While established in 1932, The Tel Aviv Museum of Art was originally the home of Meir Dizengoff, Tel Aviv’s first mayor. In 1959, The Helena Rubinstein Pavilion for Contemporary Art had officially opened. When the museum’s collections of modern and contemporary art began to outgrow the premises, planning for a new building began in 1963. Construction commenced in 1966 but stopped for two years due to a shortage of funds. The new museum moved to its current location on King Saul Avenue in 1971. An additional wing was built in 1999, allowing the Lola Beer Ebner Sculpture Garden to be created. The museum also contains “The Joseph and Rebecca Meyerhoff Art Education Center”, which opened in 1988. The museum houses a comprehensive collection of classical and contemporary Israeli art, a sculpture garden, and a youth wing. In 2018, the museum set an all-time attendance record with 1,018,323 visitors, ranking 70th on the list of most visited art museums. In 2019, the museum’s ranking rose to 49th with 1,322,439 visitors. The Museum’s collection represents some of the leading artists of the first half of the 20th century and many of the major modern art movements in this period. This includes but is not limited to Fauvism, German Expressionism, Cubism, Futurism, Russian Constructivism, the De Stijl movement, and Surrealism. It additionally contains french art from the Impressionists and Post-Impressionists period to the School of Paris. These pieces include works of Chaim Soutine, key works by Pablo Picasso, Cubist paintings, sculptures by Jacques Lipchitz, and Surrealists works of Joan Miró.
A portion of the Museum displays Israeli Art history and its origins among local artists in the pre-state Zionist community during the early twentieth century. In 1989, the American pop artist Roy Lichtenstein created a giant two-panel mural specifically for the Tel Aviv Museum of Art, which is currently hung in the entrance foyer. The collection includes several masterpieces. Among them is the 1916 Friedericke Maria Beer Painting, painted by Austrian artist Gustav Klimt and Untitled Improvisation V. In 1914, the Russian master Wassily Kandinsky contributed to the painting as well. The Peggy Guggenheim Collection, donated in 1950, includes 36 works by Abstract and Surrealist artists. These include pieces by Jackson Pollock, William Baziotes, Richard Pousette-Dart, and Surrealists works by Yves Tanguy, Roberto Matta, and André Masson. Sculptures are displayed in the entrance plaza and an internal sculpture garden. In addition to a permanent collection, the museum hosts temporary exhibitions of individual artists’ work and group shows curated around a common theme.