Auction 80 Part 1 Jewish and Israeli History, Culture and Art
Jun 29, 2021
8 Ramban St, Jerusalem., Israel

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LOT 39:

"In the Cyprus Exile", Album of Prints from the Cyprus Detention Camps – Linocuts Made by Students of Naftali ...

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Sold for: $850
Start price:
$ 800
Auction house commission: 25%
VAT: 17% On commission only

"In the Cyprus Exile", Album of Prints from the Cyprus Detention Camps – Linocuts Made by Students of Naftali Bezem's Art Workshop – A Copy Inscribed by the Artist Moshe Bernstein and the Director of the Guides Seminar in Cyprus, Baruch Rubenstein
"Begerush Kafrisin" [In the Cyprus Exile], an album with twenty-six linocuts made by a group of art students at Naftali Bezem's art workshop in the Cyprus detention camps. Cyprus, [ca. 1948]. The prints are signed by the artists.
An album with 26 linocuts depicting the lives of illegal Jewish immigrants, who were detained by the British in detention camps in Cyprus, following their failed attempt to enter Palestine. The album was made under Bezem's guidance by students in the drawing and printing workshop by the Pinhas Rutenberg Seminar for Guides in Cyprus, and was printed in 120 copies only.
The linocuts are signed in pencil by the artists, students of the workshop – Peretz Weinreich (the drawings he made in Cyprus were published in several Israeli newspapers. After the establishment of the state, he worked as a caricaturist for the newspapers "Dvar Hashavu'ah" and "Al Hamishmar". In 2008 he received the Golden Pencil award), Nachum Bendel, Shmuel Leitner, Meir Wachtel, Baruch Randsburg, Baruch Friedman, David Tashamovsky, Avraham Sher, Chana Stern, Elisheva Heiman, Yitzchak Samushi and others.
The linocut by Moshe Bernstein ("The Bridge) bears an inscription in his handwriting (Hebrew): "A keepsake to Aryeh Rachum, by the painter Moshe Bernstein who was in the Cyprus exile and was one of those who made this book with their own hands" (Bernstein's works, many of which deal with the Shtetls of eastern Europe, were displayed in various exhibitions since the late 1940s. In 1999, he was awarded the Massuah Institute for Holocaust Study prize for his "documentation of the world that vanished at the beginning of his career").
On the front endpaper, an inscription signed by Baruch Rubenstein, the director of the seminar for guides at the "Beit Rutenberg" in Haifa, who was the initiator and director of the seminar for guides in Cyprus: "To dear Mr. A. [Aryeh] Nachum, a souvenir from Cyprus, in Iyar 1948. B. Rubenstein, on behalf of the seminar for guides in Cyprus" (Hebrew). On the margins of the leaf appears the inscription (presumably in Rubenstein's handwriting): "A hundred and twenty copies of this book were made printed and bound by the students of the art department of the seminar for guides in memory of P. Rutenberg in the camps of Israel in the Cyprus exile" (Hebrew).
The album opens with a quote from the last will of Pinhas Rutenberg (linocut): "… we will be brothers in life, in creation, in action and in building" (Hebrew). On the following leaf appears a short introduction: "Cyprus, one station on the painful road to Palestine. Its Jewish meaning is barbed wire, forced idleness and degeneration. Yet even such reality was teeming with life. Friends from the camp in Cyprus tell about all these in this book". These two leaves, the print index appearing on the last leaf, and the cover illustration are all linocuts.
The Pinhas Ruthenberg Seminar operated in the Cyprus deportation camps from mid-1947 to 1949. The seminar established schools in the camps, which imparted education in many fields. Teachers, including artists Naftali Bezem and Ze'ev Ben Zvi, were brought to Cyprus to teach at the seminar.
[29] leaves, approx. 50 cm. Good condition. Stains (mostly minor, on margins). Several small tears to edges. Binding in good-fair condition, with stains and blemishes. Several small tears to cloth spine.
Provenance: The Rimon Family Collection.

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