Artist Gershuni to receive honorary HU degree

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June 12, 2013 04:00

Hebrew University president calls Tel Aviv born artist, "one of the pillars of Israeli art."

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Moshe Gershuni

Moshe Gershuni370. (photo credit: Hebrew University)

The Hebrew University of Jerusalem will award an honorary doctorate to artist Moshe Gershuni next week for his “contribution to Israeli culture.”

Gershuni – whose art which touches on subjects such as the Holocaust, politics, social issues and nationality – was born in 1936 in British-controlled Tel Aviv to Polish parents.

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His childhood was largely overshadowed by the Holocaust, as several members of his mother’s family died.

At the request of his grandfather, he received a religious education, although his family was secular. His father’s sudden death was a turning point in his life, and it brought him to the world of art.

After finishing his army service, he made a living by working in orchards as well as on avocado and banana plantations. In the evenings, he studied sculpture at the Avni Institute of Art and Design in Tel Aviv.

In 1972, he began teaching at the Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design in Jerusalem, where he encouraged students to raise political issues in their works. His paintings in the early ’80s crossed Yiddish texts of prayers and poetry with Holocaust motifs.

Gershuni has received over a dozen awards, including museum prizes and awards from the government.

Hebrew University president Prof. Menahem Ben- Sasson expressed his appreciation for Gershuni, calling him “one of the pillars of Israeli art.”

Ben-Sasson declared that Gershuni was “bold and original and contributed real morality and aesthetics to culture in Israel.”

Gershuni’s work, he added, “is an extraordinary expression of sensitivity toward society’s sorrows.”

The Hebrew University will also award honorary doctorates to chemistry Nobel Prize laureate Sidney Altman, Mexican economist Dr. Ernesto Zedillo Ponce de León, and the founder of the Israeli Association for Mental Health, Chanita Rodney.


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