On May 11, 2015 is a huge party at the Israel Museum in honor of its 50th birthday. Entrance is free and there is tons to do throughout the day, including gallery talks, arts and crafts and a very cool concert.

There are also a few exhibition openings that day. Here is an overview of the new and renewed exhibitions:

Happy Birthday

The Ruth Young Wing

On the occasion of the museum’s 50th birthday, an exhibition for the whole family explores the colorful and enticing packaging that envelops this exciting yearly event. You are invited to take part in a rainy birthday party without getting wet; be a guest in a guest-less birthday; and participate in a celebration for animals only. Some of the works are photographs of actual birthdays, others are purely imaginary. Presenting a different, reflective outlook on the celebration and its participants, the works adds a personal, contemplative note to that very special day

Exhibition-in-a-Box – Fifty Years of Youth Wing Exhibitions

Ruth Youth Wing

Dozens of boxes containing works from fifty years of activity at the Youth Wing are dispersed and stacked in the galleries. Each box is devoted to one exhibition; each hides a surprise. You are invited to peek inside, reminisce about past exhibitions, and reflect upon processes undergone in the past fifty years – at the museum and in the art world, here and elsewhere.

Israeli Art – The Renewed Collection Galleries

Gallery Re-Opening

On the occasion of its golden jubilee the Museum renews its Israeli art collection galleries. Presenting works by some of the foremost Israeli artists from the beginning of the 20th century until today, the display conveys the wealth of movements and voices that make the history of Israeli art. Alongside leading abstract artists and those who raised conceptual and artistic questions, the renewed galleries will also present works examining the tense and complex Israeli reality and the ways in which this reality is both depicted in and influenced by art. Featured artists include Itzhak Danziger, Yosef Zaritsky, Lea Nikel, Naftali Bezem, Mordecai Ardon, David Reeb, Larry Abramson, Ruth Schloss, Assem Abu Shakra, Dalia Amotz, Michael Gross.

New Exhibitions at the Shrine of the Book Complex

And Then There Was Nano – The Smallest Bible in the World


The Dorot Foundation Dead Sea Scrolls Information and Study Center in Memory of Joy Gottesman Ungerleider Sun, Mon, Wed, Thurs: 10 am – 5 pm; Tues 4–9 pm; Fri – Closed Sat 10 am – 1 pm

On the occasion of the Museum’s 50th anniversary, a new exhibition space in the Shrine of the Book is inaugurated with this display of a cutting-edge version of the Bible – a gilt silicon nano chip the size of a sugar grain, on which the entire Bible is inscribed. Illustrating the power of nanotechnology, this high-tech miracle was created in the laboratories of Haifa’s Technion Institute by means of a technique recalling stone engraving. The text engraved on the chip needs to be magnified 10,000 times in order to be legible. The exhibition writes a new chapter in the journey of the Book of Books from antiquity to the present – from the 2,000-year-old Dead Sea Scrolls to the 21st-century Nano Bible.

The Architecture of the Shrine of the Book

Marking the Shrine of the Book’s 50th anniversary, this exhibition is devoted to the design of the Shrine itself – an icon of modernist architecture – and to its architects, Frederick Kiesler and Armand Bartos. On display are preliminary sketches of the Shrine by Kiesler, shown to the public for the first time, as well as examples of his “correalistic” furniture that illustrate his distinctive approach to design and architecture. The exhibition also features photographs documenting the Shrine’s building process and its early years, when it served as a site of pilgrimage to photographers and to the public at large

Image information: 
Anne Hardy, British, born 1970
Untitled IV (Balloons), 2005
Chromogenic print, Diasec mounted C-type print
The Israel Museum, Jerusalem
Extended loan from Steve Chernys, Fort Lauderdale, FL, to American Friends of the Israel Museum, Jerusalem