Ben Uri Video case studyArt in the Open

What is Art in the Open?

The Art in the Open outreach project, is at the forefront of Ben Uri's Learning Programme. An ongoing project which effectively takes the gallery to the schools, Art in the Open is aimed at Primary and Special Education Needs (SEN) schools nation wide.

This national project was first piloted in 2008 with schools in Camden, London and West Berkshire. Since then our reach has extended far beyond the London Boroughs of Westminster, Barnet, Hounslow, Harrow and Tower Hamlets and Art in the Open resources have been used in schools from Durham, Hartlepool, Cleveland, Worcestershire, Tyne and Wear and Stockton on Tees.

How does the programme work?

The programme draws upon a range of themes which have been identified through the Ben Uri permanent collection to support cross curricular learning across Key Stages 1 and 2 of the National Curriculum.

Ben Uri has created teaching resources which are designed for use in the classroom. The resources, which were developed using selected works from the collection, explore the themes of 'Relationships', 'A Sense of Place', 'Movement' and 'Portraits'. Each resource contains a presentation of the carefully selected works, biographical information about each of the featured artists, as well as teacher's notes and project ideas and examples, to develop knowledge and understanding of art in teachers and pupils, whilst simultaneously developing a cross curricular approach to learning.

Ben Uri has also recently developed its Art Skills for Teachers resource, which provides advice and suggestions for ways in which a variety of visual art techniques can be used in the classroom.

Ben Uri GalleryBen Uri Gallery, The London Jewish Museum of Art

The Art Museum for Everyone


Ben Uri Gallery, The Art Museum for Everyone was founded by Lazar Berson in Whitechapel, in the East End of London in 1915. It is Britain's oldest Jewish cultural organisation and Europe's only dedicated Jewish Museum of Art. The museum works in partnership with secular and Jewish Museums in the UK and internationally.

Why is it called Ben Uri Gallery?

The museum is named after the legendary biblical craftsman, Bezalel Ben Uri, who was the first artist named in the Bible and the designer of the tabernacle in King Solomon's Temple of Jerusalem. The name also reflects a kinship with the ideals of the famous Bezalel School of Arts and Crafts founded in Jerusalem in 1906.

Why was the organisation established?

The Ben Uri Art Society was founded in order to provide support for Jewish artists and crafts people who were working in the face of poverty and anti-semitism. In its first eighty years, Ben Uri had four galleries, but none were permanent and the last in Dean Street, in Soho, London, closed in 1996.

Where is Ben Uri today?

A new board successfully re-launched Ben Uri as The London Jewish Museum of Art in January 2001. The Gallery and Museum is now temporarily located in London's St. Johns Wood until a large new museum is acquired in the heart of the gallery and museum sector in Central London.

What is the Ben Uri Collection?

There are over 1000 works in the collection, including paintings, prints, drawings, photographs, sculptures and videos with over 150 works added in the past decade. The works represent Jewish artistic and social history during the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries. The Museum has a proud history of supporting immigrant artists into Britain since inception and has a rich ongoing legacy in both the British Jewish community and 20th Century and contemporary art history. These legacies are well recorded by art historians in this country and abroad.

The Art Museum for Everyone

The daily benchmark at Ben Uri, through exhibitions, catalogues, learning programmes and social health initiatives, is to inspire the largest audiences from the widest set of communities and connect with schools, young people and more recently, immigrant communities who face the similar challenges of integration, cultural identity and citizenship that beset the Jewish community through three quarters of the twentieth century.

The gallery's mission for the 21st has been successfully achieved as it is now better known as 'The Art Museum for Everyone' than 'The London Jewish Museum of Art' and the collection, with its stories of refugee and migrant artists, is effectively and creatively used as a model to build bridges with other immigrant communities in the UK and abroad.

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Ben Uri Gallery
The Art Museum for Everyone
The London Jewish Museum of Art
108A Boundary Road
Off Abbey Road
St Johns Wood, London NW8 0RH

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