The Open Museums: Filling a Cultural Need of the First Order

Exhibition space at the Tefen Industrial Park's Open Museum. Photo by and © Vision Studio

One observes in Israel a sincere respect given to creative thinking, which extends beyond the arts and into the sciences, industries, cuisine, agriculture, education, and beyond. It is a famously entrepreneurial nation, and it seems clear that this drive stems partly from the essential need to draw life from a challenging terrain, and from life to draw civilization, and from civilization to draw culture: a basic human requirement.

A museum, to me, is one factor that makes a place worthy of becoming a home.
— Stef Wertheimer

There is a pervasive understanding in Israel that none of this is possible without creative thinking and the inspiration that art can provide. Even some of the country’s industrial parks—hugely successful manufacturing plants—strategically include art museums at their complexes.   

The Open Museums at the Tefen Industrial Park in the Galilee, manifest the “Tefen Model” founded by business magnate Stef Wertheimer. The central museum is as sleek and impressive as any art space in any major city.  It features an art gallery, sculpture garden, industrial museum, car collection, and more—as well as educational and events departments.

While Wertheimer is not an artist or an art collector himself, he is deeply proud of this element of his working community. As Wertheimer says:

A museum, to me, is one factor that makes a place worthy of becoming a home. Schools, education, and security come first, of course, but a place without culture is not worth living in. A museum is a cultural need of the first order.

Art, in other words, benefits both the community and the morale of employees.

Open Museums at Tefen >