Israel Museum Celebrates 50th Anniversary with “A Brief History of Humankind”

Haim Steinbach, Stay with Friends 2 (1986)
Photo: Courtesy Israel Museum

As part of an exhibition program to celebrate its 50th anniversary in May, the Israel Museum in Jerusalem is hosting a large group exhibition entitled “A Brief History of Humankind.”

The framework of the exhibition will map out momentous turns through 14 pivotal objects from the museum’s encyclopedic collection.

The artifacts serve as tokens of the development of civilization during three key historical periods: the Cognitive Revolution, the Agricultural Revolution, and the Industrial Revolution.

These historical objects—which include the earliest dated stone tools found in Israel, the skull of a Neanderthal man, and the first written evidence of the Ten Commandments found in the Dead Sea—will be showcased in dialogue with contemporary artworks.

Artists participating in the show include Miroslaw Balka, Janet Cardiff, Bruce Conner, Mark Dion, Douglas Gordon, Camille Henrot, Aernout Mik, Charles Ray, Doron Solomons, Haim Steinbach, and Mark Wallinger.

With these juxtapositions of ancient and contemporary, the exhibition—curated by Tania Coen-Uzzielli, head of curatorial affairs at the Israel Museum, and Efrat Klein, associate curator—underscores the overarching, universal themes that transcend history.

Doing so, the exhibition seeks to explore questions of survival and extinction, the conventions of modern society, and what the future holds for humankind.

“A Brief History of Humankind” will be on view with at the Israel Museum, 11 Ruppin Boulevard, Hakyria, Jerusalem, from May 1 2015 – January 2 2016.

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