"Through the Looking Glass" – a Photography Exhibition in Central Jerusalem

When: On 15.9.2020 till 15.12.2020
Audience: Open to all 24/7
Site name: Jerusalem City Center
Pay: Free of charge
Location: Davidka Square, 97 Yaffo st. Jerusalem

 
September 15, 2020 till December 15, 2020
 
In celebration of KKL-JNF's 120th anniversary and 100 years of pioneering photo documentation of Israel's development, the KKL-JNF Photo Archive is presenting a selection of rare historical photographs.

 

 
The pictures were developed on glass plates, producing a unique glow and hue, reflecting the Zionist pioneering spirit, the will to achieve, and special moments in the rebirth of an old-new land.
 
About the exhibition
 
Throughout its 120 years of existence, Keren Kayemeth LeIsrael-Jewish National Fund played a major role in the development of Israel, and in its visual documentation. Armed with heavy cameras and complex technical tools, the best photographers of Eretz Yisrael set out on their missions, capturing breathtaking views of the Land, its inhabitants and communities through their lenses. Their photographs were sent to Jewish communities around the world, invoking great enthusiasm and deep commitment to the Zionist enterprise.

Alongside photography on celluloid film, the KKL-JNF photographers of the 1920-1950 period also used the older photographic technique – that of glass plates coated with a light-sensitive emulsion. These plates functioned as negatives on which images were imprinted using a special process, giving the photographs a rare quality, and even making some of them look like paintings.

Among the hundreds of thousands of negatives kept in the KKL-JNF Photo Archive, there are about 3,000 glass negatives depicting the pioneering spirit which the KKL-JNF sought to eternalize, and a selection of them are on display at this exhibition. The photographs reflect foundational images in the history of Zionism, such as pioneers cultivating the Land, planting trees, establishing the “Tower and Stockade” communities, Meshek HaPoalot agricultural training for women, holiday ceremonies, and more.

To this very day, the KKL-JNF Photo Archive continues its seminal documentation, accompanying it with public photographic exhibitions. To mark the 120th anniversary of KKL-JNF’s founding and the centennial of its Photo Archive, we wish to share with you some of its nostalgic, moving, and sunlit moments.