While visiting Israel Museum – one of the leading art and archeology museums in the world – you have a chance to see great artworks, BREATHE in the Billy Rose Art Garden, admire wonderful views of Jerusalem and find the best gifts for all of your friends as well as for yourself in the vast museum shop!
We arrived at the museum on Tuesday at 2 pm only to find out that it was closed until 4 pm (the museum is open Sun, Mon, Wed, Thur, Sat 10 am – 5 pm, Tue 4 pm – 9 pm, Fri 10 am – 2 pm), but those two hours flew by unnoticed because we were walking around the great museum shop! We got ourselves beautiful candles with Robert Indiana’s “Love” in Hebrew, an umbrella (that we will barely need in Israel, but will surely need in Europe), souvenirs for friends, relatives… And that’s when we saw “paper” vases. First of all – how often can you get someone a vase for a present, especially if you are traveling? The vase folds, becoming as thin as a piece of paper, at the same time it is so strong that it cannot be torn, the art prints are trapped between material's layers so they cannot scratch, it was tested under conditions of pressure so it shouldn't ever leak. And you can drop it if you want!
Of course, when talking about dropping vases in the Israel Museum it makes everyone cringe! Remember the story, when in 2015 a young girl visiting the Israel Museum accidentally broke a 2 000-year-old Roman-era vase? It all ended well – the vase was repaired by the museum laboratory and they got it looking better than before, as the museum stated to Haaretz daily: “It would require a great effort to notice the crack.”
In the museum shop you can find unbreakable vase VAZU that was created 10 years ago, by Israeli designers Tzvika Nahumzon, Eitan Nordman and Chagai Strauss – today VAZU CEO and chief designer of the company. The vase that changed the “concept” of vases was created right after the designers graduated. One of the first venues to sell VAZU was the Israel Museum shop, they believed in young artists and loved the product. Since 2006 VAZU and Israel Museum shop have been working together and the unbreakable vase became one of the best sellers. Having 2 bags of various beautiful museum shop finds we got a chance to ask the Israel Museum shop representatives a few questions about the shop.
Shop offers various pieces inspired by art, presented in the museum. How do you choose which works to replicate and which designers to invite?
The decisions regarding which works to replicate are made by a group including Mor Kalev, the shop's CEO, as well as curators and other staff in the museum. The process is an exciting collaboration.
We make sure to choose designers who offer unique types of art and design, rather than items that are similar to what is already out there. This keeps the line fresh and gives each artist an opportunity to present their work with confidence.
What are the most unexpected or surprising items that were created for an exhibition?
We create a large range of items for exhibitions, from notebooks to umbrellas. An unexpected item is the special V-cube, which is like a Rubik’s cube. On each side of the cube, there is a picture of an item from a specific exhibition or the Museum's logo. It is a unique and surprising gift.
The shop is vast, what items are the most dear to your heart, maybe they are objects with special stories?
We want to give all customers a unique experience, which is why we offer such a large variety of items, ranging from replicas to jewelry to modern design pieces. You can find meaningful gifts for all occasions in our shop. Each one tells a story, especially our replicas. For example, we offer a miniature version of the Dead Sea Scrolls, which is one of our most popular permanent displays. Measuring only 10.5 cm x 20 cm, the jar is based on the original jar in which the actual Dead Sea Scrolls were found. Inside the jar is a replica of one of the scrolls, a booklet describing how the scrolls were discovered, and a certificate of authenticity from the Museum. Many of our pieces come with an explanation of the object's origin.
Do you create special objects for Rosh Hashanah and other Jewish holidays?
Our shop features a large and diverse Judaica collection, offering items for all of the Jewish holidays. We currently have a sale on most holiday items, including special plates for Rosh Hashanah. In addition to our on-campus stores, our products are available in other venues around the world, and can be purchased online - we ship internationally.
So get yourself unbreakable vases, replicas from Roman-era jewelry, carpets, candles, Rubik’s cubes and anything you might desire in the vast museum shop.