This corner is dedicated to the groundbreaking illustrations of Bina Gvirtz Stekelis.
Stekelis was born in 1913 in Gorlice, Poland and raised in Dusseldorf, Germany, where she studied classical-style charcoal drawing. In 1935 she immigrated to Israel with her parents and sister and lived in Jerusalem. Initially, she illustrated fairy tales and translated literature in a restrained European style. After her marriage in 1939 to Prof. Moshe Stekelis, researcher and director of the Institute of Archaeology at the Hebrew University, she delved more into local content and her works molded into the life and culture of Israeli society.
Technological advancements in printing and computing have led to a shift in her creative style. From simplicity to sophistication, from social consensus to breaking of conventions and criticism, from visual modesty to visual richness through a variety of techniques.
The artist illustrated more than 300 books, among the most famous her illustrations for the textbook series Alfoni and Al Ha’arnevet by Israel’s National Poet Hayim Nahman Bialik. She was also a permanent illustrator of Jewish holidays featured in a series of calendars for children. Her illustrations were her children.
The exhibition presents a collection of her illustrations on Zionism and settlement, the Holocaust and immigration to Israel, Israel’s wars and heroes of the Bible, capturing reality alongside a world of fantasy. These visual illustrations have charmed young viewers and adults, and are an integral part of the collective memory of Israeli childhood.
Stekelis passed away in 2008, at the age of 95, in Jerusalem.
Academic advisor: Ofra Zucker Baharav