In Israel East meets West. Their jewelry traditions blend, resulting in creative innovations. In the 1930s, European immigrants introduced the spirit of the Bauhaus, while oriental craftsmanship was invigorated in the 1950s and 1960s by immigration from Islamic countries. State jewelry companies preserved traditional crafts, while at the same time developing a new and elegant style, designed to express the national identity of the still young state of Israel. There are important links between native jewelry makers and European and American jewelry artists, who were guest lecturers at the Bezalel Academy of Art and Design in the 1970s and had a lasting influence on Israeli artists. The transition to art jewelry was finally completed in the 1980s, paving the way for artists who are now internationally renowned. A further chapter is dedicated to contemporary works by some outstanding young artists. Although their works are part of the global jewelry scene, they are also dedicated to their homeland, for example through unequivocal references to local political tensions. Artists (a selection): Bianca Eshel Gershuni, Esther Knobel, Deganit Stern Schocken, Vered Kaminski, Attai Chen.
Dr. Iris Fishof studied Art History at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. From 1983 to 2003 she worked at the Israel Museum, in Jerusalem, as Chief Curator of Judaica and Jewish Ethnography. Since 2005, she has been a Senior Lecturer on jewellery at the Shenkar College of Engineering and Design in Ramat-Gan.