Boris Schatz: The Father of Israeli Art

Discover the life and legacy of Boris Schatz, widely known as the "father of Israeli art" and the founder of the Bezalel Academy.

read more

Mattathias The High Priest

Schatz's most famous work was part of a series of sculptures depicting Jewish national leaders. It portrays Mattathias ben Johanan, a Jewish high priest whose role in the revolt against the Seleucids in the 2nd century BCE is recorded in the Books of the Maccabees.

read more

Royal Correspondence

Schatz played an important role in the founding of the National School of Fine Arts in Sofia, Bulgaria, and maintained a strong relationship with the Bulgarian royal family. This experience would prove valuable in founding Bezalel years later.

read more

The Beginnings of Bezalel

In 1906, Boris Schatz established the Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design in Jerusalem, Israel. It marked the start of a new era in Israeli culture and national identity.

read more

Modern Legacy

The Israel Museum, an outgrowth of the original Bezalel Museum, is the country's largest museum and has a collection of over 500,000 items.


The Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design is the oldest institution of higher education in Israel, located on the Mt. Scopus campus of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. It serves 1,500 students and has graduated many of Israel's most famous artists.

read more

Makings of an artist

schatz 1930001-1

Boris Schatz began his artistic journey at a young age, with several important factors eventually leading to his unwavering vision later in life.

Boris Schatz in Sofia

Letter from the Bulgarian national museum

In Bulgaria, Schatz used art as a means of shaping national identity, a fundamental idea which he would later bring to the Land of Israel.

Personal life and family


An intimate view of Schatz's personal life is revealed through his letters and other correspondence, indicating close family relationships.

Influence today

Israel-Museum-Entry NEW

Although Boris Schatz did not live to see his dreams being completely fulfilled, his legacy endures in Israel up to the present day.