April 03, 2017

Israel Museum: Unity in diversity

At Jerusalem's Israel Museum, I marvel at the unity in diversity of art and archaeology collections, including works dating from prehistory to the present day in a far-ranging collection of nearly 500,000 objects representing the full scope of world material culture.

An example. Behind me a giant white dome, the top of the Shrine of the Book Complex built as a repository for the first seven scrolls of the Hebrew Bible discovered in 1947 in caves around the archaeological site of Qumran in the Judaean Desert east of Jerusalem and descending to the Dead Sea. (Through 1956, extensive excavations have taken place in Qumran where nearly 900 scrolls and other artifacts were discovered.) The manuscripts, called the Dead Sea Scrolls, were written centuries before the birth of Christianity and Islam and housed and preserved in clay jars. The white dome represents a lid of each jar.

On the lower right, a mobile by the originator of the mobile, US artist Alexander Calder (1898 - 1976) who was also a painter, sculptor, and creator of mobiles, stabiles, and miniature wire toys.

Oh, and on the lower left, knockout knockoff Prada shades that I bought last Thanksgiving at a vintage shop on Connecticut Avenue in Washington, DC.

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