Tamari, Vera (1945--) By Sherwell, Tina
Vera Tamari was born in 1945 in Jerusalem. Her parents, originally from the coastal city of Jaffa, exposed their children to visual art, music, and literature from an early age. Vera’s older brother, Vladimir, is an artist based in Japan, and her sister Tania is a classical singer. Tamari received her BA in Fine Arts at the Beirut Women’s College between 1962–1966, and then pursued her studies in ceramics in Florence between 1972–1974. In 1982 she received a Master’s of Philosophy in Islamic Art and Architecture from Oxford University. She established the first ceramic art studio in Ramallah and held the post of professor in Islamic Art and Architecture at Birzeit University in the West Bank until her recent retirement. She is active as a curator, artist, and writer.
Several major themes remain consistent in Tamari’s work throughout her career. In her early work, Tamari drew inspiration from traditional Palestinian ceramics, which she integrated along with specific references to the long history of the art form. In the late 1970s and early 1980s, her work specifically negotiated her relationship to the Palestinian landscape through three-dimensional and relief works that mapped out its terrains.