Jerusalem Museums

We spent most of the day in the major Jerusalem Museums.   First, in the Museum of Islamic Art, which was founded in 1974 by the daughter of a Lord Mayor.   I particularly admired the medieval chess pieces:-

After lunch we walked to the so-called Hansen House, a former leper hospital which only closed in 2009 and retains one room as a memorial to its former use:-

Later we went to the Israel Museum, the grandest of Jerusalem museums, laid out in the mid-1960s by Alfred Mansfeld on strict Bauhaus lines and recently added to by a New York architect James Carpenter in such a way as to respect the original.   

The Dead Sea Scrolls are housed in a separate building:-

I liked the surrealist exhibition No Place Like Home, rehabilitating Duchamp with work by Yayoi Kusama:-

And Janine Antoni:-

And Louise Bourgeois:-

We ended by going down into the stores:-

In order to see the Angelus Novus (1920), originally owned by Walter Benjamin, bought by him for 1,000 marks from Paul Klee in 1921, then given by Benjamin to Georges Bataille with an instruction that it should go to Theodor Adorno who kept it until his death in 1969.   Benjamin wrote about it in his ninth thesis on the Philosophy of History, published in 1940, in which he wrote, ‘This is how the Angel of History must look’:-


10 thoughts on “Jerusalem Museums

  1. Kate Woodhead says:

    The chess pieces look like bee hives – thank you for taking us with you via the blog. Fascinating angel of history.

  2. Jocelyn says:

    I’m not sure if this is possible any longer, but if you can visit the two mosques situated above the Western Wall, especially the Dome of the Rock, by all means do so. The Dome of the Rock is an incredible sight from the outside and astounding on the inside.

    Enjoy your visit.

    • Marshall Colman says:

      When I was there some years ago, you got a bird’s eye view from the staircase to the Temple Mount down onto the plaza of the Wailing Wall. I did not feel that taking photos from that position was too intrusive. Publishing them, of course, is another matter.

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