Abraham Yakin was born in 1924 in Jerusalem. During the Second World War he joined the British Navy and served three years in the Mediterranean fleet, thus having a chance to become acquainted with the art treasures in Egypt, Greece, France and Italy. After the war he returned to Jerusalem and became a member of the Haganah Underground Movement. At the same time, he started his artistic training at the Bezalel Academy, where he studied especially with Jacob Steinhardt and Mordecai Ardon.
With Israel's Declaration of Independence, he became a member of the new Israeli Armed Forces. He resumed his studies in 1950, and he had his first exhibition in 1953. In 1957 he married Hannah, an artist who had recently emmigrated from the Netherlands. From that time on the couple divided their time between raising their eight children, teaching art in Jerusalem, and exhibiting extensively in Israel, Europe and the United States.
In 1961 Abraham Yakin won the international Adolphe Neuman Prize in Paris. Works by the Yakins are in the Israel Museum, Jerusalem, the Musee d'Art Juif, Paris, and in numerous museums in the Netherlands.
Among those who possess works by Abraham or Hannah Yakin are Isaac Stern, violinist, New York; Yehudi Menuhin, violinist, London; Teddy Kollek, former mayor of Jerusalem; Itshak Shamir, former Prime Minister of Israel; the late Prof. Vladimir Halperin, Geneva; Lev Shargorodsky, author, Geneva; Mr. S. Foellmi, President du Conseil d'Etat of Gelderlad, the Netherlands; Ex-governor Marvin Mandel, Annapolis, Maryland; the late Ariel Aran, former Ambassador of Israel in Vienna; Rabbi D. Lilienthal, Amsterdam; Prof. Yitshak Lior, Israeli Ambassador to the U.N., Geneva; Raymond Weil, Geneva; Rabbi Farhi, Paris; Rabbi Pauline Bebe, Paris; the late Governor Nelson Rockefeller, New York; John Lewis, U.S. Congressman, Atlanta, Georgia; Judge Albert L. Sklar, Baltimore, Maryland; Prof. Edward Kass, Harvard University, Mass.; Prof. Marvin Wachman, President, Temple University, Philadelphia; Rabbi Robert Shapiro, Swampscott, Mass.; Rabbi A. Gottschalk, Cincinnati, Ohio.
Hannah was born in Holland in 1933. During World War II, when she couldn't go to school and no paper was available, she used to erase what was written in old copybooks to compose and illustrate poems and stories, or to invent plays for the family to act. After sundown she would sit on the stairs and improvise on a violin while her sisters danced in the dark. Strange as it may appear, these were happy times in which necessity bore creativity.
After the war she went to high school and studied art in Utrecht and in Paris with Paul Colin. In 1956 she immigrated to Israel where she met and married the artist Abraham Yakin. During the first years of her marriage she concentrated chiefly on the themes of pregnancy, birth-giving and motherhood. After 1965 she created two large series of etchings, one about evolution, the other about music and musicians. In 1978 she took up writing, this time in English. Some of her short stories were published in American and Canadian literary magazines. A number of her stories were recently broadcast by the BBC World Service. She has published three illustrated books in small editions, as collectors' items.
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