University of Haifa International School Student Blog
By Josh Artman, a student at the Study Abroad program at the International School.
If you’re an avid reader of my blogs (hi, Mom!), you may remember that I devoted my last post to two museums in Haifa: the MadaTech Science Center and the Haifa Museum of Art. I also mentioned that I bought the Haifa City Museum pass, which gave me free admission to five other museums in the city for one week. Thankfully, I decided to get my money’s worth and have since visited two more of these museums: the Tikotin Museum of Japanese Art and the Mané-Katz Museum.
I had heard good things about the Tikotin Museum—my coworker Alana had been there for a gallery opening a few months ago and told me that it was a must-see. The museum was broken up into three main galleries: one on contemporary artist Makoto Fujimura, a second focusing on miniature figurines and other crafts, and a third on prints from the Shin-hanga movement.
I should disclose that despite liking museums, I’m not very knowledgeable about art or art history. That being said, I was really taken back by the Shin-hanga (“The New Prints”) exhibition. This movement took place in the first three decades of the 20th century, after Japan had opened itself up to the West. Western artwork had become popular, and Japanese artists began incorporating some of this Western influence into their own works. They broke from Japanese tradition of using “lyrical colors” and instead adopted bright, bold colors. This exhibition really drew me in and was definitely my favorite on display at the Tikotin.
The Mané-Katz Museum was a very short walk from the Tikotin, and there I found a small but still very appealing exhibition. It was broken up into four brightly painted rooms, each highlighting a different aspect of the work of painter Emmanuel Mané-Katz. The Jewish artist was born in Ukraine in the 1890’s, studied art in Paris, and eventually began splitting his time between there and Israel–he first visited the Mandate in 1928 and began making annual trips thereafter. Towards the end of Mané-Katz’s life, the mayor of Haifa gifted a house on Mt. Carmel which was converted to a museum after his death. He was also a member of the School of Paris movement and a friend of Pablo Picasso.
I got to the Mané-Katz only forty minutes before it closed, but there was still enough time to look through the small exhibition. While skillful, Mané-Katz’s paintings didn’t draw me in the same way that The New Prints did, but I was still glad I went and saw them. I’m really glad I went to these museums on the Museum Pass, as they were both on the smaller side and I don’t know if they would be worth the full admission cost—for my tastes, at least.
That about does it for this museum report, and it’s looking like this will be one of my latest blog posts! I think I still may have one or two more, but I’m flying home on the first of June! Thanks for reading my posts up to this point, Mom!