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Jewelry Making: Past & Present

Curator: Dr. Iris Fishof

Opening: Thursday May 30 2019

Closing: Saturday November 16 2019


Jewelry making is a language. It is a language whose vocabulary comprises different metals, precious stones and new and contemporary materials. They all combine in an infinite number of ways, like words that join together to form sentences. The Jewelry Making exhibition presents a dialogue between culture, religion, past and present, across a timeline of around a millennium.


The first part of the exhibition features jewelry making works associated with the world’s three main monotheistic religions, and which were designed to be used for cult or ritual purposes. The range of works offers a broad perspective on the artistic idiom, the materials and techniques used by the different jewelry makers:


The Islamic section will feature a rare jewelry collection belonging to the museum, which includes jewelry and jewelry items created over the last 1,000 years.


The Christian section will present the public with a first ever opportunity to view a selection of centuries old sacred silver and gold vessels, from the collection of the Franciscan Order in Jerusalem. The exhibits, which were created for Christian ritual purposes, are gifts from the various Christian nations of Europe which were sent to the Franciscans in order to help them maintain the Christian holy sites in the Land of Israel. The exhibits include objects made in Spain, Portugal, Napoli and Sicily, as well as in the Austro-Hungarian Empire between the 16th and 19th centuries.


The Jewish section will include a selection of Jewish sacred vessels and amulets from Islamic countries, and items from the Gross family collection. These items reflect the style of the culture in which Jews lived in these countries, while expressing a similar language to the folk art which serve Jewish and Islamic believers alike.


The second section of the exhibition engages in contemporary jewelry making. Forty five Israeli jewelry makers were asked by the museum to create jewelry works inspired by the museum’s Islamic jewelry collection. They were asked to relate to a specific item, motif, form or meaning. The works that were created break out of the field of traditional jewelry making and address content that relate to the time and place in which we live. The new works will be exhibited alongside their course of inspiration from the museum’s collection. This confluence generates intriguing dialogue between past and present, tradition and change.


The third part of the exhibition will present jewelry that belonged to late singer Ofra Hazza. These are traditional jewelry items form Yemenite Jewry made especially for her by Benzion David. David is an 8th generation descendant of jewelry makers from Najran in north Yemen. He learned his craft, in his childhood, from his father and took it upon himself, as a mission, to preserve the secrets of Yemenite jewelry making.


The exhibition will also include jewelry made by Bedouin jewelry makers Hussein Awad and his son Mansour, from the Jabalia tribe. They live below the St. Catherine monastery in the Sinai Peninsula. The incidence of jewelry makers from this tribe is exceptional. Bedouin jewelry in the Sinai was mostly brought from the Saudi Arabian peninsula by pilgrims returning from Mecca. Jewelry made by Hussein and Mansour Awad are exhibited thanks to the generosity of Orna Goren.


Jewelry makers whose works feature in the exhibition:

Anat Aboucaya Grozovski, Sean Axelrod, Peter Bauhuis, Vered Babai, Einav Benzano, Michal Bar–On Shaish, Shirly Bar-Amotz, Anat Golan, Noa Goren Amir, Rill Greenfeld, Israel Dahan, Rachel Dahan Taanach, Oded Halahmy, Naama Haneman, Noga Harel, Eden Herman Rosenblum, Yasmin Vinograd, Noa Zilberman, Dana Hakim Bercovich, Noa Tamir, Rami Tareef, Malka Cohavi, Ariel Lavian, Hadas Levin, Noa Liran, Noa Nadir, Ido Noy, Meirav Niv, Gadeer Slayeh, Sari Srulovitch, Shiri Avda, Shir Pins, Tamar Paley, Yael Friedman, Dania Chelminsky, Vered Kaminski, Esther Knobel, Alona Katzir, Katia Rabey, Merav Rahat, Kobi Roth & Deganit Stern Schocken, Amit Shur,  Inbar Shahak, Sara Shahak, Daniella Saraya      

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