Page 31 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 13

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artist is given two pages, one devoted to his photograph, a short
biography and his credo, in English and Yiddish, the other to the
reproduction of one of his works. The level is uneven and impor-
tant figures are omitted.
A recent work on the current scene is
An American Synagogue
fo r Today and Tomorrow
, edited by Peter Blake (New York, Union
of American Hebrew Congregations, 1954). More than thirty
rabbis, historians, critics, artists, architects, engineers and other
experts who collaborated unanimously reject synagogues that look
like Moorish mosques or Gothic cathedrals. The persuasive argu-
ments offered in favor of “ functionalism” will convince even the
most timid souls that no Jewish house of worship can be built in
mid-twentieth century America without regard to the accomplish-
ments of Wright, Gropius, Mendelsohn and other “rebels.” One
should also consult the middle section on “The Synagogue,” in
Churches and Temples
, by Paul Thiry, Richard M. Bennett and
Henry L. Kamphoefner (New York, Reinhold, 1954). This middle
section was written by the eminent Chicago architect, Richard
M. Bennett, a non-Jew.
There is no lack of information on the art of Israel.
Art in Pal-
, by the well-known painter Elias Newman (New York,
Siebel Company, 1939), was published on the occasion of the open-
ing of the Palestine Pavilion at the New York World’s Fair. The
book is no longer adequate for a picture of the artistic activities
in the Holy Land, but some of the biographical data, and especially
the pictorial material, is still of value. In recent years, several
portfolios were published:
Painting in Palestine
(Tel Aviv, Mikra
Studio, 1948), which contains an unsigned short preface and
eighteen reproductions in color;
Ten Israel Painters
(Tel Aviv,
Eshcol, 1952), with a foreword by Haim Gamzu and ten color
reproductions; and
Israel Painters
(Tel Aviv-New York, Gazith
Art Publishing, 1953), with a preface by Gabriel Talpir and ten
color reproductions. But the only comprehensive work on the
subject is the large volume,
Painting and Sculpture in Israel
Aviv, Eshcol Publishers, 1951), with a substantial text, in English
and Hebrew, by Dr. Haim Gamzu. I t treats the development of
the plastic arts in Eretz Yisroel from the Bezalel Period (1906) to
the present day and offers short biographies of more than sixty
artists. Each artist is represented by one to five samples of his
work, some in color. Although the omission of several important