Institute for Israeli Art

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Welcome to the Institute for Israeli Art at the Academic College of Tel Aviv-Yafo Israel’s leading center for the study of Israeli art history and curating.

Our institute is the only one in Israel focusing on Israeli art, and its faculty includes Israel’s leading curators and art scholars.

About us

The Institute for Israeli Art was founded in October 2013 in the Academic College of Tel Aviv-Yafo, in response to a decade-long sparsity of Israeli Art research and scholarship in the local cultural landscape. The Institute was established by Gideon Ofrat, PhD, and Rodi Bineth. The Institute for Israeli Art is of interest to those aspiring to widen their horizons and deepen their knowledge, as well as to those involved in writing, curating, gallery management, collecting, and collection management. The Institute is a meeting place for leading figures in the field of visual arts in Israel: researchers, curators and artists. 

Israeli Art: 100 Years and Beyond

Since the founding of “Bezalel School of Arts and Crafts” in 1906, generations of artists have been examining and engaging with the complex place in which they work. Throughout the generations, Israeli creative production has been intertwined with the history of settlement in the region and the history of the State of Israel. In recent decades, the international art scene has demonstrated an increasing appreciation of Israeli artists and their work. A growing number of artists are showing their work in notable museum exhibitions and prominent galleries worldwide. Now is the time to learn about Israeli artists and curators, know with their work, and understand the contexts from which their process has emerged, as well as the ways in which it is received. The richness of Israeli artistic production, the diversity of museums and galleries, and the status of Israeli art in the international art scene make necessary a dedicated center for the study of Israeli art: The Institute for Israeli Art.

Program for Israeli Art Studies

The courses offered at The Institute for Israeli Art are in the fields of art, design and architecture and are taught by the leading lecturers and scholars in Israel. The courses provide enthusiastic and curious students opportunities to deepen their knowledge and gain a broad and rich understanding in historical and thematic topics. Graduates of the program will gain skills that can be applied to curatorial practices, research, criticism, trade, and collecting. The program offers a certificate studies track, as well as the option to participate in individual courses. It includes visits to museums, select exhibitions, and significant art collections, as well as visiting lectures from practicing artists.

Faculty includes: Housni Alkhateeb Shehada, PhD; Nivi Alroy; Zvi Efrat, PhD; Tal Ben-Zvi, PhD; Yair Barak; David Gurevich, PhD; David Graves, PhD; Ruti Direktor; Jonathan Hirschfeld; Hadas Maor; Gideon Ofrat, PhD; Yigal Zalmona; and Tali Tamir.

The Yona Fischer Certificate Program in Contemporary Curatorial and Museum Studies

The new program was established in 2016 in collaboration with the Herzliya Museum of Contemporary Art and with the guidance of curator Yona Fischer. The program includes 280 academic hours with leading historians and lecturers, tours to museums, exhibition spaces, labs, storage spaces and more. Final projects are completed with the guidance of an advisor, and internships at museums (84 hours) are specifically tailored to each student. The program provides students with broad theoretical foundations in the history of Israeli art, a comprehensive introduction to the fields of museology and contemporary curating, experience planning and developing a curatorial project, and curatorial research writing.

Program Director: Idit Amihai; Academic Advisor: Osnat Zukerman-Rechter, PhD

Faculty includes: Maayan Amir, PhD; Yonatan Amir; Yael Van Essen Eylat, PhD; Michal Heiman; Martin Weyl, PhD; Aya Lurie, PhD; Iris Lael; Yehudit Kol-Inbar, Osnat Zukerman-Rechter, PhD; and Tali Tamir.

Beyond the Classroom

The vision of the Institute for Israeli Art extends beyond the school’s programs. The fascinating evolution of Israeli art demands to be studied, researched and revealed. The Institute hosts symposiums on a variety of topics. Previous events include: The Feminine Presence in Israeli Art; Berlin-Jerusalem: On German Immigrant Artists; 100 Years of Israeli Print; and Does He Who Pay the Piper Call the Tune? The Institute promotes the publication of articles and research about Israeli art; and has set the research of local art as an objective, thereby illuminating and empowering it.

Idit Amihai, Program Director

Prior to joining the Institute, Idit headed the Israel Museums and Visual Arts Department in the Ministry of Culture for 15 years, and was the Israeli Cultural Attaché in Japan for 5 years. She received a degree in the History of Art from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Idit has advised and taught topics relating to culture and museums at the Bezalel Academy of Art and Design, Tel Aviv University, Shenkar, and more.

Curatorial and Museum Studies

The Yona Fischer Program for Contemporary Curatorial and Museum Studies is unique in that it is the only one in Israel combining curatorial practices and critical theoretical thinking with a broad knowledge of Israeli art history. The program provides students an in depth introduction to traditional museological topics, as well as to developments that have lead to the establishment of contemporary curatorial studies as an independent academic discipline.

Israel’s leading art historians and scholars are among the program’s faculty members. During the program, tours and meetings will be held with local and international professionals in the art and design fields: curators, artists, gallery owners, asset managers, and museum directors.

