ILANA GUR MUSEUM OLD CITY JAFFA
The Ilana Goor Museum is one of the best museums in jaffa and Israel that you don't want to miss, a real pearl in the heart of the old city of Jaffa, it is the home of the artist Ilana Goor but also a huge 3 floors exhibition center.
Ilana Gur is a contemporary Israeli artist, designer, and sculptor. She was born in 1935 to a family of doctors and artists and spent her childhood and youth on kibbutzim and moshavim around Tiberias. Ilana is dyslexic, so access to formal education was limited for her, all of her education was a few months of study at the Bezalel Academy of Arts in Jerusalem. This did not prevent her from developing her natural creative inclinations and becoming a self-taught artist and a passionate art collector.
As a sculptor, she is best known for her work with bronze – the sculpture “Woman in the Wind” on the waterfront in Charles Clore Park in Tel Aviv and the figure of a mother who lost her child (sculpture “Never Again”) in the Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum are familiar to many residents and guests of Israel. In addition, Ilana creates recognizable massive jewelry (which her friend, the well-known designer Donna Karan) and amazing pieces of furniture, most often based on parts of ancient agricultural implements or simply massive elements cast from metal.
The Ilana Gur Museum in Jaffa opened in September 1995, but Ilana Gur and her husband bought the eighteenth-century house much earlier, in the late seventies. When the number of works by Ilana herself, the works of other contemporary - both Israeli and foreign - artists she collected, and exhibits of naive art and archaeological excavations collected around the world, exceeded several hundred, it was decided to open the collection to the public. During her stay in Israel - she spends half of her time in New York - Ilana still lives in this house, and the whole atmosphere of the museum is charged with the energy of a living home of a creative, strong, happy personality.
Inside the Ilana Gur Museum in Jaffa, You can often see her in the halls open to visitors, and it’s hard not to pay attention to her: this is a gray-haired, self-confident woman, wearing glasses like John Lennon, dressed only in a shirt, men's leather pants, and massive boots. The artist constantly makes changes to the exhibition, and each item is precisely in its place, participating in a "dialogue" with a neighboring work or a general "conversation". The collection is eclectic and provokes the search for conceptual and visual connections between its components.
One of Ilana Gur's most famous works, which can be seen in the museum, is the Roots series made of bronze, created in 1978. Distorted figures peep out of large jugs. In these sculptures, one can see both birth and death - it is difficult to say whether this is a womb or a funeral urn. This ambiguity stems from the artist's complex relationship with Israel to her roots and is also reflected in the selection of works by other Israeli artists represented in the collection - in addition to Menashe Kadishman, Yitzhak Danziger, Uri Lifshitz, Michal Kol, and others, installations and paintings are also presented here. contemporary Arabic and Druze artists, and this polyphony seems very appropriate and natural in this house.
The Ilana Gur museum building itself is also interesting. Originally used as the first inn for Jewish pilgrims to the Holy Land coming threw the old Jaffa port, it was the largest Jewish-owned building in Jaffa. Then there was a residential building and a factory for the production of perfumes and cosmetics based on olive oil. Inside, the ceiling attracts special attention - before the invention of air conditioners, the house was cooled by special holes(Mashrabiya).
From the top floor and terrace, where the "sculpture garden" is located, there is a beautiful view of the sea and the old city of Jaffa. “This house is also my sculpture, my work. I have invested a lot of effort in its restoration over the years, and continue to invest, it is like a bottomless well. This is a living museum that lives its own life, and at the same time the house in which I live inside the art,” says Ilana herself about the museum.
In addition to daytime tours, the museum regularly offers various evening events - including in English and Russian - which include viewing the exposition and meeting interesting people.
A beautiful gift shop is also available in the museum hand made by Ilana Goor and other Israeli artists.
Visiting the Ilana Gur Museum in Jaffa is possible every day and if you book a private Jaffa tour your visit to the museum will be free of charge... interested to learn more?
Book a private Old Jaffa tour today and meet Ilana Gur!