|About the Collection|
Dada and Surrealism rank among the most significant movements of our time. They challenged tradition, introducing materials and visual strategies that would change the vocabulary of art and creating an enduring legacy that has transformed art history.
The connection between Surrealism and the Israel Museum began as a “chance encounter” more than fifty years ago, and it has since evolved into a deep and lasting relationship. Thanks in great part to generous gifts from donors and artists alike, the Museum has been able to form a spectacular holding of Dada and Surrealist material, comprising everything from paintings, readymades, and photographs to works in the wide variety of new and innovative mediums employed by these groundbreaking movements.
This repository also includes an extensive library and documentary materials that make the collection an important international research resource.
The Museum owes this richness first and foremost to Arturo Schwarz, who in 1972 gifted thirteen replicas of readymades by Marcel Duchamp, followed in 1991 by his gift of the Arturo Schwarz Dada and Surrealist Library, a rare accumulation of documents, periodicals, books, manuscripts, and letters. In 1998, on the occasion of Israel’s 50th anniversary year, he donated his vast collection of Dada, Surrealist, and pre-Surrealist art, comprising more than 700 works. This treasury – The Vera and Arturo Schwarz Collection of Dada and Surrealist Art in the Israel Museum – includes unparalleled holdings of individual artists,
|among them Duchamp and Man Ray, as well as an ensemble of other artists of remarkable breadth, reflecting a life committed to the Surrealist spirit. Other major gifts and bequests from a great many Museum friends worldwide have also enriched our holdings immeasurably. Harry Torczyner recognized the Museum’s 20th Anniversary in 1985 with his magnificent donation of Magritte’s signature Castle of the Pyrenees, 1959. In the 1980s, a bequest of Marc Engelhard, Paris, brought us Surrealist works acquired directly from practitioners of the movement. And the bequest of the Arthur and Madeleine Chalette Lejwa Collection in 1999 featured important additions of works by Arp, Picasso, and Gonzáles.|