Opened to the public in 1974, Jerusalem's L.A. Mayer Museum for Islamic Art boasts one of the world's foremost collections of Islamic art and antique timepieces. The L.A. Mayer Museum was founded by the late Mrs. Vera Bryce Salomons, realizing her long-standing idea of giving expression to the impressive artistic achievements of Israel's Muslim neighbors. Mrs. Salomons dedicated the Museum to her friend and teacher, Prof. Leo Arie Mayer. Many scholars of international renown took part in the establishment of the Museum, attracted to both its research activities and to the challenge of bridging the gap between the two cultures.
By car: From the city's entrance, go straight and count 8 traffic lights (starting with the one at the entrance past the gas stations). You will pass Sacher Park and the Valley of the Cross on your right. At the 9th traffic light, turn left on to HaPalmach Street and continue straight until the end. The Museum is at the end of HaPalmach on your left.
Parking: There is free parking in an open lot on Chopin Street, opposite the Jerusalem Theater, and along Chopin, Dubnov and HaPalmach Streets.
By bus: No. 13 from the Central Bus Station via the city center stops on HaPalmach Street. Buses 9, 19, 22, 31, 32 stop on Aza Road, a short walking distance from the Museum.
- Free Parking
- Air conditioning
- Kids friendly
Adults - 40 NIS | Students, police, soldiers - 30 NIS | Children, teens, seniors - 20 NIS
This week at The Museum of Islamic Art
The world-renowned Sir David Salomons collection contains more than 180 watches and clocks.
This important, beautiful and rare collection came into being thanks to Sir David's knowledge of horology and to his prosperity.
The collection's most significant and special timepieces are the ground-breaking group of clocks by Abraham Louis Breguet (1747-1823).
The inventor of some of the greatest technological innovations in watch-making, Breguet was among the most influential individuals in modern horology.
Most of the watches that were given to the Museum were made by Breguet, including watch number 160, known as the "Marie Antoinette."
Alongside the 55 items in the Breguet group, Sir David's collection includes a group of automaton clocks as well as gold musical snuff boxes adorned with enamel pictures, pearls and diamonds.
These are the works of renowned 19th-century craftsmen, particularly in Switzerland.
The collection also features a selection of scientific instruments, such as barometric compasses, sundials and telescopes from the 17th to the 19th centuries, as well as an interesting group of clocks manufactured in the 19th century in Europe for the Turkish market.
The Museum's permanent collections constitute one of the most important exhibitions of Islamic art in the world. The collections represent the various period of Islamic rule, from the seventh to the nineteenth centuries CE.
The exhibits present the numerous styles that characterized the different dynasties, from the first Umayyad caliphs to the Ottoman period, which marks the end of the Muslim Empire. The Museum's exhibition halls are arranged in chronological and geographical order, in accordance with the various dynasties.
The collections include archeological finds from the Umayyad period and objets d'art from the Abbasid, Seljuk, Fatimid, Mamluk, Mongol, Timurid, Safavid, Kajari, Moghul and Ottoman periods. A special section of the Museum is devoted to the jeweler's art; it contains a collection of jewelry from all parts of the Empire.
The collections show the visitor the great diversity which exists in Islamic art: decorated manuscripts with beautiful calligraphy; embroidered rugs; chessboards and chess pieces; dominoes and ancient playing cards; beautifully decorated colorful everyday objects and jewelry collections. The Museum's Harari Collection exhibits silver vessels from the eleventh century CE found in a jar that had been hidden in the course of a well-to-do Spanish merchant's journey to Persia.
The Museum's magnificent weapons room contains weapons and firearms from the seventh to the nineteenth century CE, and various battle paraphernalia such as ancient armor, helmets, gunpowder pouches, unit insignias, and more.