BEZALEL ACADEMY (1906 - 1929)
ABOUT BEZALEL ACADEMY
THE FIRST ACADEMY OF JEWISH ART IN JERUSALEM
"The Bezalel School of Art and crafts", named after the first Hebrew craftsman, Bezalel Ben Uri Ben Hur, was founded by the romantic visionary Boris Schatz in Jerusalem in 1906. Schatz's aim was to establish a centre for art which would attract Jewish artists from all parts of the world, draw pupils from the surrounding area and the Diaspora, and become the cradle of a new Hebrew-Jewish art.
- The book was compiled and edited by Nurit Shilo-Cohen, the curator of the exhibition.
The school, from its establishment, assumed a trilateral structure: an art school, workshops to provide a livelihood for the population of Jerusalem and a museum.
Having obtained Herzl's support and raised sufficient funds from the Jews in Diaspora, Schatz opened the school in Jerusalem in 1906. The staff included Shmuel Hirszenberg, Lazar Krestin, Abel Pann, Ben-David, Aharon Shaul Schur, Zeev Raban, Meir Gur-Arie and of course, Shatz himself. The school, with Schatz at its head, remained open until 1929. It reopened under new management in 1935 and to this day remains the only art academy in Israel.
- From the book published in conjunction with the comprehensive exhibition held at the Israel Museum in 1983 to mark the 75th anniversary of the establishment of Bezalel and 50 years since the death of its founder. The exhibition and the book are culmination of an exhaustive research project initiated by the Israel Museum, in recognition of the major role played by the school and museum in the development of art in the country and the history of the "yishuv" in general.
Yael Gahnassia :
For me, an immigrant new to the country, the discovery of these pioneers of an authentic national art which had emerged from a m?lange of cultural and aesthetic sources to express a clear spiritual identity, was an overwhelming emotional experience. "Art is the soul of a nation" said Boris Schatz. This is the vision that Mayanot Gallery wishes to share with the general public, since 1986.