A Collection of 37 Photogravure Pictures by Benor-Kalter, 1926

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The Benor-Kalter Collection    

 This important collection of old photogravure views of Jerusalem and the Holy Land (Eretz Israel) by Jacob (Ya'akov) Benor-Kalter, illustrates the early artistic work of Benor-Kalter. The work was published in Jerusalem by the Art Publishing House "Migdal" and by the Pro-Jerusalem Society in 1926. The collection includes: a) 20 plates, PP (25 cm wide by 30 cm tall). b) 17 postcards, PC (10 cm wide by 15 cm tall) and c) Three stamps from a set of Palestine Postal Stamps designed by Benor-Kalter in 1927.

The logo of "Migdal" Art
Publishing House 1926


Curriculum vitae summary of Benor-Kalter (1897 – 1965).

Jacob (Ya'akov) Benor-Kalter was a prolific and important Jewish photographer, born in Poland in 1897.

Graduated in Practical Engineering, Architecture and Graphics, he specialized in combining photography with 

The album "Eretz Israel – A Collection of Land Views" (in Hebrew), holds 24 Photogravure Prints of Jerusalem and the Holy Land 1926, תרפ'ו.

graphic arts. Immigrated to Eretz Israel in 1921 he settled in Jerusalem and worked as an art designer for the Jewish National Fund (KKL). In 1926 He published simultaneously several works: The first was a 12 photo-etching picture album of "Jerusalem the Old City". This was published by the Pro-Jerusalem Society created in 1926 by Sir Ronald Storrs, the first civilian governor of Jerusalem. At about the same time Benor-Kalter published an album with 24 Holy Land pictures called "Eretz Israel – A Collection of Land Views" (in Hebrew), that was published by his own company called "Migdal". In addition, he produced a series of photogravure postcards with similar and other photographs.

In 1927, Jacob Benor-Kalter was selected to design the new pictorial series of stamps for the Postmaster General of Palestine. The expanded album "Jerusalem the Old City" with 22 photogravure pictures had a second edition published in 1931 by "Divan Book and Art Shop Jerusalem" and a third edition printed in 1958 in commemoration of the tenth anniversary of the State of Israel. During the 1930's his photographic style changed to include photomontage prints which were published in several albums. In the 1940's he abandoned photography and become engaged in architectural projects, married to Behira and built his house in the seashore of Natanya. Benor-Kalter died in Jerusalem in 1969.



Producing A Photogravure Print.

A photogravure is a photographic image that is printed from an engraved  copper plate. Producing Photogravure prints during the 1920's in the Holy Land was a pioneering complicated art project that involved several stages. 

An antique printing press for etched copper plates. Used to print photogravures.

The first stage in the process starts with the original camera film negative, afterwards a new negative image is made from the original negative to produce a positive image. The second stage is to sensitize a sheet of pigmented gelatin gravure tissue placed on a copper plate. The third stage is to expose the film positive to the sensitized gravure tissue, hardening the gelatin in proportion to the degree of light exposed to it. The fourth stage is to adhere the exposed tissue to the copper plate. The fifth stage is to use a hot water bath to remove the paper backing and to wash away the softer, unexposed gelatin. The sixth stage is to etch the plate in a series of ferric chloride baths, creating a gravure plate with tiny wells of varying depth to hold ink. The final stage is to print the cleaned plate.



List of 37 Pictures

File # Titles Of Photographs Type
A0 Rachel's Tomb on the way to Beth-Lehem PC
A1 Jerusalem, view from Mount Olives PP
A2 Jerusalem, the Temple Area with the Dome of the Rock PP
A2a Left: Jerusalem, the Citadel (David Tower). Right: View of David Street market PC
A3 Salomon Street El-Wad main street with public drinking fountain or dispensary PP
 A30  Jerusalem, Garden of Gethsemane (Mary Magdalene Church).  PC
  A4 Right: The Wailing Wall, part of the Jewish second temple. Left: A main street in Jerusalem.  PP
  A5 Left: The main street near Damascus Gate in Jerusalem. Right: Beggars at the entrance to the Wailing Wall.  PP
  A6 Timnath-Serach, Burial place of Joshua ben Nun, the Israelite leader who succeeded Moses.  PP
  A7 Fountain near Jaffa, on the way to Mikve Israel.  PP
  A8  Arab Cafe on the sea-shore Port of Jaffa.  PP
  A9 Arab restaurant in Jaffa.  PP 
  Ab10 The Technion Tecnological institute School in Haifa.  PP 
Ab11   Hadar HaCarmel. The northern slopes of Mount Carmel.  PP
  Ab12 A view of the bay and port of Haifa from Mount Carmel.  PP
  Ab13 The Sea of Galilee seen from the village of Migdal.  PP
  Ab14 The city Safed. (one of Judaism's Four Holy Cities).  PP
  Ab15 A Village in Southern Galilee.  PP
  Ab16 A Village on the Bank of the River Jordan.  PP
 Ab17  On the River Jordan.  PP
  Ab18 Carantal Mountain near the city of Jericho.  PP
  Ac20 Left: Street of the Chain. (Bab Sinsila) in Jerusalem. Right: The Wailing Wall.  PC
  Ac21 Left: Jerusalem, street near Damascus Gate. Right: A Cafe in the Old City  PC
  Ac22 Right: Jerusalem, Street of the Chain. (Chan a Zeit). Left: Beggars at the entrance to the Wailing Wall.  PC
 Ac23 Jerusalem, Temple Area (Haram a Sharif).  PC
  Ac24 Jerusalem, Tyropoeon valley Street (El-Wad) near Damascus Gate.  PC
  Ac26 Timnath-Serach, Burial place of Joshua ben Nun  PC
  Ac27 View of Jerusalem from Mount Scopus (A panoramic view).  PC
  Ac28 Left: Street near Damascus Gate in Jerusalem. Right: Tyropoeon valley Street (El-Wad) near Damascus Gate  PC
 Ac29  Jerusalem. The Dome of the Rock in the Temple Area (view from south).  PC
 Ad30  Palestine Post Office Stamps designed by Benor-Kalter in 1927  


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