Narkiss, Mordechai

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NARKISS, MORDECHAI (1898–1957), Israel curator and art historian. Narkiss was born in Skala, Poland. In 1920 he settled in Ereẓ Israel, where he continued his studies at the *Bezalel School, Jerusalem, and became assistant to the director, Boris *Schatz. Narkiss began to devote himself to amassing a collection of Jewish art and antiquities, and in 1932 became director of the *Bezalel Museum. The museum had closed down with the school after Schatz's death, but Narkiss founded the Society of Friends of the Bezalel National Museum and reopened it under the auspices of the executive of the Zionist Organization.

Narkiss wrote on many aspects of Jewish art. Among his publications were Matbe'ot Ereẓ Yisrael ("Coins of Ereẓ Israel," two parts, 1936 and 1938), The Channuka Lamp (1939), The Artcraft of the Yemenite Jews (1941), and Niello Work as a Jewish Craft (1942). He also wrote many articles, translated books on art, and was art editor of the Encyclopaedia Hebraica. The sixth volume of Eretz Israel (1960), one of the publications of the Israel Exploration Society, was dedicated to his memory. It included a complete bibliography of his works.