MUSEUMS IN ISRAEL
Susan Sanders, left, David Genser and
Kent Backlund of Pfizer, Addie
Backlund and Anders G. Backlund of PPIC
Yoron Cohen of Jones Lang LaSalle
(left), Marnie Tihany and Adam D. Tihany
Raphie Etgar, artistic director and
curator of Museum on the Seam, and Tsipi Ben-Haim,
director of CITYArts
Sarah Bacsh, jewelry designer, and
travel writer Janet K. Rodgers
Mani De Osu of
Neodandi House of
and Larry Levy
Alon Sapan, director general of Design
Little Known Art Centers
Make Their Voices Heard
DAM D. TIHANY, who has designed
dining interiors at such high-end properties as the Beverly
Hills Hotel, King David Hotel and Le Cirque 2000, said when he
grew up in Jerusalem he didnít know Holon existed.
Today, he said, that city south of Tel
Aviv is "the most beautiful, sexy upcoming place with the most
spectacular museum on the planet."
The museum he hailed is the Design
Museum Holon, a truly spectacular edifice by the visionary
architect Ron Arad. It opened its doors in 2010 with Alon
Sapan as director general.
But who has heard of it outside
Thatís the mission of a new
organization called the American Friends of Museums of Israel,
comprised of nine little known but wonderful museums under one
umbrella to burnish their reputation and help raise funds to
advance their artistic and cultural programs.
Enid Shapiro, the executive
director, launched the new groupís inaugural benefit dinner in
April at The Plaza in New York. The Grand Ballroom, decorated
with an artistic touch, was overflowing with deep-pocket lovers
of art as well as the creative types.
The nine museums working together to
raise their stature on the global art scene include the Design
Museum Holon, Hermann Struck Museum, Mane-Katz Museum, National
Maritime Museum, Museum on the Seam Jerusalem - A Socio
Political Contemporary Art Museum, Haifa City Museum, Haifa
Museum of Art, Tikotin Museum of Japanese Art, and the Tower of
David Museum of the History of Jerusalem.
Israeli Consul General Ido Aharoni
was duly impressed. "Unlike our enemies," he said, "we do not
name our cities and streets after murderers, but after artists
and intellectual luminaries."
Raphie Etgar, artistic director
and curator at Jerusalemís Museum on the Seam, explained his
vision: "What we are trying to do is to deal with the art of
Ed Blank, of the executive
committee of American Friends of Museums of Israel, said that
Israel, with more than 200 museums, has more museums per capita
than any other country in the world.
"Even before the establishment of the
Jewish state, Zionist leaders made certain to foster the growth
of museums and other cultural institutions. They understood
that art is necessary for people to enrich their lives.
"It is important to illustrate that
Israel is a land of art and culture. What better way than to
represent nine such outstanding museums? Our partner museums
are remarkably diverse in their area of concentration.
committed to showing the
very best exhibitions and offering
most innovative programs."
Among the guests were filmmaker
Katharina Otto-Bernstein, philanthropists Chaim
Katzman, Beth Rudin DeWoody, Dr. Bernard and
Jo Ann Kruger, Leon and Dafna Recanati,
real estate developer Michael and Seren Shvo, and
artists Donald Sultan, Miriam Cabessa and Oded
Halahmy, gallerists Nathan Bernstein and Leila
and Henry Heller, as well as art advisor Judith
Selkowitz, architect Richard Meier, Rabbi Barton
and Jane Shallat, and Marnie Tihany, director of
communications and business development at Tihany Design.
Eilat Lieber, general director and
chief curator at
Tower of David Museum of the
Nissim Tal, director general of Haifa