Water and Light


In a part of the world that is so arid seeing this abundance of water seems nothing less than miraculous.  This is Gan Ha’Shlosha or Sachne in Arabic, and yes it’s a national park enjoyed by all the residents of this part of the Galilee- Muslims, Jews, and Christians.  Refreshing in so many ways.  Nearby is an unexpected find that I had read about recently and wanted to check out.  It’s the Arts Hall at Kibbutz Ein Harod, now an abandoned kibbutz with only the museum still functioning. This was one of the first museums built in Israel, in the 1930s.  It was designed by one of the kibbutz members, Samuel Bickels.

It was inaugurated at the height of hostilities during Israel’s war of independence in 1947.  It was the belief of the members of Kibbutz Ein Harod that culture was a necessity, not a luxury and this museum was built even before other necessary facilities for comfort or success.

 

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Springs were widened into pools with warm water all year round. You may be able to see the arid hills behind, a stark contrast.
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It’s a pleasure to see so many different kinds of people having a pleasurable afternoon together.
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Burkinis on the upper path, swim trunks and hookas by the water.
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And by way of sad contrast this peaceful line of walkers includes a number who have machine guns strapped across their chests, something one gets used to quickly in this part of the world.
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Front entrance of Arts Hall, Ein Harod. Kibbutz Ein Harod existed from 1921-1952 when it was abandoned and split into two communities. This garden of sculptures looks both like a Japanese dry garden as well as abandoned farm tools from the defunct kibbutz nearby.
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Museum considered one of the earliest examples of modernist museum architecture based exclusively on natural light. This museum was an inspiration to the famous architect Renzo Piano for his Menil Collection in Houston and numerous other architects have followed suit.
The natural light comes through skylights onto the walls.  As far as I could tell all of the art is by Israeli artists, much of which looks quite derivative and dated when looking at the permanent collection of the museum.
The natural light comes through skylights onto the walls. As far as I could tell all of the art is by Israeli artists, much of which looks quite derivative and dated when looking at the permanent collection of the museum.
What is refreshing is the more contemporary works and the prints and drawings.  Here you can see how natural light is the only source of lighting in this room.
What is refreshing is the more contemporary works and the prints and drawings. Here you can see how natural light is the only source of lighting in this room.
A special exhibit of prints and drawings by Israeli impressionists.
A special exhibit of prints and drawings by Israeli impressionists.
A new use for steel wool and felt, "The Jezreel  Valley in the Dark" by Gal Weinstein, 2015
A new use for steel wool and felt, “The Jezreel Valley in the Dark” by Gal Weinstein, 2015
This and the next triptych painting reminded me of where we were earlier in the day, at Sachne.  A community of people enjoying themselves.  This one is titled "Yohanan and me" by Shira Gepstein Moshkovich, 2011
This and the next triptych painting reminded me of where we were earlier in the day, at Sachne. A community of people enjoying themselves. This one is titled “Yohanan and me” by Shira Gepstein Moshkovich, 2011
Jonathan Gold, "Green Bathers", 2015, pigment and glue on canvas
Jonathan Gold, “Green Bathers”, 2015, pigment and glue on canvas
Beautiful light in the contemporary gallery, especially falling on the large photographs as if they were part of the work.
Beautiful light in the contemporary gallery, especially falling on the large photographs as if they were part of the work.
More about water before finishing.  What you are looking at is the view of Nazareth on the top of the hill where water springs bring water down to the valley and to the ancient town of Zippori (more about that in the next post).
More about water before finishing. What you are looking at is the view of Nazareth on the top of the hill where water springs bring water down to the valley and to the ancient town of Zippori (more about that in the next post).
This mosaic map shows the springs that brought water into channels man-made to distribute water in ancient times.
This mosaic map shows the springs that brought water into channels man-made to distribute water in ancient times.
Yes, this is a mosaic map of the channels flowing towards Zippori.
Yes, this is a mosaic map of the channels flowing towards Zippori.
An active archaeological and reconstruction zone (more on this in the next post)
An active archaeological and reconstruction zone (more on this in the next post)
The channel through which that water flowed in ancient times.
The channel through which that water flowed in ancient times.
The channels were dug through the earth and lined with plaster.  The plaster is now being repaired and preserved.
The channels were dug through the earth and lined with plaster. The plaster is now being repaired and preserved.
These tunnels were built in the 2nd century CE (not including the stairs)
These tunnels were built in the 2nd century CE (not including the stairs)

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