Over the years the art of the 1920s became shrouded in the myth of the Modernistspioneers who first brought the new art to the country and laid the foundation of modern Israeli art. But how was this art received in the yishuv at the time it was made and first exhibited? To understand this we must rely mainly on views and opinions published in the press at that time. Writers and critics often claimed to present national ideals or to speak on behalf of ‘the people’ or the workers in Jewish Palestine. In reality their views reflected ideas that were current among those in the intelligentsia who had responded to art. As such they shed light on the wider cultural discourse in the yishuv, and on the specific ideological aspects involved in artist-critic relations. A major cause of friction was the expectations of each group regarding the other’s commitment and professional integrity.