Wall Art in Israel

Wall art is a part of the landscape in Israel. The works of art – including paintings, reliefs, mosaics, and a range of other techniques and styles – grace the walls of cultural institutions, public and religious buildings, hotels, and private homes, both inside and out. They attest to historical, social, national and religious perceptions and illustrate the people and communities living in Israel. The object of the Israel wall-art survey is to classify and bring together in a single place the many examples in the country, some of which are threatened with destruction and oblivion, and to form a comprehensive database collected with the cooperation of the public.

The database enables the compilation of a long-term program to document, catalog, and preserve the works, which are a significant visual and cultural embodiment of Israel’s historic heritage.

The Yad Ben-Zvi Institute began conducting the first survey of its kind of Israel’s wall art in 2013, initiated by the Heritage and Commemoration Department of the Prime Minister’s Office with the cooperation of the Society for Preservation of Israel Heritage Sites. The survey aims to uncover, document, preserve, and provide access to the works that have adorned the walls of public buildings and private homes across the country from the nineteenth century to the present day.

The information about the works, their condition and their location comes from the public and is entered into a comprehensive database. A serial card is assigned to each work, containing basic information about it and allowing more data to be added in the future. A professional data system was built for the survey, enabling experts from various disciplines to examine and categorize the works with the aim of documenting and researching the wall art as well as preserving it. The site also contains articles, news items, and other links designed to increase awareness and interest in this aspect of Israel’s visual cultural heritage.

Woman in the shade of a tree, Mordechai Gompel, Ein Harod Photo: Hila Mesinger

Woman in the shade of a tree, Mordechai Gompel, Ein Harod
Photo: Hila Mesinger