Noah’s Ark from Around the World, Like You’ve Never Seen Before

A pair of unicorns are poised on the deck. Noah, with African features, stands by the gangplank to his Ark. An entire ark shaped like a Chinese dragon.

These are just a few of the extraordinary artistic treasures that supporters of the Biblical Museum of Natural History near Beit Shemesh enjoyed recently in a special preview of its upcoming exhibit, “The Art of the Ark.”

The museum has amassed a unique collection of over sixty artistic models of Noah’s Ark from around the world.

                                                          

The exhibit is divided into several sections.

One section, “The Beauty of the Ark,” displays a variety of artistic models. These range from miniscule pewter figures to enormous elaborate arks with many dozens of hand-carved animals. Some of them feature unusual species such as sloths, anteaters and platypuses. One set of arks is made by an artist who reimagines the Biblical boat as different vehicles – a hot air balloon, a cruise ship, an airship, a biplane (on which the animals cling on for dear life, wearing flight goggles).

A second section, “Arks around the World” features an extraordinary range of Arks that are divided according to the geographic region in which they were made. The arks reflect both the human culture and the wildlife of those regions. African arks, carved from hardwood or woven from plant fiber, feature African Noahs and Na’amas (Noah’s wife), along with giraffes, wildebeest, warthogs, and other such African creatures. A Chinese ark in the form of an ancient oriental dragon boat features Chinese Noah and Na’ama along with pandas, tigers and Asian water buffalo. South American arks, with Spanish architecture, feature llamas, toucans, and are adorned with panpipes. North American arks house bison, skunks and bald eagles, and in one of them, Noah is wearing a “Davy Crockett” raccoon hat. There is even an Arctic ark, with reindeer, snowy owls, and polar bears!

The Museum was thrilled with the response to the exhibit preview. “We think this is a highly original exhibition!” commented Paul Shaviv. “I think you’ve got a huge hit on your hands” said Uriel Schafer.

The permanent exhibit installation is being designed and will open to the public in 2023. To learn more about the exhibit and dedication opportunities, please contact: advancement@bmnh.org.il.

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