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Marking International Holocaust Remembrance Day - Jan. 27

Last Portrait: Painting for Posterity : New Exhibition presents 200 portraits that artists created during the Holocaust

18 January 2012

Marking International Holocaust Remembrance Day, Yad Vashem will open a new exhibition, “Last Portrait: Painting for Posterity,” on January 23, 2012, in the Exhibitions Pavilion. The exhibition presents approximately 200 works from the Yad Vashem art collection that were created by Jewish artists during the Holocaust to document and commemorate their friends and acquaintances in the ghettos and camps. A special media preview tour will take place on Sunday, January 22, 2012, at 11:00. RSVP: 02 644 3410/2.

The portraits on display in the exhibition testify to the tremendous creative drive that moved these artists to diligently draw entire series of portraits in the most severe circumstances. This determination was neither an isolated nor chance event, but a phenomenon that recurred in different places during the Holocaust.

“What makes this exhibition unique is the presentation of a systematic effort by Jewish artists to portray their brethren during a cataclysmic time, creating a body of work of astounding dimensions,” said exhibition curator Eliad Moreh-Rosenberg. “For many of the subjects, the artist’s recording of their faces, moments before death, makes for their final portraits.”

Museum of Holocaust Art curators and researchers used Yad Vashem’s various databases and archives to retrieve information about the subjects of the portraits. It is hoped that the exhibition will result in more information being discovered regarding the people whose faces look upon us from within the drawings, and that those still anonymous may finally be identified.

The opening of the exhibition will take place on Monday, January 23, 2012, at 12:30 in the presence of the diplomatic corps.
Media who would like to register for the preview tour on Sunday, January 22 at 11:00, or to attend the opening, should RSVP at: 02 644 3412/0.