Sculptor Zeev Ben-Zvi was born in Poland in 1904 and studied at the Academy of Art in Warsaw before immigrating to Palestine in 1924. After working for two years with Boris Schatz (1866–1932), founder of the Bezalel Academy of Arts and design in Jerusalem, Ben-Zvi taught sculpture at Bezalel from 1926–7, subsequently holding a teaching post there intermittently until his death. Ben-Zvi’s early naturalistic style gave way to a more intense expression based on Cubist techniques and he became known for his portrait sculptures and his masks from beaten copper. His work influenced a subsequent generation of sculptors. Ben-Zvi lived in England from 1937–9, where he began to use more rounded forms and to minimise detail, as can be seen in his head of Lord Hore Belisha. During the Second World War his work became more abstract. After his return to Jersualem he became a lecturer at Bezalel and created a monumental sculpture at Mishmar Haemek, In Memory of the Children of the Diaspora (1947), which has been described as ‘the apogee of Israeli monumental sculpture’. In 1953 the artist posthumously received both the Dizengoff Prize and the inaugural Israel Prize for Sculpture.