Over several decades Hannah and Efraim Degani, a pair of Jerusalem photographers who emigrated from Germany in the mid-1930s, immortalized the environment in which they lived and worked. Hannah began documenting Tel Aviv in the vicinity of her home, and the growing and burgeoning city. In the early 1940s she moved to Jerusalem and immortalized her numerous walks in the city, inside and outside the walls of the Old City. Walks also characterize the photographs of Efraim Degani; in his first years in the country he worked as a medical photographer at the Hadassah Hospital, and during this period he documented the center of Jerusalem and the environs of the hospital.
Toward the mid-1940s the pair opened a photography shop in the center of Jerusalem. In addition to their ongoing work, which is the basis of a large portrait collection, Efraim used to photograph people busy in their everyday life: the merchants in the Mahane Yeduda market in Me'ah She'arim, the beggars on Jaffa Road, the Salonikian porters on Hasolel Street, etc. His photographs reflect life at the end of the British Mandate and during the War of Independence. The development of Jerusalem after the war is commemorated in photos of the ma'abarot (temporary dwellings) and the new neighborhoods, the Katamons and Kiryat Hayovel. At the same time he documented the border neighborhoods of Mamila and Yemin Moshe, and the neglect that remained there until 1967. Efraim documented festive events, ceremonies, and parades and even private events. He worked for the Israeli Foreign Office during the 1950s. His numerous landscapes are characterized by "frames" while Hannah Degani has a collection of panorama landscape photographs.
Curator: Kineret Palti
Opens: March 7
Closes: May 2, 2010