The Orientalists

Picture Postcards from the Holy Land, 1880-1935


The collection comprises some 300 postcards painted by different artists, all of which depict places and landscapes of the Holy Land. These postcards, which were considered a popular item, were in great demand - along with black-and-white photograph postcards - among tourists and pilgrims.
In most cases the postcards were printed in series of six to twelve postcards, all painted by the same artist and published in editions of several hundred copies. They were sold mainly in Palestine, but in European cities as well. Curator Yoel Amir believes that over some 60 years hundreds of thousands of picture postcards of the Holy Land were printed. About a third of them were sent by the post office within the country, but some were sent abroad as well. Many of them remained in the possession of their owners who saved them as a memento; others were attached as greeting cards to gifts and letters. Some of these remained and fell into the hands of collectors.
There is a book that accompanies the exhibit in the Alexander Museum of Postal

 History and Philately which contains a collection of picture postcards.

These show the landscapes and images of the Holy Land as they were seen and perceived by the Orientalist artists, firing the imagination of both Christians and Jews throughout the world over a hundred years ago.


Curators: Sara Turel and Yoel Amir
Opens: July 1

Closes 21 November 2008