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The Israel Museum Turns 50

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This week marked the 50th anniversary of the Israel Museum, an art and archaeology museum located in Jerusalem that is home to one of the world’s most extensive collections of Holy Land and biblical archaeology. The museum has been celebrating this milestone with special exhibitions all year.  

From exhibitions uniting seminal works from across the Museum's encyclopedic holdings, to displays showcasing masterworks on loan from sister institutions, the Museum's anniversary year features the shared narratives of cultures and civilizations worldwide. Special focus is given to the trajectory of Israel's own visual culture, from its roots in Europe more than 100 years ago, to the founding of the Museum in 1965, through the present day.

. . . Opening in May as a centerpiece of the anniversary year is a focused exhibition that features twelve pivotal objects from across the Museum's collections that illustrate the history of human civilization from prehistoric times through the present day.

"A Brief History of Humankind" (May 1 - December 26, 2015): The rich and diverse holdings of the Israel Museum span a timeline of hundreds of thousands of years, from the dawn of human civilization to contemporary life. Among these objects are: examples of the first use of fire in a communal setting; the first tools used by man; the first examples of Homo Sapiens and Neanderthal life forms; the material depiction of gods and leaders; the earliest evidence of writing and numerals; examples of the early practice of law; the first coins; and the invention of printing, concluding with the manuscript for Albert Einstein's Special Theory of Relativity. These works are amplified by related works of contemporary art and objects from across the history of material culture. All together, these holdings underscore the universal character of the Museum's collections.

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