In 1906, Schatz founded The Bezalel School of Arts and Crafts in Jerusalem, fulfilling his dream to establish a Jewish artistic cooperative in the Holy Land. The school trained scores of new Jewish immigrant artisans. Their products, ranging from olive wood desk sets to silver ritual objects, embroidered textiles, and mass-produced postcards, flooded the local and international tourist market, and are today part of private and museum collections worldwide. A century ago, while exiled from Ottoman Palestine during the First World War in 1918, Schatz wrote his utopian Zionist novel, Jerusalem Rebuilt: A Daydream (yerushalayim ha-benuyah: chalom be-haqitz). In his book, Schatz described Palestine in the year 2018 as a cultural center, in which most economic wealth would be created through cooperative art production. This exhibition explores the utopian legacy of the Bezalel School as it was preserved by The Magnes since its founding in 1962.
Credit: Exhibition overview from museum website.