November 1st 2014
Named for the artist whose work is displayed here alongside pieces by creators from around the world, the Ilana Goor Museum is housed in a historic 18th century building in Old Jaffa. Over 500 works of art comprise Goor’s personal collection.
The Museum’s building itself has survived many major transformations. Offering a breathtaking view of the Mediterranean Sea, the building was the first Jewish home outside the walled city of Jaffa when construction was completed in the mid 1700s. It initially served as an inn for pilgrims traveling literally from overseas towards Jerusalem on the three major Jewish holidays of Passover, Shavuot and Sukkot, offering protection from robbers who wandered around Old Jaffa looking for traveling victims.
As its second life, some 80 years later, the building housed an olive oil soap and perfume factory. These products were exported to people interested in using authentic Land of Israel products. The building’s third chapter began in 1949, just after the new Jewish State was created, when it was used as a synagogue and housing for new immigrants from Libya – despite its state of disrepair during this era.
During 1970s, artists seeking to open galleries in modestly priced areas began to open up shop in Old Jaffa. By 1983, Goor had bought a portion of the historic building for her private home. She eventually bought the rest of the building to display her private art collection. Extensive renovations uncovered much more about this historic building.
The current museum includes 500 works collected and curated from over 50 years of local and international travel by Goor. Included are paintings, sculptures, video art, tribal art, design items as well as antiques and drawings by artists from Israel and around the world. Special emphasis is placed on art from Africa and South America and the work of Goor herself.
The museum also hosts private events on the balcony and in the sculpture garden on the roof, from which guests can view both the Mediterranean and the Old City of Jaffa. During the winter months, events with up to 50 participants can be accommodated. In the summer, events for up to 120 participants can take advantage of the gracious outdoor spaces.
Goor, whose artistic influences are conveyed effectively by exploring the museum, is known perhaps most for being unconventional. She was born and educated in Tiberias and has exhibited in museums in Israel and overseas. Beyond her namesake institution, Goor’s work is currently on display at the Charles Clore Park in Tel Aviv and in Yad Vashem.