Nachum Gutman

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Nachum Gutman
Nachum Gutman in Vienna, 1920
Born(1898-10-05)October 5, 1898
DiedNovember 28, 1980(1980-11-28) (aged 82)
EducationBezalel Academy of Arts and Design
Known forPainting
AwardsDizengoff Prize, Lamdan Prize, Israel Prize
Nachum Gutman mosaic wall at Shalom Tower, where the old Herzliya Gymnasium once stood; detail showing orchards and a saqiya fountain outside old Jaffa

Nachum Gutman (as he himself signed;[1] alternate romanisation: Nahum Gutman; Hebrew: נחום גוטמן: October 5, 1898 – November 28, 1980) was a Moldovan-born Israeli painter, sculptor, and author.


Nachum Gutman was born in Teleneşti, Bessarabia Governorate, then a part of the Russian Empire (now in the Republic of Moldova). He was the fourth child of Sim[c]ha Alter and Rivka Gutman. His father was a Hebrew writer and educator who wrote under the pen name S. Ben Zion [he]. In 1903, the family moved to Odessa, and two years later, to Ottoman Palestine. In 1908, Gutman attended the Herzliya Gymnasium in what would later become Tel Aviv. In 1912, he studied at the Bezalel School in Jerusalem. In 1920–26, he studied art in Vienna, Berlin and Paris.

Gutman was married to Dora, with whom he had a son. After Gutman's death in 1980, Dora asked two Tel Aviv gallery owners, Meir Stern of Stern Gallery and Miriam Tawin of Shulamit Gallery, to appraise the value all of the works left in his estate.[2]

Artistic career[edit]

Gutman's studio, Nahum Gutman Museum of Art

Gutman helped pioneer a distinctively Israeli style, moving away from the European influences of his teachers. He worked in many different media: oils, watercolours, gouache and pen and ink.[2]

His sculptures and brightly colored mosaics can be seen in public places around Tel Aviv. Indoor murals depicting the history of Tel Aviv can be seen in the western wing of the Shalom Tower and the Chief Rabbinate building.

A mosaic fountain with scenes from the early days of Tel Aviv and biblical stories connected to Jaffa (inscribed with 3 Bible verses: Jeremiah 31:4, 2 Chronicles 2:16, Jonah 1:3), stood for 32 years at the end of Bialik Street, opposite the old Tel Aviv municipality building.[3] In 2012 this mosaic fountain was reinstalled at the southern end of Rothschild Boulevard.[4][5]

Gutman's artistic style was eclectic, ranging from figurative to abstract. Gutman was also a well-known writer and illustrator of children's books.

Awards and recognition[edit]

Rear side of mosaic fountain by Gutman at its original location (1976-2008) at Bialik Square, Tel Aviv

Gutman received many art and literary prizes:[6]

  • 1938: Dizengoff Prize for painting (also in 1956)[7]
  • 1946: Lamdan Prize for children's literature
  • 1955: Sicily Award for watercolor painting at the São Paulo Biennale
  • 1956: Dizengoff Prize for painting (also in 1938)[7]
  • 1962: Hans Christian Andersen Literary Prize on behalf of Unesco for his book "Path of Orange Peels"
  • 1964: Yatziv Prize
  • 1969: Fichman Prize for Literature and Art
  • 1974: Honorary Doctor of Philosophy from Tel Aviv University
  • 1976: Honorary Citizen of Tel Aviv
  • 1978: Israel Prize, for children's literature[8]

The Nachum Gutman Museum, showcasing the artist's work, was established in the Neve Tzedek neighborhood of Tel Aviv.[9]

Outdoor and public art[edit]

  • 1961 A mosaic wall at the Chief Rabbinate building, Tel Aviv
  • 1966 A mosaic wall in memory of the Herzliya high school at Migdal Shalom (Shalom Tower), Tel Aviv
  • 1976 History of Jaffa and Tel Aviv, mosaic-decorated fountain, initially Bialik Square, now southern end of Rothschild Boulevard Tel Aviv

Published works[edit]

  • Path of the Orange Peels: Adventures in the Early Days of Tel Aviv (English translation: Nelly Segal) Dodd, Mead & Company, 1979
  • "Seven Mills and Another Station" (Sheva T'khanot ve'od Takhana), Yavneh 1956
  • "In the Land of Lobengulu King of Zulu", Massadah 1940

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Nachum Gutman, the Tel-Aviv Museum". 1969. Retrieved 30 June 2023.
  2. ^ a b Gilerman, Dana (2001-08-01). "Pinpointing Nahum Gutman". Retrieved 2014-04-11.
  3. ^ "Mosaic Mural – Mosaic Artist – Nahum Gutman – Shalom Tower – Tel Aviv, Israel". Mosaic Art Source. 2007-02-17. Retrieved 2023-06-30.
  4. ^ "TA City Hall: Gutman Mosaic Destined for Ritzy Office Tower Courtyard". Haaretz. Retrieved 2023-06-30.
  5. ^ "Nahum Gutman fountain, Tel Aviv | PhotoStock-Israel Licensed stock photography". Retrieved 2023-06-30.
  6. ^ "A Street in Neve Zedek. Artist: Nachum Gutman. Hand Signed & Numbered Limited Edition Serigraph". Archived from the original on 2009-06-08. Retrieved 2008-04-21.
  7. ^ a b "List of Dizengoff Prize laureates" (PDF) (in Hebrew). Tel Aviv Municipality. Archived from the original (PDF) on December 17, 2007.
  8. ^ "Israel Prize Official Site – Recipients in 1978 (in Hebrew)".
  9. ^ "Nachum Gutman Museum". Retrieved 2014-04-11.

External links[edit]