Visu­al Arts

Touch­ing on Place: Archi­tec­tur­al Ele­ments in Israel

  • From the Publisher
March 29, 2018

Archi­tec­ture is a com­bi­na­tion of form and func­tion. Some­times that func­tion is reli­gious or polit­i­cal, or both. Some­times the func­tion changes. A sin­gle struc­ture on Mt. Zion con­tains the tra­di­tion­al site of David’s Tomb as well as the the tra­di­tion­al site of the Last Sup­per, which itself has been a syn­a­gogue, a church, a mosque, and once again a church. Anoth­er build­ing in the Russ­ian Com­pound in Jerusalem was orig­i­nal­ly a hos­tel for Russ­ian Ortho­dox pil­grims and became, dur­ing the British Man­date, a prison for cap­tured mem­bers of the Jew­ish Under­ground. Both sites are archi­tec­tural­ly beau­ti­ful. For twen­ty-five years, Chaim and Yon­nah, a hus­band and wife artist col­lab­o­ra­tion, have been record­ing and paint­ing the his­to­ry of Israel through these archi­tec­tur­al ele­ments. Some are pre­served; some no longer exist. The book is arranged geo­graph­i­cal­ly with a his­tor­i­cal intro­duc­tion to each region. Israel is a cross­roads of many civ­i­liza­tions; each leav­ing its mark. As it says in the Bible, sev­er­al times, Do not remove the ancient land­mark.” This long-term project and book strive to hon­or that precept.

Discussion Questions