Jewish Art Architecture (Bezalel and Bauhaus) (Jerusalem)


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Wandering around the other week, I stumbled across the Boris Schatz house, the two original twin Ottoman buildings housing the Bezalel Schools of art and architecture, and Beit Ha’Ma’alot, one of the first Bauhaus buildings built in Jerusalem, this one along King George Street. I’m more used to seeing this stuff under glass at antiquarian book fairs. The biblical carvings in limestone (?) at Bezalel are by Ze’ev Raban. The Beit Ha’Ma’alot is concrete, brooding and brute, with great windows up the stairwell. The little objects with the primitivist look are on sale, I think they are on sale, at the Schatz Gallery. Unlike the first, traditionalist Jewish community-neighborhoods in the New City of Jerusalem, these structures and their design are intentionally “moderne,” not closed up in now charming courtyards, but out in the more open, urban space they help constellate. I like a lot the black and white photograph of the school from the early 1900s.

About zjb

Zachary Braiterman is Professor of Religion in the Department of Religion at Syracuse University. His specialization is modern Jewish thought and philosophical aesthetics.
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