From its very beginning Bezalel enjoyed enormous publicity. The plans to open the school, its proposed programme and every detail of its first steps that were soon followed by photographs, were distributed in the Zionist press throughout the Jewish world. So widespread was its reputation that one writer could claim in 1910 that ‘without exaggeration we say: Bezalel is the most famous Zionist institution in the world’.1 A collection of newspaper cuttings on Bezalel kept in its archive2 shows how aware Boris Schatz was of the role of public relations in gaining moral and financial support and in creating a good image for posterity. That many of these articles owe their source of information to Schatz himself, or were written by enthusiastic supporters of Bezalel who reported on its achievements, may explain how the myth of Bezalel and its founder was born together with the institute itself.3 Likewise, the financial and managerial crises that accompanied Bezalel from its early years were described as a struggle between Schatz the idealist and dreamer who sacrificed himself for the fulfilment of the vision, and the bureaucratic bourgeois Jews who ‘regarded Bezalel as a business like any other’.4 Thus Schatz went down in history as one of the ‘founding fathers’ of modern Jewish culture in Palestine almost untainted by contemporary criticism of his project from the outside as well as from within the yishuv.