I have walked by the L.A. Mayer Museum for Islamic Art thousands of times,
located near the Jerusalem Theater and Beit Hanasi,
the Israeli President’s residence.
I was always curious to see what was inside,
but until now I never went in to see.
L.A. has nothing to do with the city in California,
but is short for Leon Aryeh Mayer,
the mentor of museum’s founder, Vera Bryce Salomons,
who wanted to “promote with the Israeli public an interest,
appreciation and understanding of the cultural heritage
and artistic achievements of the Islamic peoples.”
Information on Muhammud’s life, 570 C. E. – 632,
there were pictures from days long before Charlie.
Also on display are basic information,
and ancient maps.
This one, much to the delight of a tour group from Indonesia,
was open to a map of Indonesia.
The museum is also home to the
Sir David Salomons Collection of Watches and Clocks.
Sir David was the father of museum founder Vera Salomons.
The fascinating story of the watches being stolen and returned,
and now deposited in a safe room in the Islamic Museum,
unfolded over decades.
This is perhaps the most expensive watch in the world,
made by a master craftsman, Abraham-Louis Breguer,
for Queen Marie Antoinette.
It is displayed along with the other clocks and unusual watches.
The delicate time piece in this ornate fan,
is the dark rectangle located near the base.
There is also a room for temporary exhibits,
which are often advertised on side of the museum.
Recently it was the “Diary of a Donkey,”
and at present, a different and unusual one,
called “Threatened Beauty.”
Collages by Andi Arnovitz, a Jerusalem artist born in the US,
combine old magazine cut-outs with ancient Persian designs
and watercolors to make her statement.
Arnovitz here explains
“8000 Books,” her new work on the right.
After ISIS destroyed so many valuable old
and irreplaceable manuscripts in Mosul,
she felt compelled to express her distress.
Another example of her art form is “13 Boys.”
13 teenage boys in Mosul, Iraq,
who were murdered by ISIS for the crime of
watching a soccer game between Iraq and Jordan,
thus the soccer ball with red as splashed with their blood.
This exhibit is to stay until the middle of May.
The Islamic Museum has a new director,
which explains the recent expanded publicity.
Though it has been more popular with Arab tourists,
students from Muslim schools,
and second-time Israel visitors,
it is a valuable resource
as it expands its reach in the future.