June 10: Arts in brief

Rachel Abrams, Bad Rachel of Internet fame, died Friday morning at the age of 62 after a three-year battle against stomach cancer.

June 9, 2013 21:01
4 minute read.

Israel Museum. (photo credit: Courtesy)

Artist and writer Rachel Abrams dies

Rachel Abrams, Bad Rachel of Internet fame, died Friday morning at the age of 62 after a three-year battle against stomach cancer.

Abrams was a board member of the Emergency Committee for Israel and maintained a blog, “Bad Rachel,” that was critical of liberal thinkers and American Middle East policy.

Her work also appeared in publications such as The Wall Street Journal, Commentary and The Weekly Standard.

Her sister is Ruthie Blum, a former features editor of the Jerusalem Post.

• Jerusalem Post Staff

Merzbacher returns to Israel Museum

In 1998, Werner and Gabrielle Merzbacher chose to celebrate Israel’s 50th anniversary by unveiling their collection of art. The Merzbachers spent five decades quietly assembling what turned out to be one of the most significant and impressive private collections on the globe. The exhibit, “Joy of Color,” which took place at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem, broke the record of visitors in Israel.

Over a quarter of a million guests basked in the beauty of the Merzbachers’ collection.

The exhibit was then invited to museums the world over.

This week, the Israel Museum will once again open its doors for the public to view the Merzbachers’ prized possessions.

In an exhibit entitled “Color Gone Wild,” expressionist and Fauve paintings by Matisse, Kandinsky and Kirchner will be on display. The exhibit was curated by Dr. Adina Kamien Kazhzdan and will run through November 2013.

For more information, visit www.imj.org.il.

• Ori J. Lenkinski

Black Box theater to tour Israel

The Image Black Box Theater of Prague will tour Israel from July 19 – 27 with The Best of Image, a compilation of excerpts from their shows, and including some new pieces. Venues include Tel Aviv, Haifa, Jerusalem, Carmiel and Beersheva.

For those unfamiliar with the art, black box theater comprises luminescent images projected via black, i.e. ultra-violet light. Image was established in 1989 by Alexander Cihar and Eva Asterova and features a synthesis of dance, modern jazz, contemporary music, mime and comedy.

• Jerusalem Post staff

MoMA acquires Israeli designer’s table

The Earthquake Proof Table that Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design student Arthur Brutter created for his final project has been acquired by New York’s Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) for its permanent collection of architecture and design.

Last year, Brutter’s unique school desk was nominated for one of the design world’s most prestigious prizes, the Brit Insurance Designs of the Year, organized by the Design Museum London.

The metal-and-wood table can absorb some of the force of an earthquake and flexes in specific places so as to protect anyone using it as a shelter during the trembler. Sturdy as it is, the table is light enough to be moved by two children, who can then fit underneath it.

Brutter designed the desk with his instructor Ido Bruno of the Jerusalem art school’s industrial design department. He was motivated by his discovery that some 300 million children in the world attend schools built along geological rift lines. If an earthquake strikes, pupils are told to get under their desks, but regular school desks can actually become lethal traps by breaking apart under the weight of falling debris.


Hollywood star Esther Williams dies

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Esther Williams, whose experiences as a young swimming champion led to a career of Hollywood “aqua-musicals” designed just for her, died on Thursday in Beverly Hills, California, at the age of 91, her spokesman said.

Williams, one of the biggest box-office stars of the 1940s and 1950s, died peacefully in her sleep and had been in declining health due to old age, spokesman Harlan Boll said.

Williams became known as “Hollywood’s Mermaid” and “The Queen of the Surf.” At her peak, the woman with the wide smile and bright eyes was second in earnings only to Betty Grable and often in the top 10 box-office draws.

Williams’ aqua-musicals were escapist comedies in lush color, with lavish song and watery dance numbers and lots of footage of synchronized swimming.

Williams was born in the Los Angeles suburb of Inglewood on August 8, 1921. As a young swimmer, she set what were then world records in the 100-meter freestyle and 880-yard relay. She also worked as a model.

Williams hit the water in her first film, Andy Hardy’s Double Life (1942) but stayed out of it for A Guy Named Joe (1943), the first of five movies she made opposite Van Johnson.

It was the pool – and wartime pinup pictures of her in bathing suits – that made her popular. She returned to the water for Bathing Beauty(1944) and Ziegfeld Follies (1946), both of which featured Williams in water ballets.

In Thrill of a Romance (1945), the basic plot of most of her movies was established as she played a swimming instructor who falls in love.

In her later career, Williams did a few 1960s television specials and hosted swimming events for ABC-TV’s coverage of the 1984 Olympic Games.

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