On the border of Mea Shearim and Musrara sits a large stone building, straddling the corner of Shivtei Israel and Hanevi'im Streets. The building, which dates back to 1865 (young by Jerusalem standards but impressive nonetheless) is home to the Jerusalem Print Workshop-Djanogly Graphic Arts Center, a non-profit organization which aims to further the art of printmaking in Israel. The building, which began life as a private home, provides fertile ground for artistic inspiration. In the 1930s it served as a synagogue for Jerusalem's "Red Rabbi," so called because he framed his ark with pictures of Marx and Lenin.
During World War II the building served as a barracks for Italian soldiers, before it was eventually taken over by a Jewish refugee from Poland who opened a jeans factory on the bottom floor. In 1977, the nascent Jerusalem Print Workshop bought the building from the Polish tailor, paying 100 NIS a month for many years until they gained full ownership. Printmaster Arik Kilemnik, who helped found the Jerusalem Print Workshop in 1974, currently serves as its director, and has helped increase its stature both in Israel and abroad as a center for artists.
The Workshop is home to a number of rare printing presses and other print-making and etching equipment. At any given point, visitors can find a number of artists-in-residence collaborating with Workshop staff on various projects. The Workshop also allows drop-in artist to use the etching equipment or take courses in print-making. The top floor of the building holds a gallery with frequently-changing exhibits.
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The Jerusalem Tourism Map:Print
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