Ze’ev Raban

Ze’ev Raban Lodz, Poland, 1890 – Jerusalem, Israel, 1970 Ze’ev Raban was one of the most important influences on the Bezalel Academy of Art and Design. He studied art at several institutions in Europe, the School of Applied Art in Munich, the Beaux-Arts Academy in Paris, and the Royal Academy of Art in Brussels. Under the influence of Boris Schatz, the founder of the Bezalel Academy, Raban moved to the land of Israel in 1912 during the wave of immigration known as the Second Aliyah. He joined the faculty of the Bezalel school, and soon took on a central role there as a teacher of repoussé, painting, and sculpture. He also directed the academy’s Graphics Press and the Industrial Art Studio. By 1914, most of the works produced in the school’s workshops were of his design. He continued teaching until 1929. Raban was a prolific and varied artist. He designed the decorative elements of such important Jerusalem buildings as the King David Hotel, the Jerusalem YMCA, and Bikkur-Cholim Hospital. He also designed a wide range of day-to-day objects, including playing cards, commercial packaging, bank notes, tourism posters, jewelry, and insignia for Zionist institutions. Raban also designed a wide range of Jewish objects including menorahs, temple windows and Torah arks. His decorative representation and idyllic style focuses on a utopian biblical model filled with prophets, shepherds and traditional design.