Ein Harod Museum of Art is my go-to museum in the Jezreel Valley. Ein Harod Museum of Art started in 1937 as an “Art Corner” in a small wooden shack used as the atelier of Kibbutz Ein Harod member, the painter Haim Atar (1902-1953) – the Museum’s visionary and founder. In 1940, the Museum moved to its new home in a relatively large shack, previously used as the kibbutz school. It was renovated, and new jute cloths covered its walls. At first, the collection was exhibited in two rooms: one for oil and aquarelle paintings and the other for drawings and prints. In 1943, the third room in the shack was included, dedicated to an art library.
Ein Harod Museum of Art
In 1948, the first section of the permanent building, now called Mishkan or Home for Art, was opened. Architect Shmuel Bickels planned a pure architectonic masterpiece, whose rare qualities lie in the relations of scale between the halls and the original and unique utilization of natural light. Exhibition halls, sculpture courtyards, and a library were gradually built and added to the spacious building. During this construction, the kibbutz split due to ideological differences between Ein Harod Ihud and Ein Harod Meuhad (ironically, both Hebrew synonyms for “united”). Unlike many other kibbutz institutes, however, it was decided to retain the Museum as a joint institute of both; testifying to the kibbutz members’ high regard for the Museum.
Bickels’ plan was ambitious and far-reaching, and its implementation ran into budget difficulties. The various halls were constructed gradually, but the entire project was never wholly executed. The construction ended in 1958 without completing Stage III of the original plan.
Ein Harod Museum of Art is Adreesing Marginalized Aspects By Israeli Art
A central guiding concept in the Museum’s activity was addressing aspects marginalized by the official historiography of Israeli art. Accordingly, the Mishkan hosted solo exhibitions by talented artists that have formed a fascinating corpus over the years and yet were not included in the mainstream of Israeli art. Safeguarding the memory of Israeli artists and preserving their oeuvres is a significant part of the Mishkan Museum of Art in Ein Harod. The museum collection includes the estates of Haim Atar; Miron Sima; Meira Shemesh, and Meir Agassi, as well as the estates of other artists relevant to Jewish and Israeli art. Also, the Museum regularly displays exhibitions by young artists and projects that afford innovative and extraordinary experiences.