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The Last Expression Art and Auschwitz

Yad Vashem Participates in Exhibition of Holocaust Art at the Brooklyn Museum of Art

12 March 2003

Halina Olomoucki (b. 1921-), <i>Where is Mother?</i>, Warsaw Ghetto 1940-1943, pencil on paper. Yad Vashem Art Museum Collection. Halina Olomoucki (b. 1921-), Where is Mother?, Warsaw Ghetto 1940-1943, pencil on paper. Yad Vashem Art Museum Collection.

Yad Vashem, the Holocaust Martyrs and Heroes Remembrance Authority, is among the lending institutions of a unique traveling exhibition dedicated to the relatively unknown art of Nazi victims. The exhibition is on display at the Brooklyn Museum of Art from March 7 June 15, 2003. Yad Vashem plays a central role in the exhibition, loaning a large number of artwork from Jewish artists.

Entitled The Last Expression: Art and Auschwitz, the exhibit includes more than 200 works of art from collections worldwide (the majority from Poland and Israel) created by Holocaust victims from within concentration camps, and ghettos. The exhibition was organized by the Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art, Northwestern University and is the product of five years of research.

The exhibition reveals the experience of the Holocaust through the medium of art. The common thread is that all the works were created by artists who either passed through or perished at Auschwitz. Some of the works were created in other camps prior to the artists incarceration in Auschwitz, such as transit and death camps including Gurs, Drancy, and Buchenwald, and ghettos such as Lodz and Theresienstadt. Themes range from self-portraits and landscapes to illustrated letters and caricatures.

A book will accompany the exhibition containing essays by an international group of scholars, including Yehudit Inbar Director, Museums Division, Yad Vashem.

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