January was a busy month here with the opening of our new International Seminars Wing, 2 exhibitions on display at UN headquarters in New York "A Monument of Good Deeds: Dreams and Hopes of Children During the Holocaust," intended for a younger audience, and a new international poster design project, “Keeping the Memory Alive,” as well as a moving new exhibition in the Exhibitions Pavilion in Yad Vashem, Jerusalem.
"Last Portrait, Painting for Posterity" opened here at Yad Vashem, in advance of International Holocaust Remembrance day on January 27. The exhibition presents some 200 portraits from Yad Vashem's Art Collection that were drawn by 21 artists of varied origins and backgrounds. The artists labored to preserve images of their friends and loved ones for posterity. For many of the subjects, the artists' record of their faces, moments before death, is their final portrait. Each portrait in the exhibition joins together three stories: the artist's, the subject's, and that of the work itself. In addition to the biography of each artist, also noted, wherever possible, are the special circumstances in which the portraits were made and how the artist succeeded in procuring art supplies despite the severe shortages of food and other basic necessities. The exhibition will run until Fall 2012.