1930 (circa) – <em>Self-Portrait</em>, Boris Schatz

Bezalel founder Boris Schatz (1866-1932) was a visionary but lacked managerial skills. World War I forced Bezalel to close, and after it reopened in 1919 under the British administration, the school employed the same methods and styles of art even though Jerusalem in particular and the art world in general had changed. Bezalel went bankrupt and closed in 1929. This oil self-portrait with a repoussé brass frame by Ze’ev Raban (1890-1970), part of the collection of the Schatz House, shows the brooding and perhaps bitter Schatz at the end of his life. He died on a fundraising trip in Denver. But Israel has an art scene today largely because of Schatz, and Bezalel, albeit in a different form, continues to educate artists. (Image courtesy of the Schatz House, Jerusalem)