Israel Before Israel—Photographs by Ze’ev Aleksandrowicz 1932–1936
Ze’ev Aleksandrowicz was a Zionist and enthusiastic photographer. Born in Kraków as the son of a paper wholesaler, he also spent a short time as a student in Vienna. He traveled extensively throughout Europe and once in the mid-1930s round the world. Between 1932 and 1935 he journeyed three times to Palestine. Tel Aviv, the first modern Jewish city founded in 1909, exerted a particular fascination on him. Impressed by the optimism in the rapidly growing Zionist project, he took pictures in the modern New Objectivity and New Vision styles of European immigrants and Arabs, ocean-going ships and the construction of the modernist buildings in the White City. After his marriage to a Sephardic Jew in 1936, he settled with his young family in Tel Aviv and abandoned photography. Years after his death in 1992, the photos from the 1930s were discovered by chance: more than 15,000 negatives gathering dust in an old suitcase. The Jewish Museum Vienna is now showing a selection of Aleksandrowicz’s Palestine photos with a particular focus on Tel Aviv.
Curator: Andrea Winklbauer
Exhibition design: Conny Cossa
Photo © Ze'ev Aleksandrowicz Estate