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Israelis You Should Know: Zeev Ben-Zvi

Zeev Ben-Zvi (Photo: wikicommons/Information Center for Israeli Art)

Lived: 1904-1952

Known for: An Israeli sculptor who influenced an entire generation of sculptors after him.

Why you should know him: Zeev Ben-Zvi was born to a Jewish family in Poland. He studied at the Academy of Fine Art in Warsaw, and then made aliyah (immigrated) to the Holy Land in 1923. There, Ben-Zvi studied at Jerusalem's Bezalel School of Art and Craft.

In 1926, the New Bezalel School opened, and he taught there before travelling to Paris and then London.

Ben-Zvi specialized in portrait heads made of beaten copper and plaster, and sculpted in the cubist fashion. One of his most profound works is in Mishmar Haemek in Israel, a monument called "In Memory of the Children of the Diaspora."

In 1953, a year after his death, Zeev Ben-Zvi was the first artist to be given the Israel Prize, in the award's inaugural year.

View much of Ben-Zvi's work at the Israel Museum's website.

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