KAUFMANN, OSKAR (1873–1956), German theatrical architect, born in Neu St. Anna/Pancota, now Romania. He studied music in Budapest and architecture in Karlsruhe. In 1900 he settled in Berlin and built the Hebbel Theater (1907), the Stadttheater and Museum, Bremerhaven (1909), the Volksbuehne (1914), the Kroll Opera (1923), the Komoedie Theater (1924), and the Renaissance theaters (1927). Kaufmann played an important part in creating the design of the modern theater. He believed that a theater should reflect the social status of its users. Thus the proletarian Volksbuehne was decorated with wood paneling, while the fashionable Komoedie has delicately colored frescoes. He immigrated in 1933 to Palestine and built the Hebrew theater Habimah.


A. Hansen, "The Theatre Architect Oskar Kaufmann," in: Assaph, Section B (Studies in Art History), 8 (2003), 149–70.

[Bjoern Siegel (2d ed.)]

Source: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.