The Traveling Children’s Museum

The Israeli Society for Education through Art

àøèéשׂ - òîåúä éùøàìéú ìçéðåê åàîðåú (ò''ø)








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To provide Israeli children with informal education at a level comparable with that enjoyed by their peers living in the world’s centers of culture



“ARTIS – The Israeli Society for Education through Art” is a non-profit organization (amuta), which aims to introduce Israeli children to the world of art. Established in 2007, our organization has been granted “Clean Performance” status by the Israeli Authority of Non-Profit Organizations. All ARTIS members are volunteers. 

Who are the founders of artis?

The founders of ARTIS come from different professional backgrounds: artists, educators, scientists, and businessmen. All of us share a love for the arts and a belief in the importance of art education for the well-being and the future of our society. We are convinced that culture and art education should no longer be a luxury reserved for a small elite, but must become part of the personal development and everyday life of every child (see the list).


ARTIS is developing a collection of educational exhibitions that aim to interest children, to teach them in a fun and interactive way how to understand and enjoy works of art, to show how art and culture are related to other aspects of life and their own experiences, and to inspire their own creativity.

In contrast to the traditional approach, where visitors come to the museum, our exhibitions "come" to the audience. Designed for multiple uses, our exhibitions travel around the country. They are put on display in libraries, community clubs, and schools. Communities far from centers of culture are our major interest.


Each traveling exhibition includes exclusive very high quality reproductions of art masterpieces from the world's best museums, along with works of art by contemporary artists. The exhibits are presented in museum quality frames, which are displayed on large white stands, creating a museum-like atmosphere. The exhibitions also include works of children's art in multimedia format.


Our objective is to show our exhibitions to as many children as possible. Experience has shown that the most effective way to achieve this is by conducting guided tours. For each educational exhibition we develop programs for guided tours for children of different ages (from 3 to 16 years). Our experts provide training to local volunteers, who then conduct the guided tours for their community’s kindergarten and school groups.

What about family visits and individual visitors?

The exhibition catalog with versions in Hebrew, Arabic, English and Russian is intended for family visits and individual visitors. Its purpose is to guide single visitors through the show. Each page in the catalog refers to one of the displayed paintings. Going through the catalog page by page, the visitors, as they stand next to the exhibits, are imbued with the idea of the exhibition.


Although our exhibitions are also interesting for adults, we prefer to call ARTIS “The Traveling Children’s Museum”. A Children’s Museum is a new type of organization. While the basic functions of traditional museums are the collection and preservation of unique artifacts, their restoration and research, the main and only function of a Children's Museum is cultural and aesthetic education. ARTIS is a member of The International Association of Children's Museums.


So far we have created two educational exhibitions:

§         shalom MENEER Van Gogh

§         Blue Horse AND WHITE ELEPHANT

Exhibition «shalom MENEER Van GOGH»

This exhibition introduces children to the oeuvre of the great Dutch artist. The word ‘Meneer’ (‘Mister’ in Dutch) in the title is a token of our gratitude to the Netherlands Embassy in Israel, which supported the development of the exhibition. In Israeli museums you can see only three paintings of Vincent van Gogh. But we invite you to see an unprecedented show of 33 masterpieces from all major periods of his creative life, and also to view another 200 of his paintings in multimedia format. A section entitled Homage to Vincent includes works of photography by Israeli artists. Local children contribute paintings on the theme of the exhibition and these too can be viewed in multimedia format.

The first display of this exhibition took place in the library of the Hof Ashkelon Regional Council (2009 – 2010). The exhibition was opened in the presence of Israel’s Minister of Culture and the Ambassador of the Netherlands. Since then the exhibition has also been displayed in the high school in the Arab town of Kafr Qara (2011), and in the municipal library of Kiryat Ono (2012). About six thousand children visited it in guided tours. A vast majority of them had never previously visited art museums, and had never heard of Vincent van Gogh.

Click here to see the youtube video

Click here to review the catalog

Exhibition «Blue Horse AND WHITE ELEPHANT»

This exhibition is dedicated to animals in art. It covers a wide range of issues, such as great artists and history, secrets of naturalistic and abstract imaging, the power and magic of color, artistic expression and emotions, imagination and creativity. Art and Nature in our lives is the dominant theme of this exhibition.

The exhibition introduces visitors to works by Leonardo da Vinci, Albrecht Dürer, George Stubbs, Eugène Delacroix, Henri Rousseau, Pablo Picasso, Franz Marc, Marc Chagall, Joan Miro, Andy Warhol, and by the contemporary French animalist sculptor Vincent Bouillat.

