Creating Museum culture in Mandate Palestine

Inbal Ben Asher Gitler, Bar Leshem

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The far-reaching plans for cultural institutions envisioned by the British during the Palestine Mandate included three museums: the renowned Palestine Archeological Museum (better known as the Rockefeller Museum) in Jerusalem, the most important British cultural institution in the country, and two little-known museums, the "Northern District Museum," a space for exhibitions at the ancient Acre arsenal, and the Palestine Folk Museum, at the Jerusalem Citadel. The article explores the role of these projects, whether completed or not, in the museum culture created by the British and the cultural politics and curatorial practices involved in the planning of these museums. We demonstrate that the museums were intended to provide a disciplinary and scientific basis for an unbiased study of the histories, peoples, and customs of the region. This, in turn, contributed to the British construction of their own image as peaceful mediators in a conflicted land.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)138-157
Number of pages20
JournalIsrael Studies
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 Sep 2021


  • Acre
  • Archaeology
  • Crafts
  • Curatorship
  • Folk art
  • Great Britain
  • Jerusalem
  • Mandate
  • Museology
  • Museums
  • Palestine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • History
  • Anthropology
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Political Science and International Relations


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