The Museum is home to one of the most comprehensive collections of Israeli art in the world. This unique collection traces the development of Israeli art from its beginnings and through the 1920s – when the Modernist style of painting in Israel emerged – to contemporary Israeli art. Israeli artists have been particularly concerned with questions of identity and conflict. They explore topics as varied as local landscapes and Mediterranean light, Jewish tradition and its complex attitude toward figurative art, and socio-political as well as urban issues: local versus universal, periphery versus center, or east versus west dialectics.
Recently, Israeli artists have become much more present on the international art scene. Often, the Museum has served as a springboard for these artists, by showcasing solo exhibitions accompanied by extensive catalogues and by acquiring some of their major art works.
Over the years, the Museum collection of Israeli art has been steadily enlarged through generous gifts from artists, benefactors and acquisition funds, such as the Recanati Fund, the Ettinger-Gilman Fund, the Lily Richmond Fund, the Uzi Zucker Fund, the Nathan Gottesdiener Foundation, the Rappaport Prize, the Isracard Foundation and the support of the America-Israel Cultural Foundation.