Click here to review the catalog

What will be THE next TRAVELING exhibition?

The exhibition “BORN IN ISRAEL - our next planned project, is conceived to tell fascinating life-stories of artists born in Israel and of those who immigrated to our country from all around the world, and to display works of art that they created in Israel.

We anticipate developing this project in collaboration with the Ministry of Culture and the Ministry of Education.


An educational exhibition has about 50 exhibits. The average cost of a quality reproduction is ¤300, to which must be added an approximately similar amount for framing it. The second component of the costs are the stands on which exhibits are displayed. The restoration of an existing stand or the purchase of a new one costs from ¤500 to ¤1,500. The display of 50 exhibits requires about 30 stands. The third component is the cost of printed materials (large-format photographs, posters and a catalog). The total cost of creating of a new educational exhibition is about ¤100,000. Fortunately this amount does not have to include the costs of work by the curator, graphic designers, and technical workers that is performed gratis by ARTIS volunteers, and the costs of original artworks kindly donated to ARTIS by artists.


Typically, a municipality plays the role of a customer by inviting the Children’s Museum to its community. The customer provides the location for the exhibition display, and takes responsibility for all organizational and financial issues related to the show, as well as formal commitments for the safety of the exhibition.

ARTIS exhibition in the municipal library of Kiryat Ono, 2012

The success of the visit depends very much on the work of its local coordinator. The coordinator defines the timetable, manages the printing of flyers and ensures that announcements about the show reach the members of the community. He or she also organizes the opening ceremony. The most important tasks of this person is to mobilize a group of local volunteers and to make arrangements with the community’s schools and kindergartens for guided tours. A few weeks before the opening of the exhibition, ARTIS experts provide training classes for local guides. The guides in Hof Ashkelon were mainly retired teachers. In Kafr Qara they were 11 high school students, and in Kiryat Ono more than 60 children aged from 9 to 16 conducted the guided tours for their schools’ students.


The cost of a visit of one of our traveling exhibitions to a community for a period of four weeks is approximately ¤15,000. This sum consists of amounts needed for the costs of transportation of the exhibits and stands; for the exhibition design and assembly at the customer’s site; for dismantling and packing of exhibits after the show; for traveling expenses of numerous visits to the customer’s site for negotiations, arrangements, and for the guides' training sessions. ARTIS assumes that the customer will cover these expenses. However, experience has shown that many customers do not have the necessary resources, and then the only way is to appeal to sponsors. For example, for the organization of the exhibition show in Kiryat Ono, financial support was kindly provided by The Union Bank of Israel and the Israeli Center for Libraries of the Ministry of Culture.


If you want to see an ARTIS exhibition in your town, village or kibbutz, then please find a potential customer (the education department of your municipality, city library, community club, etc.), get them interested, and help them to move the project forward. ARTIS will be delighted to bring the Traveling Children’s Museum to your community - anywhere in the country. Together we will provide your children with an exciting educational and entertaining event! Please contact us for details and arrangements.

What is a Virtual Exhibition?

In addition to traveling exhibitions, ARTIS is developing exhibitions of art works by contemporary Israeli and international artists, which are presented in the Online Gallery on our website. We call them virtual exhibitions. At this stage there are four virtual exhibitions on display in the Online Gallery and this collection is constantly being updated (see the virtual exhibitions).

Another virtual exhibition of children's art (which will be launched soon) introduces viewers to the drawings and paintings done by children after visiting ARTIS traveling exhibitions. Many of them expressed their enthusiasm about the exhibition by learning details about it and contributing their own works of art to ARTIS. The virtual exhibition will present these works.


ARTIS is open to new members. If you are interested in our project and have time and desire, ideas, knowledge and skills, we will be glad to have you join our team. We are looking for people who can assist in contacts with potential donors and media; people who can help us with promotion of our projects, who can write texts for children, and who can conduct official correspondence. And of course, our doors are wide open to all who can participate in development of new exhibitions, organizing shows, and in maintaining this multilingual website. Please contact us now.

Who is funding THE ARTIS PROJECT?

ARTIS must rely on the generosity of its friends and supporters to finance its most crucial needs. While the Netherlands Embassy partially supported the development of our first exhibition, the major support comes from individuals like you (with donations from ¤100 to ¤11,000) and from the work of volunteers. The amount of work done by ARTIS volunteers over the past four years adds up to more than 6,000 hours per year.

Every donation, large or small, makes a real difference to us and helps to keep the project alive. Please support ARTIS!

What WE give to children today,
they will give to the community tomorrow



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