Jacob Pins

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Jacob Pins 1979

Jacob Pins ( Hebrew יעקב פינס, Name at birth: Otto Pins; * January 17, 1917 in Höxter ; † December 4, 2005 in Jerusalem , Israel ) was a German-Israeli painter . He became known worldwide primarily as a woodcutter and graphic artist as well as a collector and connoisseur of East Asian art.


Jacob Pins was born the son of a veterinarian. His mother continued to run the parents' clothing store. Immediately after the National Socialist seizure of power , he graduated from high school in 1933 in order to prepare for emigration to Palestine in a Hachschara course in Stettin.

After a last visit to his parents in Höxter, he fled Nazi Germany in 1936 and initially worked in a kibbutz in Palestine. Sick of polio in 1939 , after the closure of the kibbutz he studied from 1941 with a minimal scholarship with the ( Jewish ) expressionist Jacob Steinhardt, who also emigrated from Germany .

A first exhibition of his woodcuts brought him his first success in 1945, and many other exhibitions of the paintings and woodcuts in all parts of the world followed. From 1956 he taught at the Bezalel Academy for Art and Design in Jerusalem, which made him professor in 1978. He was considered a demanding teacher who placed great value on discipline and mastery of manual skills.

In the 1950s, Jacob Pins was one of the co-founders of Jerusalem's Artists' House, where the city's artists met and exhibited, and which is still a center of the city's artistic life today.

In addition to his own artistic and teaching activities, he emerged as a significant connoisseur and collector of East Asian art, which had decisively influenced his work since he had acquired his first Japanese color woodcut in 1945. His handbook “The Japanese Pillarprint”, published in 1982, is today considered a fundamental work on Japanese post images.

After the war, he resumed contact with his hometown, which resulted in lasting friendships despite bad memories and despite the murder of his parents in the Holocaust . In 2002 he donated his extremely extensive estate (woodcuts, printing blocks, paintings, watercolors, sketches, drafts, documents) to the citizens of the town of Höxter, where the Jacob Pins Society shows his works today in the “Forum Jacob Pins in the Adelshof Heisterman von Ziehlberg”. In 2003 the city of Höxter granted him honorary citizenship after he had previously been made an honorary citizen of Jerusalem.

Jacob Pins died on December 4, 2005 in Jerusalem.


  • 1957 Ohara Prize at the Tokyo Biennale for Graphics
  • 1961 Jerusalem Prize
  • 1994 honorary citizen of Jerusalem
  • 2003 honorary citizen of the city of Höxter


  • Jacob Pins Woodcuts. Exhibition catalog, Boston, Boston Public Library, 1953 (paperback, 15 pages with 6 black and white woodcuts)
  • Master woodcuts by Jacob Pins. Oblong octavvo, staples paper covers. Preface: Ruth Eis. Catalog of the May / June 1974 exhibition at the Judah L. Magnes Museum, Berkeley, California, 1974 (12 pages, black and white illustrations)
  • The Japanese Pillar Print, Hashira-e London Robert G Sawers Publishing, 1982 (389 pages, 14 color pages and 1039 / XXV11 black and white pages)
  • The Pins Collection: Chinese and Japanese paintings and prints. Israel Museum, Israel, 1980.
  • The Jacob Pins Collection of Japanese Prints, Paintings and Sculptures. Jerusalem, Israel Museum, 1994.
  • Drawings and Oil Paintings 1942-2000. Introduction: Ziva Amishai-Maisels: Jacob Pins: Beneath the Surface, 2000 (24 or pages in English and Hebrew 51 color plates)
  • Woodcuts, 1942-2000. Preface: Meira Perry Lehmann. Jerusalem, The Israel Museum, 2000 (11 or 13 pages of text each in English and Hebrew and 350 black-and-white and color woodcuts with additional variants)


  • Christine Longère, Manfred Strecker: Jacob Pins - artist, collector, friend. Jacob-Pins-Gesellschaft Höxter, Höxter 2008. ISBN 978-300-023502-3

Jacob Pins Society

In 2002 the Jacob Pins Gesellschaft - Kunstverein Höxter eV was founded in Höxter , which has set itself the task of administering the artistic estate donated to the city of birth and making it accessible to the public. In April 2008, therefore , the Jacob Pins Forum was opened in the former Adelshof Heisterman von Ziehlberg, an example of the Weser Renaissance , with which the parents murdered in the Shoah and the other Jews in Höxter are remembered.

Web links

Commons : Jacob Pins  - collection of images, videos and audio files


  • Jacob Pins. An appeal to history, art and architecture. A film by Angelika Mühler. DVD with booklet, ed. from the LWL media center for Westphalia, Münster 2010.