Forging Ahead: Wolpert and Gumbel, Israeli Silversmiths for the Modern Age

November 23, 2012-April 6, 2013

Location: Palevsky Design Pavilion

Artist: Ludwig Yehuda Wolpert and David Heinz Gumbel

Curator: Sharon Weiser-Ferguson

Media: Silver

German-born silversmiths David Heinz Gumbel (1906–1992) and Ludwig Yehuda Wolpert (1900–1981) were among the first to adapt the modern style, characterized by clean, flowing, and functional forms, to the design of Jewish ceremonial objects. Following their arrival in Israel in the mid-1930s, they numbered among the founders of the New Bezalel School of Arts and Crafts, mentoring generations of students who upheld their stylistic heritage, and changing the very conception of Judaica design. Hebrew letters – an expression of nationalism and the revitalized Jewish spirit in the Land of Israel – were at the core of many of their works. In 1956 Wolpert was invited to head the modern Jewish art workshop at New York’s Jewish Museum, a position he held until his death. Gumbel remained in Jerusalem, where he continued training silversmiths in rare techniques known only to few. The exhibition illuminates the untold tale of these two visionary teachers and creators, who became pillars of modern Judaica. Copyrights: All works by Ludwig Y. Wolpert © Chava Wolpert Richard All works by David H. Gumbel © Malka Cohavi & D.H. Gumbel Studio