sidewalks are lined with stone houses dating from the 1920s, chic boutiques
selling darling baby clothing, handmade soaps, and organically dyed linens,
a pottery cooperative filled with handmade ceramics by local artists — Neve
Tzedek is a perfect area to explore by foot during the rainy days of
the winter months. That’s what we did in the middle of December. We started
out drinking tall glasses of chocolata — a thick pudding-like hot
chocolate — and cafe hafuch (literally upside-down-coffee) in Bungousto,
the cafe-gourmet bar located in the Suzanne Delal Center for Dance and
Performing Arts, home of the Batsheva Modern Dance Company (founded by
Martha Graham in 1964) and the Inbal Dance
Company. The Batsheva Dance Company is off to Hong
Kong in March to perform in the Arts Festival showcasing works by artistic
director/choreographer, Ohad Naharin.
As we made our way through the cobble-stoned
streets, stopping to meet the owners of the new shops and admiring the way
the neighborhood is being carefully and lovingly rebuilt, we eventually stumbled
onto the Nahum
Gutman Museum, We joined a tour of Gutman’s Sea Paintings led
by Yoav Dagon, the Museum’s Director and Chief Curator.
Nahum Gutman (1890-1980) was
a young boy when his family sailed from Odessa to Eretz Israel in 1905 and
settled in the Jaffa Port area. His love for the sea and ships lasted throughout
his life and is reflected in the large collection.
The Mediterranean’s deep blues and
aquamarines, the large ships arriving at the ports of Haifa, Jaffa, and Tel
Aviv and the bright skies of Israel drew us into the excitement of the days
when the country was young and fresh.
Nahum Gutman lived in South Africa
for a year during the 1930s and created numerous paintings and sketches only
some of which have been located. Yoav Dagon asked us if we could help locate
the missing 30-40 works. @The Source Israel is asking you, our readers, for
help: if by chance you know or have heard of these missing pieces, please let us know.
We completed our tour of the area
with a quick walk to the Tel Aviv beach to watch the sun set over the Mediterranean,
the Dolphanarium disco visible in the distance, providing a sober counterpoint
to the day we had spent.
Text by D. Rosenbloom.