Home of Haifa artist Hermann Struck is reborn as museum

Hadar HaCarmel space opens this week with exhibition devoted to the Zionist artist and dreamer who called it home

Debra writes for the JTA, and is a former features writer for The Times of Israel.

An oil portrait of the artist Hermann Struck by painter Lovis Corinth. (photo credit: Wikimedia)
An oil portrait of the artist Hermann Struck by painter Lovis Corinth. (photo credit: Wikimedia)

Haifa’s Struck House has been reborn as a museum dedicated to its namesake, Hermann Struck, so it’s fitting that the first exhibition in this Hadar HaCarmel space is dedicated to Struck himself, one of the 20th century’s most important print artists.

Best known for his 1903 etching of Theodor Herzl, Struck’s immense body of work expresses the duality of his political, national and cultural ethos. As a Jewish artist working in Germany at the dawn of the 20th century, Struck established himself as both an early Zionist and an influential teacher, with students including Max Liebermann, Lovis Corinth, Marc Chagall, Jacob Steinhardt and Joseph Budko filling his printing classes.

An etching of the Hermann Struck House by Struck himself. (photo credit: Hermann Struck House)
An etching of the Hermann Struck House by Struck himself (photo credit: Hermann Struck House)

As an early adherent of the dream of a home for the Jewish people in the land called Palestine, Struck uprooted himself from Berlin in 1922 and settled in Haifa, and his relocation to the budding coastal city was one of its first great cultural milestones. He settled in a humble three-story building in the Hadar HaCarmel neighborhood and set to work reconstructing the studio in which he had lived and worked in Berlin.

For decades, Struck’s Haifa home, located at Arlozorov 23, was a hub of art, culture and Zionism, with artists including Anna Ticho, Zvi Gali (Goldstein), Ari Erich Glass, Joseph Ehrlich and Meir Ben-Uri practicing various printing techniques inside its walls and looking to Struck for tutelage.

This week the building will inaugurated as the Hermann Struck Museum, proving that the artist’s legacy and influence lives on in the city of Haifa. Its maiden exhibit, curated by Svetlana Reingold, includes prints, oil paintings, sketches and illustrated travel journals. The original furniture of Struck’s home will be on display, as will his original printing press.

The exhibition and inauguration, dubbed “Hermann Struck: Dreamer on the Carmel” opens on Thursday, October 3.

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