The program was established in 2016, in collaboration with the Herzliya Museum of Contemporary Art, and with the guidance of curator Yona Fischer. The program was reviewed by the Ministry of Culture and Sport, was found to meet all the requirements for recognition, and is expected to receive official recognition by the end of the academic year 2017-18.

The Program Includes:

  1. Three semesters of academic classes (280 academic hours) that take place once a week in the afternoon and every other Friday. Classes are arranged into four divisions: Contemporary Curatorial Studies, Museology, Reading and Writing, and Israeli Art Studies.

Academic studies include: an introduction to contemporary curatorial studies; the history of museums and museological approaches in Israel; an introduction to The Museum Law; museums and ethical issues, registration, museum education, planning and program development, budget development, and more. Additional courses pertain to Israeli art history, postmodernism, Israeli photography, art and Judaism, and more. The program includes two writing workshops dedicated to art criticism, and to curatorial research writing.

  1. An internship (84 hours) at one of the recognized museums or exhibition spaces with an established curator. Internships are specifically tailored to each student.
  2. Guided tours to museums, galleries, exhibition spaces, collections, storage spaces, preservation labs, education departments, etc.

Admission Requirements:

  1. An academic degree from a recognized institution in Israel or abroad

Or previous experience at a museum, or in collection management

  1. A personal interview

Program Requirements:

  1. Mandatory participation in classes, seminars, workshops and guided tours
  2. Submission of final project

Faculty includes:  Yael Van Essen Eylat, PhD; Maayan Amir, PhD; Michal Heiman; Martin Weyl, PhD; Aya Lurie, PhD; Mira Lapidot; Iris Lael; Ronit Milano, PhD; Joshua Simon, PhD; Yehudit Kol-Inbar; and Tali Tamir.

Program Director: Idit Amihai, Director of Institute for Israeli Art

Academic Consultant and Advisor: Osnat Zukerman-Rechter, PhD

Certificate Studies in Israeli Art

The program offered by the Institute for Israeli Art at the Academic College of Tel Aviv-Yafo, is the only one in the country focusing on Israeli art, and its faculty includes Israel’s leading curators and art scholars.

What Does the Program Include?

The program offers an historical perspective of Israeli art beginning with Christian and Jewish Art in the Land of Israel during the 19th century, through the various groups and schools of thought that developed in Israel over the years, until contemporary Israeli art. The program includes courses in a variety of thematic topics. These stimulate a critical dialogue about the visual expressions of the canon and of the various narratives of Israeli art, while addressing representations of the conflicts and the social and cultural disparities in Israel.

The curriculum includes a survey of groundbreaking exhibitions that have become historical milestones of the local art, and an introduction to the work of artists considered to be its founding figures. The program provides students the tools to observe Israeli art and offers interpretive methods for its various readings.

The medium of photography is emphasized in the program, with several courses dedicated to the foundations of Israeli photography, to local photographers and to Israeli video art.

Who Is the Program For?

For art professionals, curators, collectors, critics, writers, and for those interested in expanding their knowledge of Israeli Art. Participants in the program will receive a theoretical foundation, enriching them with extensive and current information.

Program Structure:

The program consists of 12 courses that may be taken in one year (three consecutive semesters) or divided into two years. All courses are semester-long and include 12 meetings, one and a half hours each, and guided tours of select exhibitions, lead by curators and course instructors.

Admission Requirements:

  1. Undergraduate degree (B.A.)
  2. Personal interview

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Academic College

The Academic College of Tel Aviv-Yafo (MTA), established in 1994 as non-profit public institution, embraced a vision of academic excellence and community contribution since its first day. Today, there are five schools, operating seven undergraduate degree and six graduate degree programs. There are 4,000 students currently enrolled at the MTA. The school’s 8,000 graduates have achieved significant accomplishments in academia, industry, business, and in the social and public realms.

Choosing Yafo as the place of residence for the MTA is a statement of the school’s social perspective and desire to stimulate change and reduce social gaps, particularly in education. The MTA’s community involvement is based on the conviction that reducing educational gaps demands addressing systemic problems with long-term interventions, beginning with enriching and cultivating activities in elementary schools, through high school and Bagrut Exams (matriculation exams), and culminating in shifting positions towards higher education. Therefore, the Academic College promotes a number of educational initiatives in all of Yafo’s public schools, as well as in a number of schools in southern Tel Aviv.

Integrating The Institute for Israeli Art in the academic program of MTA is in itself another statement: viewing art as a vehicle for social change. South Tel Aviv and Yafo are home to several public art institutions, community galleries, private commercial galleries, and artist studios.

The Institute for Israeli Art aspires to integrate into the local cultural fabric and encourage collaborations and educational activities addressing the community in the public sphere.

The MTA seeks to develop the education and research disciplines in Israeli art, and thus not only to expand its academic activities, but also to strengthen the ties between academia, its location and the community in which it operates. All this, while maintaining an awareness of the significance and prosperity of Israeli art and the unique insight it provides into Israeli society.

Academic College of Tel Aviv-Yafo website: www.mta.ac.il