The Mishkan Museum of Art started out in 1937 as an “Art Corner” in a small wooden shack used as the atelier of painter Haim Atar, a member of Kibbutz Ein Harod. The proper museum – designed by architect Shmuel Bickels – opened in 1948 and went on to quietly influence many great works of architecture. The unique treatment of filtered natural light invented by the Israeli architect immerses the building in a suffused golden glow. Architects Tadao Ando and Louis Kahn all paid homage to this little known museum, and Renzo Piano – who heard about the museum from curator Pontus Hulten – drew inspiration from the Mishkan Museum to conceive his Menil Collection building in Houston. Piano said that he was so moved by the use of natural light in the Mishkan Museum that he kept experimenting with it in many of his projects, including the Fondation Beyeler and the Whitney Museum.
Images: Courtesy of The New York Times, photographed by Amit Geron