The Skirball Cultural Center presents
Through July 8, 2007
Free admission to this exhibition

Skirball Cultural Center
2701 N. Sepulveda Blvd., Los Angeles, California 90049 (Exit Skirball Center Drive off the 405)
(310) 440-4500, fax (310) 440-4595
Contact: Stacy Lieberman (310) 440-4578, or Mia Carino (310) 440-4544
Web site,

Israel, 1950s. Designer: Zvi Narkiss.
Produced by the State of Israel Tourist Department.

LOS ANGELES—The Art of Vintage Israeli Travel Posters, an exhibition of more than 30 posters designed to promote tourism to Israel in the 1950s and 1960s, will be on view at the Skirball Cultural Center through July 8, 2007. Produced by Israeli government tourism agencies and both national and private transportation companies, these works offer unique insight into the development of themes, slogans and images used to create a national identity during the nascent years of the State of Israel. The exhibition, which is offered free to the public, will open in April to commemorate Israeli Independence Day.

The posters in the exhibition are drawn from the permanent collection of the Skirball Cultural Center and from the collection of graphic designer Micha Riss. Among the artists represented are Gabriel and Maxim Shamir, Franz Kraus, Paul Kor, Jean David and Zvi Narkiss. In addition to their work in advertising, these artists also designed postage stamps, medals, currency, typefaces, book illustrations, murals, tapestries and more; a selection of postage stamps, medals and memorabilia designed by the artists will be included in the exhibition. Also on view will be continuous screenings of video footage of Israel’s diverse landscapes.

The Art of Vintage Israeli Travel Posters concentrates on the decades of the 1950s and 1960s, when graphic design thrived in the new State of Israel. In the 1930s and 1940s, as Israel struggled to gain its independence, graphic design was focused on expressing Israeli sovereignty and unity. In the succeeding decades, graphic designers who had been previously commissioned to design visual symbols of the new state—such as the flag, coat of arms and currency—now explored more entertaining and diverse imagery, encouraging tourists to travel to Israel. These posters reveal how the Israeli graphic design community adopted a more experimental style, freeing itself from European precedents.

Colorful, dynamic and fun, Israeli travel posters of the 1950s and 1960s featured several iconographic themes. Many posters portrayed Israel as the ancient land of the Bible, ideologically linking the new Israel with a rich historical past. Others focused on Israel as a place of unspoiled beauty and fascinating history, as well as a place for limitless adventure. Similar imagery had been used in earlier decades to persuade new immigrants to settle and cultivate the land. Now, these posters transformed pioneer imagery into marketing strategies for the tourism industry. Another category of posters portrayed Israel as a thriving, modern nation. Depictions of the sleek designs of EL AL airplanes against the backdrop of modern cities underscored the link of modern Israel with other world metropolises.
Related Programs
During the run of the exhibition, the Skirball will present a variety of exhibition-related programs.
-   Docent-led exhibition tours (Sundays)
-   Exhibition tours led by Tal Gozani, Skirball Associate Curator and curator of the exhibition (June 12)
-   Two-session continuing education course, Israeli Art and Design: Creating A National Identity?, taught by art collector and Skirball Museum Director Emerita, Nancy Berman (May 1 and 15)
-   Contemporary Israeli film screenings: What A Wonderful Place (May 9), Melting Siberia and Sisai (June 12), Paper Dolls (June 20)
Visiting the Skirball
The Skirball Cultural Center is located at 2701 N. Sepulveda Blvd., Los Angeles, CA (exit Skirball Ctr Dr off the 405). Exhibition hours effective May 1, 2007: Tuesday through Friday 12:00–5:00 p.m.; Thursdays until 9:00 p.m.; Saturday–Sunday 10:00 a.m.– 5:00 p.m.; closed Mondays as well as May 5, May 6, May 23, June 3, June 24 and July 4, 2007. Admission to The Art of Vintage Israeli Travel Posters is free to the public. Admission to other Skirball exhibitions effective May 1, 2007: $ 10 General, $7 Seniors and Full-Time Students, $5 Children 2–12. Admission to all Skirball exhibitions is free to the public on Thursdays and free every day to children under 2 and Skirball Members. Parking is free. For general information, the public may call (310) 440-4500 or visit <> .
The Skirball is also home to Zeidler’s Café, which serves innovative California cuisine in an elegant setting, and Audrey’s Museum Store, which sells books, contemporary art, music, and more.
About the Skirball
The Skirball Cultural Center is dedicated to exploring the connections between four thousand years of Jewish heritage and the vitality of American democratic ideals. It welcomes and seeks to inspire people of every ethnic and cultural identity. Guided by our respective memories and experiences, together we aspire to build a society in which all of us can feel at home. Skirball Cultural Center achieves its mission through educational programs that explore literary, visual, and performing arts from around the world; through the display and interpretation of its permanent collections and changing exhibitions; through scholarship in American Jewish history and related publications; and through outreach to the community.

Return to Gallery Pages