Ilana Goor Museum (מוזיאון אילנה גור) is an museum situated in the historical part of Jaffa, the Mediterranean port town south of Tel Aviv. The museum was founded in 1995 by Ilana Goor, an artist, designer and sculptor. Its eclectic collection has been called an “artistic jungle”, but Goor considers it to have been her own “university”.
The building now housing the Ilana Goor Museum was originally erected in 1742 as the first Jewish home outside of the Jaffa walls, by Yaakov Zonana, who served as the head of “Committee of Officers in Kushta” in Constantinople. The original function of the building was as an inn for pilgrims on their way to Jerusalem. The inn, located outside the city walls, served as a shelter, protecting the pilgrims from robbers. In the second half of the 19th century it became a factory for olive oil soap. Yet another century later, in 1949 and thus by now within the newly created State of Israel, a community of Libyan Jews were using part of the building as a synagogue. In the fifties, new immigrants from the Balkan States were housed in Jaffa and the Museum building also served then as housing. Ilana Goor first purchased part of the building in 1983 as a private residence, and then the nineties she eventually also the rest of it, with the intention of converting it to a museum dedicated to her art collection. The museum was inaugurated in September 1995.
Goor was born in Tiberias to an educated and distinguished family of highly respected doctors and artists. She never studied art or design in any formal setting. She first came to the United States in her 20’s. Goor’s first one-woman exhibition was held in 1972 at the California Museum of Science and Industry in Los Angeles.
The museum has a collection of more than 500 works of art, either created by Ilana Goor or collected by her over a period of 50 years, either in Israel or during her travels around the world. The collection includes paintings, some 300 sculptures, video art, Ethnic Art from Africa and Latin America, antiques, drawings and design objects. The museum has works by contemporary artists like Diego Giacometti, Henry Moore, Josef Albers and Olga Wolniak. The museum has been visited by over 200,000 visitors.
Goor Sculpture Locations in Israel
Goor’s sculpture can also be seen in a number of locations in Israel, such as the moving sculpture “Never Again” which is on display at Yad Vashem in Jerusalem and the “Woman in the Wind” sculpture that is close to the Charles Clore park in Tel Aviv.
Ilana Goor Museum
4 Mazal Dagim St., Old Jaffa 68036 https://www.facebook.com/ilanagoormuseum/