I studied Art History at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and graduated cum laude in 1995. I was then accepted to the “direct to Ph.D. track” and completed my MA degree in 1997. I wrote my dissertation on the topic “Jacob Duck and the ‘Guardroom’ Painters: Minor Masters as Inventors in 17th century Dutch Genre Painting”. During the research for the dissertation, I spent a year as a guest student at Leiden University in The Netherlands. Ever since the mid-1990s I traveled and spent lengthy periods of research at the Netherlands Institute for Art History (RKD) in The Hague. As a Ph.D. candidate, I taught various Art History classes at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Beer Sheva and Bezalel Academy for Art and Design, Jerusalem. I received my Ph.D. degree from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in 2003 and was accepted to a tenure track at the Department of Art history at The University of Haifa, where I teach ever since. During the academic year 2015-2016 I was a guest researcher of the Amsterdam Centre for the Study of the Golden Age at The University of Amsterdam (UvA) and for three years, between 2017 and 2020, served as the chair of the Department of Art history at The University of Haifa.
My research focuses on a group of rare 17th-century Dutch genre painters. I tend to focus on iconographical research and thus in my first book was about the visual formula known as The Guardroom Scene. In recent years, I devote a lot of attention to provenance research concerning these painters. I travel a lot to examine their paintings first hand and over the years devoted many of my publications to them. So far, this intensive research effort yielded two extended Catalogue Raisonné and numerous articles. I also consult museums, private collectors, auctioneers and art dealers concerning these painters.
I am very much involved in the Israeli contemporary art scene. I meet artists in and outside their studios. I am particularly involved in several projects to record the history of fine art photography in Israel and over the years published a few articles in this field too. In the past, I curated a few art exhibitions and I write on various aspects of Art History in my blog and on Facebook.
Photograph by Amihai Melki, 2013, Polaroid Camera, on an outdated Polaroid paper