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the “Billy Rose sculpture garden” at the Israel Museum

I have never visted Jerusalem, but because of a recent acquisition for my inventory i want to share the experience of an actual visitor to the garden who truly enjoyed it. The catalogue of the sculpture garden is available at www.ftn-books.com

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It was a sunny Sunday morning, and I was strolling through a peaceful garden. This was the Billy Rose Art Garden, in the grounds of Jerusalem’s Israel Museum. The Museum has some impressive exhibits, including the Dead Sea Scrolls and extensive collections of art and archaeology. But the Scrolls would have to wait for another time: I was here for the sculpture.

Walking Through the Billy Rose Art Garden

I had the garden almost to myself. The sounds of birdsong and distant church bells competed for my attention. The paths were lined with fragrant plants. And there were sculptures everywhere, in perfect harmony with their surroundings.

Completed in 1965, the Billy Rose Art Garden was the work of Isamu Noguchi, an American sculptor. He followed the principles of Zen design, using a variety of different materials such as concrete, gravel and water, and featuring mostly native plants. The garden is set on a steep hillside, so that panoramic views of the city are incorporated into the landscape.

Sculptures Old and New

Some of the sculptures are by well known artists. As you enter the garden you are greeted by a statue of Adam by Auguste Rodin. Later on, a sculpture by Henry Moore poses against the city skyline. But others are more modern, often by contemporary Israeli sculptors. There is a giant stainless steel apple core, and the appropriately named “Turning the World Upside Down”, which reflects and inverts its surroundings.

The modern sculptures have not always been admired by everyone. It is said that Billy Rose, the American showman who founded and gave his name to the garden, commented that they should be “melted down for bullets”! Modern visitors might well disagree. For myself, I enjoyed the juxtaposition of old and new, and the pleasure of turning every corner to find something different.

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Willem Sandberg (1897-1984) typography

It is almost a year since I tipped the readers of my blog to start to collect Willem Sandberg typography. Since, i have found some interesting examples of his excellent typography which i want to present to you. For those of you who are new in reading this blog. Willem Sandberg was a designer /typographer who became director of the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam for a very long period ( 1945-1963) who designed many of the publications during this period of time and who contacted and presented many of the most famous 20th century artists in the Stedelijk Museum. His publications are characterized by the use of plain ( carton like papers) and the lettering looks random, made out of torn papers. But these are very accurate designs. You can find many sources of information on Sandberg on the internet, but one of the best is still the site of the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam. ( www.stedelijk.nl ). Now here are some new and old additions to the inventory of www.ftn-books.com

 

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Ram Katzir (1969) and Your Coloring Book

 

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This dutch/Israeli graphic designer and sculptor is not very well known outside the Netherlands, but perhaps this will change in the future. He has studio’s in Amsterdam and Beijing. Until 10 years ago i did not know this artist either, but because of a fantastic pubication he made for the Stedelijk Museum ( Your coloring book) he became known to me. Far before publishers discovered the commercial value of coloring books and the soothing and comforting qualities of coloring books. This book combines both. It is an artist book and coloring book in one and still available at www.ftn.books.com

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