The Founding Contexts of Kibbutz Museums and the Case of the Mishkan Museum of Art, Ein Harod

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This article surveys the circumstances in which kibbutzim built museums between the 1930s and the 1960s. It focuses on the two largest kibbutz movements and their divergent attitudes to the founding of museums, to art, and to the role of artists in society. In particular, this paper examines the case history of the first art museum to be built in a kibbutz—at Ein Harod, the birthplace of the largest kibbutz movement, the Kibbutz Meuhad. This movement envisioned and promoted a “city/village” form of habitat where agriculture and industry, manual and intellectual labor could co-exist. The article’s analysis of the social construction of space shows how the dynamic network of diachronic and synchronic contexts structures the potential meaning of a particular museum, its status and eventually, its fate.

The Founding Contexts of Kibbutz Museums and the Case of the Mishkan Museum of Art, Ein Harod

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References

1

See Yehoash BiberA Guide to Museums in Israel (Jerusalem: Ministry of Culture and Education1966) (in Hebrew).

2

Yehudit Kol-InbarThe History of the Museums in Eretz-Israel Before the Establishment of the State as an Expression of the Zionist Vision (MA thesis, Jerusalem: The Hebrew University1992) 167. (in Hebrew).

7

Yitzhak Tabenkin“The Ideological Sources of the Second Aliyah,” in Addresses (Tel Aviv: Yad Tabenkin 1972) 2:25 (in Hebrew).

14

Nachman Syrkin“Our Mission: An Address at an Assembly of the Workers in Jaffa,” Quntras 19 (1920): 179 (in Hebrew). At this time Syrkin was head of a World Poalei-Tzion delegation that consolidated a plan in Eretz-Israel for the cooperative settling of a million and a half Jews on a scientific and ethical basis. Yitzhak Tabenkin who was one of the authors of the idea of the “large group” took an active part in the delegation’s discussions as a representative of the Achdut Ha’avodah (“Unity of Labor”) party.

16

David Maletz“Farewell to Aptekar,” Ein Harod Journal 295 (April 16 1937): 2. Available in the Ein Harod Archive (in Hebrew).

24

Galia Bar Or“Collections and Museums in Israel” in Israeli Art from the Collection of Gaby and Ami Brown (Ein Harod: Mishkan Museum of Art2009) 314–322; Galia Bar Or “Art in Wartime” in Citizens at War ed. Mordechai Bar-On and Meir Chazan (Tel Aviv: Tel Aviv University and Jerusalem: Yad Ben Zvi 2010) 205–230.

Figures

  • View in gallery
    Haim Atar beside one of his self-portraits, 1930s, photograph. (Courtesy of the Archive of the Mishkan Museum of Art, Ein Harod).
  • View in gallery
    The inauguration of the new building of the Ghetto Fighters’ House Museum, 1958, Israel, photograph. (Courtesy of the Ghetto Fighters House Museum’s photo archive).
  • View in gallery
    Elad Sarig, View of a museum gallery, installation: The Rough Law of Garderns: Holzapfel and Tevet, 2016, Mishkan Museum of Art, Ein Harod, Israel, photograph. (Courtesy of the Archive of the Mishkan Museum of Art, Ein Harod).
  • View in gallery
    Jascha Heifetz concert at the quarry in Gilboa, 1925, photograph. (Courtesy of the Archive of Kibbutz Ein Harod Meuhad).
  • View in gallery
    The hut of the Mishkan Museum of Art, Ein Harod, early 1940s, Ein Harod, photograph. (Courtesy of the Archive of the Mishkan Museum of Art, Ein Harod).
  • View in gallery
    Laying the foundations for the permanent building of the Mishkan Museum of Art, Ein Harod, 1947, Ein Harod, photograph. (Courtesy of the Archive of the Mishkan Museum of Art, Ein Harod).
  • View in gallery
    Jozef Israëls, On the Way, 1885, oil on canvas, 91×61 cm. Collection of Mishkan Museum of Art, Ein Harod. (Photograph of painting: Avraham Hay).

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