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The Song of Concrete


 The Ethos of Concrete in the Building and Culture of Israel

 

This exhibit is devoted to the cultural history of concrete and its use in the Land of Israel from the days of Natan Alterman's "clothing the homeland in a dress of cement and concrete" to the end of the 1950s. It comprises photographs, historical documents, films, illustrations and works of art. Concrete is everywhere and can be found in different and diverse forms and shapes. The exhibit relates to the history of the use of concrete in Israel, the diverse construction projects and their significance; it also refers to concrete in poetry, literature and art and its symbolic meaning throughout the years. The vision of founding a cement plant in the Land of Israel appears in Theodor Herzl's Altneuland, where he writes that planning the building of a Jewish state also mandates considering the establishment of a Jewish cement plant.
At the end of the 1880s the German Templers' settlement in the

Land of Israel began to affect the appearance of the country due to the modern building

methods they brought with them from Europe. Building became the chief activity in those years as the cities and localities throughout the country grew (mainly those along the coastline). At that time Jaffa also expanded and the city of Tel Aviv was established. In 1925 the Nesher cement plant near Haifa was founded by Michael Pollack. It began operating and brought about a major turnabout which made it possible to supply cement and concrete in large quantities and at affordable prices.
At the beginning of the 1930s, in addition to the activities of Nesher, Solel Boneh and Even Vasid began operating. In those days everyone took part in the building endeavor and momentum, but the height of this enterprise was at the end of World War II with the arrival of thousands of immigrants to the Land of Israel. With the founding of the State of Israel and the mass immigration that followed,

there was a need to supply immediate and inexpensive housing.

Building in concrete was the trademark of the Zionist endeavor and the modern spirit of the Land of Israel; songs, stories, works of art and significant urban and architectural values all relating to concrete, were created.

 

Curator: Yehudit Matzkel

Opens: December 12, 2008

Closes: August 10,  2009