Wednesday 31 December 2014
The Tikotin Museum of Japanese Art in Haifa. Now and zen.
The Tikotin Museum
of Japanese Art.
Where in the Middle East are you likely to find a museum dedicated to the art and culture of Japan? Why, Haifa, of course! The story of how the founder of the museum, Dutch Jewish architect Felix Tikotin, came by his remarkable collection, how he buried it in Holland during World War Two to elude the Nazis, how he recovered them and then, by chance happened upon the then mayor of Haifa, is as fascinating as the museum itself.
Now housed in a dedicated building, designed on traditional Japanese principles (just look at the doors) and surrounded by mature bamboo plants, the Tikotin Museum houses not only displays of the prints and art which the founder himself acquired, but also rotating exhibitions of contemporary Japanese art, in all its forms. When we visited, there were displays of modern kimonos, exquisite nature photographs and commercial art from a young designer, who worked on ancient Buddhist principles. You will, no doubt, see different things.
The museum is right next to the Dan Carmel hotel on Hanassi Boulevard in Central Carmel.