Nachum Gutman

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Nachum Gutman
Born (1898-10-05)October 5, 1898
Teleneşti , Bessarabia Governorate , Moldova
Died November 28, 1980(1980-11-28) (aged 82)
Nationality Israeli, Jewish
Education Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design
Known for Painting
Awards Dizengoff Prize, Lamdan Prize, Israel Prize
Nachum Gutman mosaic wall at Herzliya Gymnasium (detail)

Nachum Gutman (alternate romanization: Nahum Gutman; Hebrew: נחום גוטמן‎: born October 15, 1898, died November 28, 1980) was an Israeli painter, sculptor, and author.


Nachum Gutman was born in Teleneşti, Bessarabia Governorate (Moldova, Romania), then a part of the Russian Empire. He was the fourth child of Alter and Rivka Gutman. His father was a Hebrew writer and educator who wrote under the pen name S. Ben Zion. In 1903, the family moved to Odessa, and two years later, to Ottoman Palestine. In 1908, Gutman attended the Herzliya Gymnasium in 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.[1]

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 Jewish history stands at the corner of Bialik Street, opposite the old Tel Aviv municipality building.[3] In 2009 these mosaics were moved to a location at the southern end of Rothschild Boulevard.

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]

Mosaic fountain by Gutman, Bialik Street, Tel Aviv

Gutman received many art and literary prizes:[4]

  • 1938: Dizengoff Prize for painting (also in 1956)[5]
  • 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)[5]
  • 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[6]

The Nachum Gutman Museum, showcasing the artist's work, was established in the Neve Tzedek neighborhood of Tel Aviv.[7]

Outdoor and public art[edit]

  • 1961 A mosaic wall at the Chief Rabbinate building, Tel Aviv
  • 1966 A mosaic wall at Migdal Shalom (Shalom Tower), Tel Aviv
  • 1967 A mosaic wall for Herzliya high school, Tel Aviv
  • 1976 History of Tel Aviv-Jaffa, mosaic, Bialik Square, 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]


External links[edit]