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The Israel Museum, an encyclopedic museum of great depth and breadth, is fortunate to have in its collections treasures of artistic virtuosity spanning a broad range of cultures. Over the years, this wealth of material has provided the opportunity for exhibitions that offer revelatory juxtapositions of objects, from archaeological antiquities to cutting-edge contemporary art. Now, while the Museum is renewing all of its permanent collection galleries, we have organized a series of temporary exhibitions that highlight and celebrate this interdisciplinary strength. Bizarre Perfection, the second in the series, focuses on the remarkable technical dexterity of artist and artisan alike, presenting works that cross the traditional boundaries between art and craft and that can perhaps best be described as marvelous. These works, some of them on display for the first time, are drawn from each of our three curatorial wings, in archaeology, Jewish art and life, and the fine arts. They are enriched in this display by a number of key loans which demonstrate through examples of very contemporary art an extraordinary attention to detail and to masterful execution, offering insight into the artistic quest for perfection.

We are grateful to the exhibitions lenders, who are listed elsewhere in this publication, and to the Jack N. and Lilyan Mandel Fund, the Joseph C. and Florence Mandel Fund, the Morton L. and Barbara Mandel Fund, and the donors to the Museums 2008 Exhibition Fund for making it possible to realize this project in the fullest possible way. This exhibition also offers the opportunity to recognize the sustained achievement of Chief Curator of the Arts and Curator of Contemporary Art Suzanne Landau, who continues in projects such as this to demonstrate the rich potential of works of art in many forms to speak to one another in meaningful and illuminating ways. For this particular exhibition and publication, she enjoyed the important and enthusiastic assistance of Associate Curator Tanya Sirakovich of the Modern Art Department and of many other members of the Museums staff, among them curators representing the broad range of disciplines brought
together by this undertaking.

James S. Snyder
Anne and Jerome Fisher Director

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To The Israel Museum Exhibition Online | The Israel Museum, Jerusalem | Copyright The Israel Museum, Jerusalem 1995-