Jerusalem has long had a creative spirit, and is home to the country’s most renowned art school, the Bezalel Academy of Art of Design, now part of Hebrew University. Even the Biblical tradition highlights the role of design, with much text dedicated to describing how the Isralites should build their tabernacle, temple and altar. In fact, the school Bezalel takes its name from the Biblical Bezalel, who oversaw the design of the Tabernacle, as described in the Book of Exodus. So it is not surprising that today, too, art is playing a role in the city’s growth and development. There are now dozens of art galleries, many opened only during the last decade, scattered throughout the city, from the narrow alleyways of Nachlaot to the main streets of the city center. Here are four geographic clusters of art galleries in Jerusalem. One can easily spend a half day exploring each group of galleries. Many of these locations have special events and rotating exhibits, and it’s best to check the opening hours before heading out on a visit.
Around the Inbal Hotel
HaMiffal,at 3 Ma’aravim Street, is a multi-media art and design center located in a revamped 19th century building. The location is a workspace for artists, hosts events and features a small cafe. The second floor is home to a contemporary art gallery. The Hansen House, at 14 Gdalyahu Street, is a large 19th century estate, surrounded by gardens, that once served as a home for those with leprosy. It is now home to both permanent and rotating art exhibits, a small museum, and cafe serving fresh organic food from an Israeli farm. The Jerusalem Theater, at 20 David Marcus Street, not only presents some of the best Israeli and international performances and is home to the city’s symphony orchestra, but also contains a gallery with ongoing and new exhibitions. Mishkenot Sha’ananim is the oldest neighborhood outside of the Old City Walls, and now contains a cultural center, which includes an art gallery, hosting a variety of exhibits.
Around the Mahane Yehuda Market
Beita, at 155 Jaffa Street, is a contemporary art gallery inside a historic home. In addition to exhibitions, the gallery holds workshops and other activities to bring together artists. It is also home to the Muslala Wood Workshop, which offers carpentry and engraving courses. Agrippas 12, is a non-profit gallery maintained by a collective of artists, featuring rotating exhibitions. It shares a building with the Marie Gallery, another cooperative exhibition space, named after Marie Adwash, who lived there with her husband, Abraham, who was a master stonemason.
The Center of Town
The Anna Ticho House, at 10 HaRav Agan Street, has long been a fixture in Jerusalem, as it was once home to a well-known eye doctor and his wife, Anna, a watercolor artist who also made many landscape drawings. In recent years, the space was renovated, and features a contemporary art gallery associated with the Israel Museum. The Artists House, at 12 Shmuel HaNagid Street, was the original location of the Bezalel School of Arts and Crafts. It now contains a gallery with both permanent and temporary exhibitions by both Israeli and international artists. Beit Avi Chai, at 44 King George Street, is dedicated to Jewish and Israrli art and culture. In addition to performances, films and other events, it contains an art gallery with a variety of exhibitions.
The Jerusalem Print Workshop, in an Ottoman period building at 38 Shivtei Israel Street, is dedicated to Hebrew print-making, both traditional and contemporary. There are two galleries with temporary and ongoing exhibitions, as well as a rich library. The Musrara Naggar School of Art and Society, at 9 HaAyin Chet St., is home to three art galleries, featuring both international and local artists. The Barbur Gallery at 1 HaSoreg Street, is another well-known contemporary art gallery, which also hosts performances and events.