About Ruth Bamberger

Ruth Bamberger, 1904–1976, painter and teacher.

Ruth Bamberger
Ruth Bamberger during the 1920s, from a family album. Wikipedia.

Swiss born Ruth Bamberger grew up and attended the Art Academy in Zurich. She furthered her studies in Munich, while operating an independent textile design studio. In 1934 she immigrated to Jerusalem, where she studied with Jacob Steinhardt, Isidor Aschheim and Mordechai Ardon. By the mid 1940s, she was participating in group shows alongside Gabi Rosenthal, Jossi Stern, Elly Gross, Ludwig Wolpert, and Julie Keiner, among others. Her textile design and fresco work, like a mural in the bar of the Eden Hotel, were often praised. Bamberger taught painting and batik at the Bezalel Academy and exhibited internationally in the 1950s, 60s and 70s.

In August 1948, the Mishmar Ha’am (People’s Guard) and the Army’s Special Services sponsored a series of events called the “Week of Embattled Jerusalem.” It was “Jerusalem’s biggest week of public entertainment since the beginning of the war1 Jerusalem Week, The Palestine Post, August 20, 1948, p.3. and included musical programs, dances, parades, plays and an exhibition entitled “Modern Jerusalem Handicraft” at the Bezalel Museum. Bamberg’s textile designs and wrapping papers appeared in it and Ismar David was said to dominate the applied graphic arts portion of the exhibition.2 Handicrafts on Show, The Palestine Post, September 3, 1948, p.3. In October 1961, Bamberger visited New York on her way to a solo exhibition in St. Louis, Missouri. She wrote a note to Ismar David.

Ruth Bamberger letter
Front page of a letter from Ruth Bamberger to Ismar David, 1961. Ismar David papers, box 1, folder 1, Cary Graphic Arts Collection, RIT.
Ruth Bamberger letter

Verso of a letter from Ruth Bamberger to Ismar David, 1961. Ismar David papers, box 1, folder 1, Cary Graphic Arts Collection, RIT.

400 West Central Park
c/o Dr. Carmi

Lieber Ismar David

Ich war ziemlich betrübt, daß Gideon Ihnen die Bilder am Abend gezeigt hat. Es lag mir daran—an Ihrem Urteil. Zum Teufel! To hell with it! Es gibt so wenig Menschen, die wirklich etwas verstehn; in Jerusalem lebe ich in einem Meer von Unverstand—aber vielleicht kenne ich nicht die richtigen Menschen.

Als Tami letzten November sozusagen von einem Tag auf den anderen heiratete u. weg ging; „I felt awfully lost.“ Nun ist es herrlich mit den Kindern—aber ich halte mich sehr zurück u. bin glücklich daß ich ihnen in vielem helfen kann.

Ich möchte so gerne mit Ihnen in’s Metropolitan Museum und überhaupt – New York mit Ihren Augen sehn. Ich weiß, Sie arbeiten viel—trotzdem—schenken Sie mir ein bischen Zeit. Ja?!

Ich fahre morgen nach New Haven u. bin ca. Montag zurück. Am 28. Okt. Ist meine Ausstellung in St Louis; am 15. Fahre ich dorthin u. bleibe ca. 3 Wochen. Dann komme ich hierher zurück u. will bis ungefähr Februar bleiben.
Rufen Sie mich nächste Woche an? Ich telephoniere nicht gern. Bin arg unmodern.

Herzlichst Ihre
Ruth B.

Dear Ismar David

I was rather distressed that Gideon showed you the pictures this evening. I was concerned with—your opinion. The Devil with it! To hell with it! There are so few people, who really understand something, I live in a sea of ignorance in Jerusalem—but maybe I don’t know the right people.

When Tami got married last November, without warning, so to speak, and went away; “I felt awfully lost.” Now it’s marvelous with the children—but I keep myself very much in check and am happy that I can help them with a lot of things.

I would so like to go to the Metropolitan Museum with you and generally—see New York with your eyes. I know, you are very busy with work—nevertheless—you will give me a bit of time. Okay?!

I’m going to New Haven tomorrow and will be back on Monday. On October 28th is my exhibition in St. Louis; on the 15th, I travel there and stay for about 3 weeks. Then I’ll come back here and want to stay until about February. Will you call me next week? I don’t like to telephone. I am terribly old-fashioned.

Most warmly, your
Ruth B.

Posted in B