The Sister of The Bezalel Haggadah
Maty Grunberg – Woodcuts Prints
In 1979, the "Friends of Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design" in New York commissioned the "Bezalel Passover Haggadah" from the artist Maty Grunberg, thanks to generous donations by Joy Ungerleider-Mayerson, Romie Shapiro, and Richard Scheuer.
The Haggadah was published in 1984. Creating the Haggadah took five years, of which most of the time was spent looking for the visual language that would express the artist's view on the ethos of the creation of the Jewish nation, through the story of exodus from Egypt: A tale preserved and re-told throughout 2000 years of exile, which is still celebrated with the reading of the Haggadah during the Passover Seider.
In 2012, twenty eight years after the Haggadah was first published, Maty Grunberg re-opened the files where he kept the study drawings, chose some of the sketches and placed them alongside the final version of the woodcuts prints. Thus Thesister of Bezalel Haggadah was born. This book is aimed at following the artist's journey, documenting visually the ardent search and transformations from the early sketches, which were never published, to the final woodcuts in the printed Haggadah.
In the creation of "The Bezalel Haggadah" the artist reverted to woodcuts techniques from the 19th century, using cherry wood blocks that were dried in a specific manner and aged over years by the last craftsman who mastered this technique, T. N Lawrence, of Bleeding Heart Yard, Hattown Garden, London.