Crafts of Israel by Ruth Dayan and WIlburt Feinberg
Usually we report new books in the library, however, this time it is a reminder of a book that we have for many years and is worth mentioning since it was written by Ruth Dayan together with Wilburt Feinberg in 1974 and it should be remembered with the recent passing of Ruth Dayan, a pioneer in Israel of this field.
The purpose of the book was to present to the world, especially America, craft made in Israel. The introduction is written by Teddy Kollek, the mayor at the time of Jerusalem, and lays out the importance he says that the world knows about this aspect of the Jewish nation. Over and above the national perspective, the ten chapters lay out the making of Israeli style as seen by Ruth Dayan. The process begins with archaeological artifacts from ancient times and continues through Bezalel, traditional crafts and folklore brought by the immigrants of the 50's and ends with modern craft of the 70's that Ruth Dayan herself promoted from 1954 with the establishment of Maskit.
The story of Maskit is woven through the chapters and presents the various crafts including jewelry, textiles, ceramics and glass. There are traditional as well as modern works made by artists who worked with Maskit. The book concludes with a chapter where Ruth Dayan, the founder, tells the story of Maskit.
The format of the book, the quality of the images and the personal story of Ruth makes it an important document of local craft history, even though it is written in English.