Motke Blum was born in Romania in 1925.
After years of forced labor under the Nazi regime he immigrated to Kibbutz Avukah, Palestine in 1944 .
In 1951 he started attending evening classes in Bezalel and from 1952 to 1956 studied metal as well as enamel, drawing and sculpture. Motke graduated from Bezalel with honors.
During his studies he also participated in a course of restoration of ancient mosaics and frescos given by Prof. Orsseli on behalf of UNESCO.
Motke has held over sixty solo exhibitions in Israel and all over the world and, also participated in many significant group exhibitions.
His works can be found in the Israel Museum, Yad Vashem, the Haifa Museum, the Philadelphia Art Museum, the Washington Holocaust Museum, Museum Akko, Eilat Museum and more. Since 1969 Motke set his studio in the Jerusalem Art Colony Hutzot HaYotzer, in Jerusalem at the Tower od David. Numerous works have been purchased by significant worldwide art collectors.
In 2006 Motke received the Ish-Shalom Life Achievement Prize.
In 2014 Motke received the Honorary Citizen of Jerusalem Award, and he continues to create and volunteer.
1925 – Born in the village of Racaciun, Romania. At the age of 5 moved to Bucharest.
1938 – Taken by the Romanian Iron Guard during the pogroms before the Germans invaded Romania.
1940-1944 – Forced labor during the Holocaust, many times his painting saved his life. Took part in the Gordonia Underground.
1944 – Escaped forced labor, receives a certificate to board an immigrant's boat to Palestine. Experienced the trauma of the sinking of the Mefkure. Arrived at Kibbutz Avuka.
1946 – Left the Kibbutz, moved to Netanya and worked as a plasterer - he dreamt about painting the walls he plastered. Joined the Haganah.
1948 – Joined the army and participated in the War of Independence.
1951 – Moved to Jerusalem, fulfilled his dream and took evening courses in painting at Bezalel.
1951-1956 – was a youth guide in various neighborhoods in Jerusalem.
1952 – Accepted as a full student in the Metalwork department of the Bezalel Art Academy. Also studied painting, sculpting and enamel.
1956 – Graduated from Bezalel. Received the Sonnenbourne scholarship twice, and the Sonnenbourne award for his graduation piece in Metalwork. The Eternal Flame, a work designed during his studies, was purchased by the Zim company for their fleet.
During his studies Motke was invited to participate in a special course for the restoration of Mosaics and Frescos by UNESCO, with Prof. Orsseli director of the Art Academy in Ravena, Italy.
1956-1996 – Restored mosaics and frescos all over Israel.
1956-1958 – After graduating, traveled to Holland to specialize in the design department of the Royal Design Factory in Zeist.
1958 – Returned to Israel and set up his studio in Jerusalem. Upon his return the Israel government commissioned a miniature mosaic of the Madaba Map for Mr. Meir Weisgal.
1960 – The Weitzman Institute commissioned a mosaic map of the Israel Tribes in a tribute for Otto Preminger.
1961 – Israel Discount Bank commissioned a large mosaic map of Israel for the New York branch.
1964 – Exhibition tour in Europe.
1965-1967 – Exhibition and study tour in the US, also worked as a youth guide at the Cejwin Camp at Port Jarvis. Motke was invited to exhibit two of his mosaics at the Smithsonian Institution.
1969 – Established his permanent Studio at Hutzot Hayotzer near the Jaffa Gate, Jerusalem.
1981 – Tours museums in the US and Canada, after receiving the Sidney and Bell Creation Award as a scholarship for this trip.
1990 – Elianne Wilson, Anthologist, invites Motke to join her in creating the book Jerusalem Reflections of Eternity.
1991 – Was invited to exhibit his Jerusalem painting in Frankfurt, Germany, in tribute of Teddy Kollek's 80th birthday.
1994 – The National Czech Television made a documentary about Motke named All Colors White.
2002 - Volunteered weekly with mentally disabled artists at AKIM.
2006 – Received the Ish-Shalom prize for Life Achievement for his special contribution to art, and for being an ambassador of peace in his paintings.
2007 – Holocaust Museum in Washington acquired a painting for their permanent display.
2008 - The National Chzech Television prepared a documentary sequel about Motke.2012 - Yad Vashem, Jerusalem , acquired one painting.
2013 - Israel Museum, Jerusalem, acquired two paintings.
2014 - Received Honorary Citizen of Jerusalem Award.
