Press Release

Masterworks Loaned from Institutions Worldwide for Special Displays

Jerusalem, Israel

Tribute Displays Spotlight Paintings by Kandinsky and Rembrandt, 2nd-Century Bronze Busts of the Emperor Hadrian, and a Rare Illuminated Mishneh Torah Manuscript

In honor of the Israel Museum’s 50th anniversary, institutions from around the world—including the British Museum, the Louvre, Rijksmuseum, State Hermitage Museum, and the Vatican Library—are loaning singular works from their holdings to be displayed throughout 2015 in dialogue with masterworks from the Museum’s collections of archaeology, Jewish art and life, and the fine arts. These special pairings and presentations illuminate deep historical and aesthetic connections among the works and complement the Museum’s year-long celebratory exhibition program, drawn largely from its collection and devoted to exploring Israel’s aesthetic culture in the 50 years before and after its founding. The tribute loans include:

  • A rare presentation uniting two halves of an illuminated manuscript of Maimonides’ Mishneh Torah created in Northern Italy in the 15th century—one from the Vatican Library, the other held jointly by the Israel Museum and the Metropolitan Museum of Art—for the first time in nearly 200 years (opening May 21);
  • Rembrandt van Rijn’s Jeremiah Lamenting the Destruction of Jerusalem (1630), on loan from the Rijksmuseum and presented in dialogue with St. Peter in Prison (The Apostle Peter Kneeling) (1631) from the Israel Museum’s collection, together with other works by the artist and his contemporaries (opening June 3); 
  • Three bronze portrait busts of the Emperor Hadrian, including one from the Israel Museum and loans from the British Museum and the Louvre, presented together for the first time in the Museum’s Archaeology Wing (opening December 22, 2015); and
  • As a final tribute loan, Wassily Kandinsky’s modernist masterwork Composition VI (1913), from the State Hermitage Museum, which complements concurrent exhibitions in the Israel Museum’s Fine Arts Wing exploring the early 20th century European avant-garde movements seminal to Israel’s development of its own modernist vocabulary at the time of the Museum’s founding.

“Loans from sister institutions worldwide serve as a powerful metaphor for the international and cross-cultural connections that we have fostered throughout our history at the Israel Museum, and this dialogue will only deepen as these visiting masterpieces are paired with related works from our own collections,” said James S. Snyder, Anne and Jerome Fisher Director of the Israel Museum. “On the occasion of our 50th anniversary, we are profoundly grateful for exemplary partnerships such as these, and we look forward to continuing this level of international cultural collaboration in the future.”

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Courtesy of the Rijksmuseum.

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