As the Jewish holiday cycle turns to a celebration of nature with the holiday of Tu B’Shevat, which begins the evening of Feb. 7, Museum visitors who venture down to the concourse level or even gaze down into the atrium will see the intense orange shine of juice filled persimmons; tight bunches of yellow dates exploding from a tree like fireworks; and bold red pomegranates, symbols of the land of milk and honey.
Seven large breath-taking photographs of Israeli trees lush with fruit and impeccably pruned against a black backdrop now take their place on a once-empty wall.
Israeli artist Tal Shochat’s photographs from her In Praise of a Dream series serve as a dramatic reminder of human responsibilities to the environments in which we live. They invoke questions of rootedness, about Jews’ millennial history as a Diaspora people and their relationships to the homelands in which they have chosen to settle. They serve as a reminder of ideals worth fighting for and they make a profound statement with a simple icon: the tree.
The exhibition, which opened Feb. 1, inaugurates a new exhibitions program on the Museum’s concourse level and is part of an initiative to present new artifacts and exhibitions throughout the Museum that highlight aspects of the American Jewish experience for new and returning visitors, according to Ivy L. Barsky, the Museum’s Gwen Goodman director and COO.
Shochat’s prints were first exhibited in the Andrea Meislin Gallery in New York, which represents the artist. She is a noted photographer and teacher in Israel and has had solo shows at Rosenfeld Gallery, Tel Aviv, Herzliya Museum of Art and Haifa Museum of Art. Her work is in the Israel Museum, Jerusalem, and The Shpilman Institute of Photography, Tel Aviv.
Shochat’s In Praise of a Dream series and runs through April 22, Earth Day.
-Contributed by Ilana Blumenthal
Public Relations Associate