The Hermann Struck Museum will open during 2013
Hermann Struck (1876-1944) is considered to be one of the most important print artists of Germany and Eretz Israel in the first half of the 20th century. For more than 40 years of his career as a successful and respected artist he created innumerable works on paper, generally in two specific genres - portraits and landscapes. In his series of famous portraits, Struck depicted the great scientists and thinkers of his time, including what is, for Jews, his best-known work - a portrait of Theodor Herzl.
Aside from his art, Struck was very involved in Zionist activities, both global and Israeli. He regularly participated in the annual Zionist Congress, and in artistic initiatives after immigrating to Eretz Israel. Among the latter were the Beit Dizengoff Museum - today the Tel-Aviv Museum of Art - and the revival of the Bezalel Academy of Art in Jerusalem.
Struck acquired a reputation as a teacher of graphic art, and began to teach the techniques of the art print while still in Germany. Among his many students were Max Liebermann, Lovis Corinth, Marc Chagall, Jacob Steinhardt, and Joseph Budko.
In December 1922 Struck transferred his "centre of gravity" from Berlin to Haifa. His settling in Haifa was a cultural event the likes of which had never before been known in the art world of Eretz Israel. Struck, a Jewish-Zionist artist of world renown, contributed greatly to the development of the artistic community of northern Israel, and especially of Haifa.
Struck settled in a three-storey house at 23 Arlosorov Street in Hadar Hacarmel. It was designed by his friend Alexander Baerwald - one of the finest architects working in Israel at that time and designer of the original Technion building, the Israel Insitute of Technology. In that house Struck re-created his Berlin studio, gathering round him a group of students specializing in the various print techniques. Among them were Anna Ticho, Zvi Goldstein-Gali, Arie Erich Glass, Yosef Ehrlich, and Meir Ben-Uri.
Today, Struck's fine home is deemed worthy of preservation for its great architectural and historic value. It looks out from the Carmel slopes over views of Haifa Bay and the Emek Zebulun. During 2012, after refurbishment and repairs that will preserve its original character, it will open as a museum retaining the vision and spirit of the house as it was in Struck's lifetime. This impressive house, in which the artist received public dignitaries and artists, is a combination of oriental and European elements - arched oriental windows, and painted floors that will be carefully restored during the renovations.
The intention of the Museum is to illuminate all aspects of Struck's artistic, cultural and social life. His furniture and carpets, personal items and books will be integrated, as well as his oil paintings from Nathan Bernstein's collection and his works from the collection of the Haifa Museum of Art. On the upper floor there will be a creativity centre for youth and children, and workshops for printing and etching, sculpture and painting. Changing exhibitions will present the many-faceted works of Struck himself, as well as various aspects of art history, focusing on the art of the print which he developed and to which he dedicated his life.
The exhibitions will concentrate on subjects, ideas, and the cultural concepts of the modern age. The framework of the displays will be an introduction to the works of Struck and of artists working today in the print genre in Israel and elsewhere, an attempt to create a dialogue between periods and points of view.
A new building will be erected adjacent to Hermann Struck's home, intended as an educational and community centre dealing with art education in general, and that of the print in particular. There will be workshops for artists involved in the craft of the print, and exhibitions of works by contemporary artists. The museum will also offer a range of tours, lectures, events and encounters with outstanding figures in cultural activities and research. Activities will be coordinated with the Hadar Community Centre, Haifa Theatre, and Haifa Museums.