Crayon on paper
3.98 by 4.72 inches
(10.1 by 12 cm)
Framed: 12 1/2 x 13 1/2 inches
Born Chaim Aaron ben David in 1876, Hermann Struck grew up in Berlin as a practicing Orthodox Jew. In Germany he studied at the Berlin Academy of Fine Arts. In 1900, Struck met Josef Israels, who became his mentor. He was a member of the modern art movement the Berlin Secession and developed a reputation as a teacher in the graphic arts. Among his many students were Max Lieberman, Lovis Corinth, Marc Chagall, Jacob Steinhardt, and Joseph Budko. In 1908, Struck published “Die Kunst des Radierens” (The Art of the Etching), which was and would remain for some time a seminal work on the subject. Writing about the artist, the art historian Karl Schwarz said, “The art of etching was his special field of activity and expertise. It was in connection with this medium that he made his name, and his etchings mirror his whole career – a rich and varied life which was accompanied by success and recognition.”
Struck generally worked in two genres – portraits and landscapes. His sitters include the great scientists and thinkers of his time: Theodore Herzl, Henrik Ibsen, Friedrich Nietzsche, Sigmund Freud, Albert Einstein, and Oscar Wilde. Struck traveled extensively throughout his life and the landscape and his travels were a constant subject. He work spans New York City, Germany, London, Egypt, Palestine, and Venice.
Struck was a German patriot who volunteered for military service in WWI and was awarded the Iron Cross. He was also a fervent Zionist and Jewish activist. Struck immigrated from Germany to Haifa in 1922 where he played a prominent and important role in the city’s social and cultural life. Among his cultural contributions he was a founder of the Mizrachi Zionist movement, regularly participated in the annual Zionist Congress, taught at and help found the Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design, and helped to establish the Tel Aviv Museum of Art.
When Struck immigrated to Israel he settled in a three-story house at 23 Arlosorov Street in Hadar Hacarmel, designed by his friend and renowned architect Alexander Baerwald. In 2013, after refurbishment and restoration, it is now open as a museum that illuminates all aspects of Struck’s artistic and cultural life. Changing exhibitions focus on the art of the print which he helped develop and to which he dedicated his life.
Nathan A. Bernstein is a descendant of Herman Struck. He has one of the largest privately owned collections of his work and is a leading expert on the subject. He serves on the Collection Committee of the Hermann Struck Museum.