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Jacob Pins
Birth Date: 
Birth Place: 
Hoexter, Germany
Death Date: 
Death Place: 
Born in Hoexter, Germany, came to Palestine 1936. Studied with Jacob Steinhardt in Jerusalem 1941-45. In 1949 he cofounded the Jerusalem Artists Group and Jerusalem Artists' House. Teaches woodcut at the Bezalel Academy of Art and Design (1972). Jacob Otto Pins (17 January 1917 – 4 December 2005) was a German-Israeli woodcut artist and notable art collector, particularly of Japanese prints and paintings. Pins was born in Höxter, Germany, the son of Dr Leo Pins, a veterinarian, and his wife Ida Lipper. He moved to Palestine in 1936, on a student visa. His father tried to discourage him from studying art, believing it to be a poor choice financially. His younger brother Rudolph (born 1920) emigrated to the USA in 1934. Both of his parents died in the Riga ghetto in July, 1944, his father having earlier been imprisoned in Buchenwald. Pins first lived on a kibbutz, which was disbanded in 1941. He moved to Jerusalem and studied woodcut and linocut under woodcut master and painter Jacob Steinhardt, also a German immigrant, at his small private school. He lived in poverty in a tiny room, subsisting on a meagre diet. He continued his studies at the new Bezalel Academy of Art and Design. Pins bought his first oriental print in 1945, and acquired a house on Ethiopia Street, opposite the Ethiopian church, where he lived for the rest of his life. He continued collecting until his death and was one of Israel's foremost art collectors. HIs book on Japanese Pillar Prints, Hashira-e is the definitive work on the subject. His own artwork was heavily influenced by German expressionism and traditional Japanese wood block printing. From 1956–1977, Pins taught at all Israel's leading art schools, most notably Bezalel, where he later became a professor. He was known as a demanding teacher, emphasising strong technical skills and discipline. In the 1950s, Pins established Jerusalem's Artists' House, which fast became a centre for the city's artists to both meet and exhibit. It remains central to the city's artistic life. He died in Jerusalem.