• Temple Mount and the Western Wall
    Oil on canvas
    32 x 46 cm
    Private Collection

  • Purim Festival Street Decoration in Tel Aviv
    c. 1934-35
    Watercolor and pencil on paper
    27 x 36 cm
    Family of the Artist Collection

  • Fountain of Job
    Watercolor on paper
    22 x 33 cm
    Private Collection

  • Kibbutz Kfar Ruppin
    Oil on canvas
    11.5 x 16.8 cm
    Family of the Artist Collection

  • Church of the Holy Sepulchre
    Oil on canvas
    38 x 46 cm
    Private Collection

Jerusalem and the Holy Land

The Paintings of Ludwig Blum (1891-1974)

October 28, 2011–January 15, 2012

Ben UtiThis exhibition, organized by Ben Uri, The London Jewish Museum of Art, The Art Museum for Everyone, was first shown in London, England in January 2011 and curated there by the Israeli scholar Dr. Dalia Manor.

Known as the “Painter of Jerusalem,” Ludwig Blum (1891-1974) immigrated to Palestine in 1923 from what is now the Czech Republic. A veteran of the First World War and an academically trained painter, Blum set about depicting the Middle East, most notably, the Holy Land, both through vast topographical scenes and through small-scale street and marketplace scenes. He portrayed Palestine, and later Israel, with an intimacy borne of his love for his adopted homeland and its people, and he painted Jewish, Christian, and Muslim sites alike, largely devoid of religious overtones. While he did not adopt a modernist aesthetic, Blum was unlike the Orientalist painters of the 19th century, with whom he is often compared. He did not wish to present a romanticized vision of the Holy Land of biblical times; rather, his paintings reflect the perceptions of a 20th century viewer.

In a similar vein to the 19th century lithographs of David Roberts, previously exhibited at MOBIA, and with which Blum was familiar, Jerusalem and the Holy Land chronicles the Holy Land and the holiest sites in the Judeo-Christian world. Blum’s works are imbued with an added sense of historical accuracy, one made all the more resonant by the artist’s first-hand experience of some of the most important events in the modern history of the Holy Land.

Major support for MOBIA’s exhibitions and programs has been provided by the American Bible Society and by Howard and Roberta Ahmanson.  Jerusalem and the Holy Land is made possible by the David Berg Foundation and by Raquel and Aryeh Rubin.  This program is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.  Jerusalem and the Holy Land is made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.