The Nahum Gutman Museum of Art opened on May 3rd 1988 by the Nahum Gutman Society and the Tel Aviv Foundation, in the presence of Israeli President Ezer Weizman. The entire museum collection was donated by the artist’s family who wished to emphasise Nahum Gutman’s multi-dimensional character and portray him as painter, illustrator, sculptor and children’s author, thus allowing the public to become acquainted with his oeuvre.
The museum’s first director and founder was the late writer and curator Yoav Dagon. The museum was established in a historical house, built by the Schulman family in 1887, one of the first 48 houses forming the nucleus of Neve-Zedek. Information about the Schulman House and its many residents can be found in the book: “Tel Aviv, Exposed”, by Goldberg, Widrich and Amit-Cohen, pp.43-46.
Between the years 1907-1914 the building which now houses the Gutman Museum was used as the offices of the periodical “Hapoel Hazair” (“The Young Worker”) and as a residence for its editor Joseph Aharonovitch and the writers Joseph Chaim Brenner and Dvora Baron. In 1912, Dvora Baron, the periodical’s literary editor, married Joseph Aharonovitch. The house became the literary center and meeting place for the group of Hebrew writers who marked the beginning of the new Hebrew culture, and became known as “The Writers’ House”.
Through the years the house was badly damaged and in the 60’s it was finally abandoned and condemned by the Tel Aviv/Jaffa Municipality.
After a long public debate involving members of the Knesset (The Israeli Parliament) and the Israeli Preservationist Society, the house was declared a landmark and subsequently purchased by the Jewish National Fund. Reconstruction began in 1992, with the initiative of the Doron Foundation, the Tel Aviv Foundation and with a special contribution from Irene and Murray Pergament (U.S.A.) in memory of their daughter, Sherri P. Koeppel.
The northern wing was historically reconstructed, while the southern wing was modernly renovated by the architect Ronny Zeibert.
On the initiative of the Gutman Family and the Gutman Society, the Tel Aviv/Jaffa Municipality decided to devote “The Writers’ House” to Gutman’s work.
On the 9th of September 2009, the museum’s new, adjacent wing was officially opened, just where the “Nukata”, the Turkish Guard had once stood, during the founding of Neve-Zedek.
The museum exhibitions create a meeting space between Gutman and young Israeli contemporary artists, creating a cultural dialogue between old and new works of art. A visit to the museum exposes the visitor to a wide range of Israeli artistic endeavor, including an inner cultural dialogue between the different eras and perspectives. The fact that Gutman drew both Tel Aviv and Jaffa, portraying Jews and Arabs with the same amount of love and interest, provides us with a wonderful tool for the teaching of tolerance as well as a cross-cultural meeting place.
The Nahum Gutman Museum of Art is funded by the Tel Aviv/Jaffa Municipality, the Ministry of Education’s Cultural Affairs Bureau and private donors.
Established by Tel Aviv municipality and the association named after the artist Nachum Gutman.
Cooperation with the International Bank, Irene and Murray Pergament for the memory of their daughter, Sherry P. Kopel, Rich Foundation (Doron) for Education Culture and Welfare and The Tel Aviv Foundation for development
Director & chief curator
Chairperson of the Board of Directors
Dr. Zipi Landau
Board of Directors
Prof. Menachem Gutman
Gili Gruner – Gutman
Zlilit Ben Nevat
Limor Shofman Gutman
Members of the Audit Committee
CPA Zamir Sofer
Nachum Feinberg & co.
Shlomo Gross & co.