Leeds has its art in the right place

By John Fisher, March 11, 2013
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Frances Alster, Ellie Ruhan and David Harris admiring the show at the Reuben Vincent Hall (Photo: John Fisher)

Frances Alster, Ellie Ruhan and David Harris admiring the show at the Reuben Vincent Hall (Photo: John Fisher)

A major exhibition of rare Leeds Jewish artwork was held over the weekend as part of the community’s 150th anniversary celebrations.

Close on 400 art lovers visited Etz Chaim Synagogue’s Reuben Vincent Hall, which had been transformed into a spacious gallery to showcase paintings, drawings, abstract sculpture, textiles and photos. Many exhibits were from private collections and were being shown in public for the first time.

Some of the earliest pieces were by painter Jacob Kramer, in whose honour the city’s art college was named. Thirty professional artists were represented and experts from Bonhams auctioneers valued artefacts brought by visitors.

The event was the brainchild of Helen Frais, cultural director of the the local Makor arts centre, who Makor chair Stanley Cundle complimented on “a magnificent job”. The show had been “a feather in the community’s cap”.
Opening the exhibition, Lord Mayor Councillor Ann Castle said Leeds Jewry had played “a tremendous part in developing the cultural life of the city.

“Not only has it produced some wonderful artists but musicians as well. And Jewish individuals, families and corporations have been amazing benefactors.”

Last updated: 10:45am, March 11 2013