Transcending Tradition
296 Seiten, 22 x 30 cm, 279 Abb. in Farbe und Schwarz-Weiß. Halbleinenband. Englisch / Hebräisch / Arabisch.
ISBN: 978-3-89790-501-6 | Sofort lieferbar
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ARNOLDSCHE Art Publishers
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D–70180 Stuttgart, Germany
+49 (0)711-64 56 18–0


-Transcending Tradition

Lynn Holstein, Ezri Tarazi

Artisans of Israel is a very special kind of crafts book: within its pages Lynn Holstein profiles forty exceptional Israeli artisans – including Jews, Muslims, Druze and Christians. She presents an image of Israel as a centre of extraordinary creativity and peaceful inventive energy. The texts come together to form a unique synopsis of metal- work, jewellery, ceramics, glass, textiles, leather, paper and wood from gifted artists who have received awards both in Israel and abroad.

For Ceramics and Glass
The Armenian Ceramics-Balian Ltd Tenat Auka
Beit Gemal Ceramics
Zenab Garbia
Shamai Gibsh
Dafna Kaffeman
Meir Moheban
Ayala Serfaty
Simone Solomon 

The starting point for the author was the question of whether a visual identity of this young nation can be de- tected almost seventy years after its founding. The conclu- sion: there seems to be no such thing as a typical Israeli style. Rather, she found a pressing and unifying desire for innovation. For although the training is mostly based on traditional crafts, the artisans often veer into completely new paths – for example, in the use of unusual materials or in hitherto unknown combinations of different tech- niques and skills. Ultimately, it is not uncommon for those who produce these handcrafted items to also explore per- sonal concerns or to take use of their work to stand against social and political issues.

In almost 300 images, the publication not only presents exceptional objects by Israeli artisans, it also renders visible the working processes in the workshops and por- trays the people behind the pieces illustrated. Sensitive texts, also fully translated in Arabic and Hebrew, tell of family histories, motivational forces and the often chal- lenging living conditions, demonstrating how artistry can lead to a productive, intercultural exchange, from which society benefits just as much as individuals.

The forty portraits in the publication Artisan of Israel provide a first, comprehensive glimpse into the Israeli crafts scene. The book offers a sensitive and equally inspiring portrayal of Israel and its people, one that also renders a deeper understanding of the country’s complex history.

After earning an M. A. with distinction in Middle Eastern Studies from Harvard University, where she focused on Islamic art and architecture, Lynn served in administrative posts in a number of educational and cultural institutions. They include the Jewish Museum in New York, The
New York Public Library, Harvard University, the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston, and the Israel Museum in Jerusalem.
From 2000–2004, she lived in Jerusalem directing Israeli industrialist Stef Wertheimer’s New Marshall Plan for the Middle East initiative. For the past decade, she has shared both her work and home life with Mr. Wertheimer and has continued to promote his various programs. All are aimed at bringing peace to the region by educating skilled professionals, developing industrial parks, and creating jobs for all sectors of Israeli society.
In addition to this book, she is writing another that exa- mines the challenges of the rapidly changing Bedouin community in Israel’s Negev region. She also adapted Mr. Wertheimer’s very successful autobiography (originally published in Hebrew) for an international English reader- ship. Entitled The Habit of Labor, Overlook Press released it in November 2015. 

Exhibition venues
The Open Museum, Tefen (IL), January 2018 Direktorenhaus Museum für Kunst Handwerk Design, Berlin (D), Summer/Autumn 2018 [planned] http://www.

Posted 6 October 2017

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Once again, Arnoldsche publishes another very fine book that maps the craft made in Israel and Israel craftspeople.

Good to read about the individual makers and their disciplines, although I would prefer a special chapter for glass as it is so different from ceramics.

The foreword explains the role of Professor Boris Schatz (born in 1906) at the Bezalei Academy of Arts and Crafts in the heart of Jerusalem. From an earlier era, this Russian born Jew did a similar task in Sofia Bulgaria.

Lynn Holstein interviewed during the last 3 years, artisans from all sectors of this society: Jews, Muslims, Druze and Christians and with very well written texts and good photos in the different chapters that provide insights into each person, their crafts and way of making objects. The Appendix has biographies about the publisher, photographer, graphic designer, freelance copy editor, and the translators along with artist’s contact Information and a map that makes this book a good ambassador to connect the artisans with galleries, museums and commissioners. The book ends with all text in Hebrew.
Angela van der Burght

Ayala Serfaty, designer, artist, craftsperson
Photo: Baruch Rafic

Tenat Auka, ceramicist
Photo: Baruch Rafic

Shamai Gibsh, ceramicist
Photo: Baruch Rafic

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