Two Exhibitions | June 12 to 31 August, 2019


Two Exhibitions | June 12 to 31 August, 2019

Current Exhibition

Once Upon a Time in Be’er Sheva12 June to 31 August, 2019

Current Exhibition

Good news!June 12 until 31 August 2019
Current Exhibition
Once Upon a Time in Be’er Sheva

The Negev Museum of Art is proud to present to the public a selection of photographs, posters, documents, and films depicting life in Be'er Sheva during the first decades after the founding of the city 70 years ago. The exhibition is the initiative of the Central Zionist Archives to celebrate the 100th anniversary of its foundation, in collaboration with the Steven Spielberg Jewish Film Archive which is currently marking its 50th anniversary.

Archives are treasure troves containing historical and cultural assets accessible chiefly to researchers and experts. It is a welcome decision by the Central Zionist Archives to introduce a wider audience to the wealth of information it possesses, through a series of museum exhibitions across Israel, with the first of them at The Negev Museum of Art. Of that rich material, we chose to focus on Be’er Sheva and visual materials from the city’s early years, which will remind its residents of people and places, institutions, and events that have been forgotten over time.

And yet the resulting picture is not comprehensive or complete, not only because of museum’s dimensions.  The Archive’s materials reflect first and foremost the endeavours and outlooks of the settlement organizations: the Jewish National Fund, Keren Hayesod, government agencies, and philanthropic entities associated with them. They decided what to document and particularly how to do so: the photographs are often staged and highlight the establishment agenda – making the desert bloom, absorbing immigrants, education, inauguration ceremonies, visits by dignitaries and donors. Those topics are also featured in documentaries from the period, chiefly propaganda films to recruit donations from overseas. Other aspects of city life are captured in posters, most printed for the Be’er Sheva municipality: they document the city’s cultural institutions, events and celebrations, and also mirror the severe political confrontations that were part of the city’s early history. A selection of press cuttings and documents broadens the picture.

Over the years, these materials – suffused with national ideology – gained historical-documentary value. They reflect the appearance of the city and its neighbourhoods, lifestyles, ways of work, clothing styles, and especially the people – some who shared the vision’s fulfilment, and others in the background.

The date of Be’er Sheva’s founding is usually identified with the War of Independence, with the freeing of the city from the Egyptian army on 21 October 1948. Archival sources reveal plans to set up a new urban center near Ottoman Be’er Sheva long before Israel became a state. Preliminary ideas were discussed in 1946, and during 1947 maps and city plans were drawn up. The Afikim BaNegev company was established to implement them, and it ran the city until the end of 1949, alongside the military administration. Municipal services were then transferred to the municipality, and eventually the city council was established in February 1950.

Much of the exhibition consists of photographs from the 1950s and 1960s, showing places and people in the Old City, including the city hall (now the Negev Museum of Art); the start of construction of residential and public buildings in the new city; young people studying – chiefly in vocational education; ceremonies and festivities. With this glimpse at the past, we hope to enrich the personal and collective memory of Be’er Sheva and its residents in all generations.

All the exhibits are loaned by the Central Zionist Archives and the Spielberg Jewish Film Archive, and we warmly thank the archival staff for their vital help in preparing the exhibition.

Curation

Curator: Dr Dalia Manor
Assistant Curator: Nirit Dahan

Sponsors

Be'er Sheva Municipality
Kivunim
Ministry of Culture and Sport
The Central Zionist Archives
The Spielberg Jewish Film Archive

catalogue

Once upon a time in Be'er sheva: From the collection of The Central Zionist Archives and The Spielberg Jewish Film Archive
21X14 cm
Paperback
38 pages
Editor: Dr Dalia Manor
Design and production: Josseph Jibri / Megama.net

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Current Exhibition
Good news!

One of the main goals of museums, including art museums, is to collect, document, and conserve valuable artworks for the general public in the present and future. In recent years, the Negev Museum of Art has devoted great efforts to creating temporary exhibitions of artists from Israel and around the world, thus establishing its status and position as a significant museum among Israel’s art museums. Behind the scenes, we continue the process of enlarging and upgrading our collection.

The museum’s collection started taking shape in the 1960s, when it was still part of the Negev Museum, dedicated mainly to archaeology. The collection was first registered in 1987 when the museum received accreditation as a museum by the Ministry of Culture. Most works in its collection are by twentieth-century Israeli artists, and a few by international artists.

Over the past year the collection has grown, thanks to several major donations of works – paintings, drawings, sculpture, and prints by Israeli artists, some of whom were not previously represented in the collection. A significant gift was given by Mordechai Geldman, the well-known poet who is also a creative artist and a practicing psychologist. A former art critic for Haaretz, he curates exhibitions and writes about art. Geldman’s decision to bequeath his entire collection, free of charge, to the Negev Museum of Art, evidences his trust in the museum and the desire to give the public works of art that he received through his personal and professional relationships with various artists. Several paintings have entered the collection from the estate of artist Avigdor Steimatsky through his daughter, Noa Steimatsky, and via other donations.

Displayed in the exhibition are works by pivotal artists in Israeli modernism: Steimatsky and Streichman, the founders and leaders of the New Horizons group, and prominent artists in the next generation of the abstract, Lea Nikel and Moshe Kupferman. In the 1980s, trends that turned their back on the abstract and introduced images and symbols, including some from the world of religion, and representations of death, are evident in works by Igael Tumarkin, Moshe Gershuni, and Bianca Eshel-Gershuni. In the field of art in Israel there are also figurative artists who are not associated with any school or group. Two of them are represented in one painting: Ofer Lellouche painted the artist Jan Rauchwerger while he was painting a portrait of Mordechai Geldman. Compelling combinations between the figurative and the abstract, painting imbued with materiality and sensuality, are found in the work of Pesach Slabosky, a much admired artist and teacher, whose work has not been represented so far in the museum’s collection. The collection now features works by  artists Marik Lechner, Michal Heiman, Galit Rauchwerger, Nomi Bruckmann, and Chava  Samuel. We also note veteran artists Steffa Reis and Rafi Kaiser, who contributed their works to the collection. The museum’s collection is growing and flourishing, and this exhibition is an opportunity to share the good news with the public.

 

Curatio

Dr Dalia Manor
Nirit Dahan

Sponsors

Be'er Sheva Municipality
Kivunim
Ministry of Culture and Sport

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