Born in 1937, Moscow.

Graduated from Applied Art Department, Moscow Textile Institute in 1962. 
Itella Mastbaum is a rare example of the genuine Jewish artist from the USSR. She is a very modest and religious woman, who was able to learn Hebrew and Yiddish, while lived in the USSR.  She never compromised her views and therefore the official artistic carrier was unattainable for her. In 1970 she won a competition to get a job at the Animation Movies Studio, but was soon fired for a far-fetched reason. From 1970s Itella Mastbaum took an active part in a dissident movement. She had to earn a living as street-cleaner, but all her spare time was devoted to Art. During Perestroika times her works started to get recognition in the USSR and abroad. In 1990 she repatriated to Israel.

Itella Mastbaum: I always wanted to master various techniques: oil, distemper, water colors; In each of my works I attempt to reveal the emotional world of people, nature, things. I wish my works to speak to audience, in the same way as works of old masters speak to me in museums." 
Critics' quotes: Nowadays, when one is tired of all modernistic and post-modernistic trends, I. Mastbaums artwork, full of spirituality, can countervail to the nightmare of commercial art, bringing both a man and nature back to painting. ( L.Latt, The Hermitage Museum, Russia); " To merge into a whole the contemporary viewpoint and reconsidered historical reminiscences derived from the stocks of classical heritage is not an easy task, but I. Mastbaum succeeded."
Solo exhibitions: 1978: Sovietishe Haimland Yiddish Monthly editorial office, Moscow, 1989: Sonya Rozin Gallery, Jerusalem, Israel; 1991: American Zionist Organization Gallery, Tel Aviv, Israel; 1993: Binyamin Community Center, Psagot and Dolev, Israel; 1995: Koret Gallery, US,  Art Village Gallery, Jerusalem, Israel; 1996: Milah Press, Zionist Forum Library, Jerusalem, Israel; 1998: Community Center, Dolev, Israel 
Group exhibitions: 1989: Artist House, Jerusalem, Israel; 1989-1991: Jewish Centers in USA, Germany, France; 1990: Temple Gallery, Old City, Jerusalem, Israel; 1991: 1991: WIZO Office, Tel Aviv, The Israel Museum, Jerusalem, Israel; 1992-1995: Exodus Gallery, Jerusalem, Israel; 1994: Ashdod Museum, Ashdod, Israel; 1995: Art Village Gallery, Jerusalem, Israel; 1996: Nora Gallery, Jerusalem, Israel; 1997: International Cartoon Exhibition, Istanbul, Turkey. Works of Itella Mastbaum can be found in many European countries, US, Canada, South Africa and Japan.

 (general view of the current condition).
Click for larger view

Weeping under the Tree, 1975
oil on canvas, 30x36

Melody, 1981
oil on canvas, 26x33

Old Parchment, 1988
oil on canvas, 14x16

Weeping Wall, 1989
oil on cardboard, 11x19

Rain In Shomron Mountains, 1989
oil on cardboard, 20x15

Call of Shofar, 1988
oil on canvas, 16x19

Copyright 1989-2003