An exceptional exhibition prepared by the Galicia Jewish Museum, Poland and Palestine: Two Lands and Two Skies consists of portraits made in the 1930s by photographer Ze’ev Aleksandrowicz. These images paint a powerful picture by showing their subjects in two distinct cultural contexts – in the streets of their home city and in distant Palestine. In turn, the photographs become the starting point for telling stories about the relationship between these two worlds, full of contrasts and contradictions.
Ze’ev (Wilhelm) Aleksandrowicz was born in Kraków in 1905. He became interested in photography as a young man. In the 1920s and ‘30s, he began work on a series of photography projects that took him around Poland and Europe as well as to Japan, the United States, Egypt, Hong Kong and Singapore. He visited Palestine three times between 1932- 1935, and took hundreds of photographs of life in Tel Aviv, Jaffa, Haifa, Jerusalem, Tyberias, Hadera and the Jezreel Valley. Aleksandrowicz died in Tel Aviv in 1992. Eleven years after his death, his family discovered a suitcase full of his life’s work – over 15,000 negatives. The collection has been scanned and catalogued in Israel’s National Library.