripts, the Dead Sea Scrolls, along with other rare biblical manuscripts from early medieval times. The Model of Jerusalem during the period of the Second Temple is located adjacent to the Shrine. This model recreates the architectural character and topography of the city of Jerusalem as it appeared before it was destroyed in 66 CE by the Romans. The model offers historical context to the presentation of the Dead Sea Scrolls in the Shrine of the Book. There are also several other exhibits throughout the Israel Museum that cover various aspects of Jewish culture and the history of Israel.

The noted Billy Rose Art Garden at the Israel Museum, which was designed by sculptor Isamu Noguchi for the original museum campus, is considered one of the twentieth century’s finest outdoor sculpture settings. The garden is an ancient hillside of Jerusalem combined with a landscape of Oriental style, and acts as a backdrop for the display of the development of tradition in modern western sculptural at the museum. Also on display at the Israel Museum are works of art by modern masters, such as David Smith, Auguste Rodin, Pablo Picasso, Claes Oldenburg, Henry Moore, and Jacques Lipchitz, along with site-specific works commissioned by the museum, including works by Micha Ullman, James Turrell, Mark Dion, and Magdalena Abakanowicz.

The Israel Museum’s Ruth Youth Wing for Art Education is both unique in size and in its scope of activities it provides to guests. The museum offers an array of educational programs to over one hundred thousand students every year, as well as features a recycling room, a library filled with illustrated books for children, classrooms, art studios, and exhibit galleries. Special programming inspire intercultural understandings between Jewish and Arab students, as well as reach out to Israel’s wide spectrum of communities.

Along with the Israel Museum’s extensive programs it offers on the grounds of its main campus, the museum also manages two locations off-site. The Rockefeller Archaeological Museum is a gem of architecture that was constructed in the year 1938 to display archaeological finds from ancient Israel. The other off-site location, the Ticho House, provides a continuous program of exhibits that showcase works by young artists of Israel within a garden and historic house setting.

11 Derech Ruppin, Jerusalem, Israel, Phone: 972-26-70-88-11

More Things to Do in Israel

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