01 August 2011

Lerski at the Israel Museum

If you're in Jerusalem between now and October, go see the exhibit on Helmar Lerski, called "Working Hands" at the Israel Museum.  Lerski was a German Jew (born Israel Schmuklerski) who is considered one of the most important portrait photographers of the 20th century, and I'm not just saying that because for a time he had a studio in Milwaukee.

His experimental techniques, stunning photographs and film-making of working Zionist pioneers in Palestine in the 1930s are amazing.

Lerski said, "I believe that the modern portrait photographer should strive, with the help of his own feeling for light, to express himself in a completely personal manner, create his own style, and deliver with every portrait his visiting card, so to speak, in order that he can be recognized in every one of his pictures, just as a Picasso, a Renoir, a Cezanne can be distinguished one from another."

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