Hillman, David

views updated


HILLMAN, DAVID (1895–1974), British artist. Hillman was born in Courland and brought up in Glasgow, Scotland, where his father, Rabbi S.I. *Hillman, was rabbi. He was influenced by the work of his teacher, the portrait painter Solomon J. *Solomon, who also produced works of Jewish biblical interest, but Hillman devoted himself to stained glass in which he made his main reputation. His Jewish background and learning played a fundamental role in his art. He designed some 300 stained-glass windows for Jewish buildings in Britain and Israel. The themes were biblical or related to Jewish traditions. He was the pioneer of a new kind of Orthodox synagogue decoration which used Jewish content without disturbing traditional attitudes to the depiction of form. The principal London synagogues incorporating his work are at Cricklewood, St. John's Wood, and Hampstead Garden Suburb, and include the Central Synagogue; in Israel he contributed to the Hechal Shlomo Synagogue, the President's Synagogue, and Bar-Ilan University. He was a member of the British Society of Master-Glass Painters. In 1914 he was a founder member of the Jewish Association of Arts and Sciences.

[Charles Samuel Spencer]