Jerusalem museum honors 'Israeli Walt Disney,' Mossad cartoonist

Clila and Hadasa Bau were awarded the "Renewal Award" by the Old Yishuv Court Museum.

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May 29, 2019 11:31
1 minute read.
Clila Bau-Cohen speaking to a group visiting the Joseph Bau House

Clila Bau-Cohen speaking to a group visiting the Joseph Bau House . (photo credit: YVETTE J. DEANE)

Daughters of the "Israeli Walt Disney," the late Joseph Bau, won an award in May in honor of their father's work in the renewal of Israeli culture. 

Clila and Hadasa Bau were awarded the "Renewal Award" by the Old Yishuv Court Museum, a museum in the Jewish Quarter, which documents Jews in the Old City throughout various time periods. 
The two sisters currently run the Joseph Bau House, a museum born out of their father's studio and now made up of much of his life's work. 


Bau, a holocaust survivor, was one of those rare survivors who always talked about his time in the camps, the sisters recalled. 


"He constantly was talking about the Holocaust through jokes." He was always optimistic, which is reflected in his work, the sisters said.  


Immigrating to Israel with his wife in 1950, Bau was intrigued by the roots of the Hebrew words as he learned the language. He realized he could use the roots of the words to create clever puns and illustrations. For instance, the word "lehem" (bread) has a similar root to the word "Lehilahem" (to fight). Thus, he created an illustration of a bread bleeding blood. 


 


The Bau sisters, regarding their father as the first Israeli cartoonist, hope to continue to share his work. They believe that he could have been even more renowned if not for his work for the Mossad. The siblings found out later in life that their father worked for the secret agency, forging documents and fulfilling their illustrating needs. 


The Joseph Bau House Museum is located in Tel Aviv and was rated as Tripadvisor's 2018 top choice, a selective award given to only the top 1% of businesses in a category.


 
 


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