The Sandberg Prize for Israeli Art refers to a prize for art and design awarded at the Israel Museum, Jerusalem, with a particular focus on Israeli art. The prize was inaugurated in 1968 with funds from an anonymous New York–based donor. The prize is named in honor of Willem Sandberg, who served between 1964 and 1968 as chairman of the Executive Committee of the Israel Museum, which opened in 1965.
The Sandberg Prize Foundation was established with a 75 thousand dollar fund which was earmarked for the purchase of Israeli art, and to be awarded to artists for their work. The anonymous donor requested to honor the work that Sandberg had done to promote Modern Art in Israel and with the intension of supporting the proliferation of art in Israel.
Joseph Zaritsky was the first artist to be awarded the prize 2 January 1968. The panel of judges for the prize included Sandberg and Yonah Fisher. The prize was given to Zaritsky for the 1964 painting which paid homage to Jan Vermeer. In the many interviews that followed the prize, Zaritsky stressed that the artwork has an independence of its own and "it is not permissible to look at a painting and see more than what is there", he explained "an artists should not imagine beyond what he sees. What he sees is what there is. A painting is not a dream".
In addition to the prize a Sandberg Research Grant was awarded over the years from the Department of Design and Architecture at the Israel Museum.
Notable Prize recipients
- 1969 Yitzhak Danziger
- 1972 Moshe Kupferman
- 1976 Yechiel Shemi
- 1977 Michael Gross (artist)
- 1978 Menashe Kadishman
- 1979 Pinchas Cohen Gan
- 1980 Micha Ullman
- 1985 Dov Feigin
- 1987 Motti Mizrachi
- 1989 Yaacov Kaufman
- 1991 Israel Hershberg
- 1999 Pesach Slabovsky
For a complete listing see here
- "The Sandberg Prize Foundation in the Israel Museum", Jerusalem and Negev News, Maariv, 1967/04/12
- "Yosef Zaritsky and the Sandberg Prize", Davar, 1968/01/19
- Yosef Zaritsky receives the Sandberg Prize", Maariv, 1968/01/12
- "The Sandberg Prize for Yigal Tumarkin and Arie Aroch", Davar, 1968/11/13
- Dana Nilerman, Prize recipients for the Israeli museum, Haaretz