Nachum Gutman, a Russian-born Israeli artist lauded with awards including the Israel Prize, has gone down in history as one of the Jewish state’s most beloved personalities.
Gutman was born October 5, 1898, in Moldova, then part of the Russian Empire. He was the fourth child to his parents Alter and Rivka, his father a Hebrew writer and teacher.
The family moved to Odessa in 1903, and immigrated to Ottoman Palestine in 1905.
Gutman trained at the historic Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design in Jerusalem. As part of the emerging Jewish culture, he began taking to various art forms as a young man.
His work is considered indicative of a uniquely Israeli style, combining oils, pen and ink, watercolors, and gouache paint and pigment.
Today, Gutman’s work can be seen lovingly displayed across Tel Aviv, with colorful sculptures and mosaics showing off some of the artist’s most acclaimed genres of work.
In the Chief Rabbinate building can be found a Gutman mural depicting the Tel Aviv scape, and a mosaic fountain of Gutman’s sits opposite the Tel Aviv municipality building.
Gutman even experimented in literature, and in 1962 he was awarded the Hans Christian Andersen Literary Prize from UNESCO for his work “Path of Orange Peels.” He won the Israel Prize for children’s literature in 1978.
Gutman was also awarded an honorary doctorate of philosophy from Tel Aviv University in 1974.
Gutman died on November 28, 1980, at the age of 82.