Daoud Zalatimo (1906-2001)
Daoud Zalatimo was born in Jerusalem in 1906 and studied and worked in the city throughout his life. He showed a fondness for art at an early age and is said to have copied illustrations from books. He studied at School of Teachers in Jerusalem and in Haifa during the British Mandate years. Having completed his education in Palestine he traveled to the United Kingdom where he undertook various courses in art, obtaining certificates in oil painting, drawing, metal, leather, and wood-work. On his return to Palestine he taught art in different education establishments before becoming an inspector for art education. He was also influential in instituting an art curriculum during the period of Jordanian rule when he worked for the Ministry of Education. His work expanded and he became an inspector for handicraft education and was involved in teacher training in Jordan as well as working as an art consultant for UNESCO in Libya .
Zalatimo was known for his generosity as he gave many of his paintings to friends and family. However a significant number of works were lost after an exhibition in Lod when the city was ceased by Zionist forces. Zalatimo enjoyed painting many different subjects that included landscapes, portraits and historical themes. He is remembered as having been fond of sketching even in his very late years. He passed away in 2001 at the grand age of 95.
Mubarak Saad (1880-1964)
Mubarak Saad was born in 1880. Little is known about his life, however records reveal that he worked at the Rockefeller Museum in Jerusalem on conservation of archeological artifacts. His paintings testify to his academic abilities and he was also a practicing craftsman executing numerous wood-carvings with animal motifs and religious themes. From his photographs it is apparent that he was a meticulous man and a skilled craftsman. He died in 1964 at the age of 84.
Jabra Ibrahim Jabra (1920-1994)
Jabra Ibrahim Jabra was born in Bethlehem in 1920. He completed his high school education in Jerusalem before going on to study at Cambridge University . When he returned to Palestine he taught at Al Rashidiyah School and founded the Art Club in Jerusalem . After the war of 1948 he moved to Baghdad where he tutored students in English literature and science at the Baghdad College of Arts. In 1952 he was awarded a fellowship to Harvard University . Later, he returned to Iraq and was one of the founders of the Baghdad Group for Contemporary Art. He held the post of editor in chief of the Arab Art Magazine for a number of years and was also the president of the Association of Art Critics in Iraq . In 1983 he was awarded the Targa Europa prize for Culture by Inter Art Forum in Rome and received numerous other awards for his work and achievements. He was not only known as a painter but as an acclaimed novelist, poet, and critic. His publications include seven novels, an autobiography, three collections of poetry, and eight collections of essays. He died in Iraq in 1994 at the age of 74.
Sophie Halaby (1906-1998)
Sophie Halaby was born in 1906 in Jerusalem to a Palestinian father and a Russian mother. She studied at Schmidt Girls College and continued her education in Italy and France between 1928-1933. On her return to Palestine she taught at Schmidt Girls College between 1935-1955. In 1948 she fled her house in the west part of Jerusalem to the east side leaving behind most of her belongings. During the 1950's she opened a small shop on Jerusalem 's Zahara Street where she sold handicraft goods and her watercolours of Jerusalem . She participated in several exhibitions in Jerusalem and the occupied territories during the 1980's and passed away in 1998 at the age of 92.
Nahil Bishara (1919-1997)
Nahil Bishara's artistic talent was evident upon her graduation from high school. Unable to take up the opportunity for a scholarship in the United Kingdom she was allowed to enroll in a number of classes a the Bezalel Art School in Jerusalem where she studied between 1942-1944. She later studied interior design in Chicago and sculpture in Italy with Amore Maribelli. She was active in the local art scene and culture of the community lecturing on modern art. She was on the board of trustees of the Jerusalem Folklore Museum and was involved in working on the establishment of a centre for the preservation of local arts and crafts that would train students in applied arts. Like the other pioneer Palestinian artists she was not only a painter but also a skilled craftsperson, working in ceramics and glass. Among her important commissions was the entrance to the YMCA in East Jerusalem and a bust of Pope Paul VI that was presented to him on behalf of the Jordanian Government during his visit in 1964. She later was to receive a special decoration from the Catholic Church for her art.