Page 32 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 13

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JEWISH BOOK ANNUAL
26
figures, among them Frenkel, Halevy, Krakauer and Ticho, is
deplorable, the book, nevertheless, can be recommended to stu-
dents of Israel’s culture. The fine reproductions make it an object
of sheer pleasure.
Rebuilding the Land of Israel
(New York, Architectural Book
Publishing Company, 1954) is by Gershon Canaan, a young archi-
tect who completed his studies in the U.S.A. The author points
out that climate and soil necessitate the creation of a special
Israeli architecture, fitted to the prevailing conditions. The spade-
work, in both senses, has been begun: in recent years many aesthet-
ically pleasing houses have been built which cope with the climate
by means of thick walls, small apertures and large balconies.
Canaan himself is presented in this lavishly illustrated book by
the fine and simple synagogue he designed for Herzlia, in col-
laboration with another architect.
MATERIAL IN REFERENCE WORKS
Some important material on Jewish art is contained in reference
works, especially the
Universal Jewish Encyclopedia
(10 volumes,
New York, 1939-1943 ) , which includes biographies of artists
by various writers, including this reviewer. Volume 3 of
The
Jewish People
,
Past and Present
(New York, Jewish Encyclopedic
Handbooks, Central Yiddish Culture Organization, 1952) contains
a chapter on “Jewish Art” by Rachel Wischnitzer, which is praise-
worthy for its rich and carefully selected illustrative material.
“The Hebrew Impact on Western Art,” by Karl Schwarz, in
The
Hebrew Impact on Western Civilization
, edited by Dagobert Runes
(New York, Philosophical Library, 1951) has no illustrations and
is basically a condensation of material presented in the two large
books by Schwarz. There are brief and uncritical lists of Jewish
artists, as well as illustrations, in Nathan Ausubel’s
Pictorial His-
tory of the Jewish People
(New York, Crown Publishers, 1953).
Of little value is the chapter, “Hebrew Art of Palestine,” in
Art of
Asia
, by Helen Rubisow (New York, Philosophical Library, 1954 ),
which rehashes material offered by Albright, Sukenik and other
scholars, and treats modern art in Israel in a page and a half,
mentioning only one artist by name. Informal notes on the fine
and applied arts can be found in
Ticket to Israel
, by Alvin Rosen-
feld and Judy Shephard (New York, Rinehart, 1952), and in
chapter 14 (“The Press, Arts and Architecture” ) of
The New State
of Israel
, by Gerald de Gaury, a non-Jew (New York, Praeger,
1952).