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This coming January, to mark 60 years since his death, the Uri and Rami Museum at Kibbutz Ashdot Yaakov Me’uhad will be mounting a full retrospective of his work, which Raz is curating.
Most of the photos to be displayed are portraits of Jordan Valley residents, including kibbutz members, residents of Tiberias and random visitors. Some of the pictures depict the woman at the grave of Rachel the Poetess. Oppenheim took these pictures from a donkey cart that he received from the kibbutz.
“Oppenheim’s collection was stored in metal cupboards for years,” says Raz, who has collected and documented local photographs for nearly 20 years. “First in a cupboard at Ein Gev, and later on at Ginossar. During the 1980s the pictures were given to the Jordan Valley Regional Council and later they were given to Yigal Allon House, where they’ve been scanned over the past five years.”
Oppenheim’s eldest daughter told Haaretz seven years ago that her mother was so broken by his tragic death that she refused to touch the pictures and they were left in a metal cupboard on the porch of her home for years.
Raz is now seeking the help of Jordan Valley residents or anyone else who could supply the name or other identifying information about the woman in the picture, so that the details can be included in the catalogue being produced for the exhibition.
He is also searching for other Jordan Valley portraits taken by Oppenheim that might be hiding in private family albums. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.