Israeli Prize laureate with a strong connection to Melbourne passes away.

January 19, 2017 by J-Wire Staff
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Israel Prize laureate Yosl Bergner who lived for eleven years in Melbourne, has passed away in Tel Aviv at the age of 96.Artist Bergner designed theatre sets and costumes as well as illustrating books.

Yosl Bergner

Austrian-born Bergner’s father visited Australia in 1933. Yosl moved to Melbourne in 1938 joining the Australian army at the outbreak of the second world war serving for over four years.

According to Wikipedia, in Melbourne from 1937–48, Bergner befriended many of the local artists who now epitomize modern Australian art: Sidney Nolan, Albert Tucker, John Perceval and Arthur Boyd. Adrian Lawlor moved with his wife to a cottage at Warrandyte, an outer suburb of Melbourne, where they lived for 30 years. Bergner was a frequent visitor at their Warrandyte home. All the men socialized together. Bergner encouraged them to go beyond their traditional landscape style and introduced a more radical concern for working families, thus having an important impact on Australian art.

Bergner may not have been prepared for the plight of many struggling Australians. Yet he felt a strong connection between the suffering of people everywhere, whether they were the Jews that he remembered from Europe, landless blacks in the heart of Australia or hungry children in inner urban Melbourne.

He left Australia in 1948 settling in Israel in 1950.

Bergner visited in 1987 attending an exhibition of his art partly showing works of his life in Melbourne.

Yosl Bergner Hebrew: יוסל ברגנר‎‎; born 13 October 1920-18 January 2017. He was born in Vienna, Austria, grew up in Warsaw, Poland, lived in Melbourne, Australia from 1937 until 1948

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