1959 Rina Gallery, Jerusalem
1960 Artists Pavilion, Netanya
1961 Artists House, Jerusalem
1961 Atelier 97, Tel Aviv
1963 Netanya Art Gallery
1964 Hageffen Gallery, Haifa; 1964 Woodstock Gallery, London
1966 Henry Street, New York
1967 Emerging Arts Gallery, New York
1969 Artists House, Jerusalem
1973 Art Museum, Eilat
1974 Artists House, Jerusalem
1975 Rehovot Gallery, Rehovot
1981 Municipality Exhibition Hall, Netanya
1989 Gallery B, Jerusalem
1991 Jerusalem Theater, Jerusalem
1992 Vystavni Sin Ceske Sporitelny Gallery, Prague
1994 Municipal Gallery, Jerusalem
1995 Bayerische Vereinsbank, Frankfurt
1996 Schamretta Gallery, Frankfurt
1996 FAH Gallery, Maastricht, Netherlands
1997 Murakami Gallery, New York
1998 Jerusalem Theater, Jerusalem
1998 Avero Toren, Leeuewardeen, Netherlands
1990 Artists House, Jerusalem
1999 FAH Gallery, Maastricht, Netherlands
2000 Artists House, Tel Aviv
2001 Bezalel Gallery, Hahn, Germany
2001 FAH Gallery, Maastricht, Netherlands
2001 Artists House, Jerusalem
2003 Konrad Adenauer Center, Jerusalem
2005 Great Neck Arts Center, Great Neck, N.Y.
2005 Jerusalem Theater, Jerusalem
2007 Sparkasse, Speyer, Germany
2008 Municipal Hall, Mainz, Germany
2009 Municipal Hall, Mainz, Germany
2010 Romanian Cultural Center, Tel Aviv
2010 Red House Art Gallery, Tel Aviv
2010 Kastiel Design Center, Tel Aviv
2012 Jerusalem Theater, Jerusalem
2013 Beit Gabriel, Sea of Galilee
2016 LA Museum of the Holocaust, LA, California
1960 Museum of Modern Art, São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro
1963 Tel Aviv Museum
1964 Tel Aviv Museum
1965 Galleria i.b.e.u., Rio de Janeiro
1965 Galleria Asteria, São Paulo
1965 Palais Longchamps, Marseille
1965 Israel Art Gallery, Philadelphia
1965 Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.
1966 UNESCO Brandeis Intl., Washington, D.C.
1967 National Gallery of Design, NYC
1967 Tower of David, Jerusalem
1969 The Art Museum, Acre
1972 The Biennale of Graphic Arts, Florence
1973 Philadelphia Art Alliance
1973 Helmhaus, Zurich
1976 Ribenfeld Gallery, Tel Aviv
1978 Arti et Amicitiae, Amsterdam
1978 Campbell & Franks Gallery, London
1986 Artists House, Jerusalem
1987 2nd Intl Exhibition of Miniature Art, Del Bello Gallery, Toronto
1993 Portrait Exhibition, Israel Museum
1994 In Need of Art, Artists House, Jerusalem
1994 Ashdod Museum
1999 Miniatures: Letters, Bar-Ilan University, Israel
1999 8th Annual International Miniature Show, Parklane Gallery, Kirkland
2000 Miniatures: Love, Artists Pavilion, Tel Aviv
2001 Reshamim, National Drawing Exhibition
2005 Reshamim, National Drawing Exhibition
2008 Shivrei Panim, Artists House, Jerusalem
Throughout his fruitful, creative years, Motke held over 50 solo exhibitions all over Israel and the world, including Holland, the Czech Republic, England, Belgium, France, Australia, Austria, New-Zealand and throughout the US and Canada.
He participated in many group exhibitions around Israel and abroad including South America, Europe, Asia and the US, and in theme exhibitions and in various technique exhibitions which included miniature, sketch and sculpting exhibitions.
Many of his works were commissioned for public buildings and VIP's in Israel and worldwide. Israel’s Ministry of Tourism and Ministry of Justice commissioned posters which are still exhibited today in various offices. Mosaics and tapestries were commissioned by Israeli and Jewish institutes.
His Kinetic Sculpture was donated to the Hadassah Hospital by Muriel and Philip Berman. Many of his paintings appear on the covers of books and are displayed on the walls of public buildings around the world.
Over those years Motke never stopped experimenting with new materials, various ways of expression, exploring the boundaries of creation in all media. He now focuses on experimenting with shape, color and texture both in classic and modern media.
Since he established his studio at Hutzot Hayotzer, Motke opened his doors to schools, kindergartens, and children and adults with special needs without limitations. He taught in kindergartens and schools, worked with people with special needs and the sick, and assisted people with finding their special inner strength through painting and creativity.
Throughout his career, Motke contributed many of his creations to schools, clubs, institutions, the IDF and special organizations. He has also contributed paintings for philanthropic purposes and auctions, for funding organizations, and for the benefit of education and social activity.