Vintage Photo of Albert Einstein From His Trip to Tel Aviv in 1923, With Hebrew Inscription in Unknown Hand
An original gelatin silver photograph of Albert Einstein (1879-1955), n.d. but ca. February 8, 1923. Tel Aviv, Israel, then British Mandatory Palestine. The photograph is inscribed and dedicated in Hebrew in another hand on Einstein's behalf, translated as: "To Mr. [or H] Fried / Einstein / Tel Aviv" in the lower left corner. Einstein did not know how to write or sign his name in Hebrew; thus we assume a fluent speaker of Hebrew helped the scientist dedicate this photograph of himself to an unidentified collector. Signed in the negative in Hebrew in the lower right corner and along the bottom edge. The inscription is a bit difficult to read, so we have provided multiple images of it including one taken by an electro spectral comparator in our office. Expected surface wear including scattered scuffs and isolated silvering mostly confined to the left and top edges. Traces of blue colored pencil and mounting traces verso. Else near fine. 4.625" x 6.375." Accompanied by email correspondence from the Albert Einstein Archives, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
Albert Einstein undertook a 6-month-long world tour from 1922-1923, visiting Palestine, Spain, Hong Kong, Singapore, China, and Japan. Einstein's one and only trip to Israel took place between February 2-14, 1923. His trip to the Holy Land included visits to Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Haifa, Tiberias, Jericho, and several other landmarks including the Dead Sea and an authentic kibbutz. Einstein's motives for visiting Israel were manifold. As Einstein biographer Ze'ev Rosenkranz explains in his edited collection of Einstein's travel diaries, Einstein visited Israel to lend support to various Zionist causes, while at the same time escaping from deteriorating social conditions in a Germany becoming increasingly hostile to Jews. [For more information, see Ze'ev Rosenkranz, "The Travel Diaries of Albert Einstein: The Far East, Palestine & Spain, 1922-1923" (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2018)].
Einstein visited Tel Aviv on February 8, 1923, and he famously preferred it to Jerusalem, referring to it as "the Jews' little Chicago." Meir Dizengoff (1861-1936), who served as the first Mayor of Tel Aviv from 1921-1925, made Einstein an honorary citizen of the city, with the title "Yakir Hair Tel Aviv," or "Beloved of the city of Tel Aviv." The students and faculty of Herzilya Hebrew Gymnasium, the city's first high school, treated Einstein to an athletic performance, and the theoretical physicist was exuberantly greeted in the town square by local residents. Einstein is said to have remarked that his reception in Tel Aviv was as warm as the one he had recently received in New York, but that he valued it ten times more.
This item comes with a Certificate from John Reznikoff, a premier authenticator for both major 3rd party authentication services, PSA and JSA (James Spence Authentications), as well as numerous auction houses.
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