New Exhibition at Yad Vashem

January 19, 2012 by  
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Traveling to Israel? Already there? Yad Vashem is launching a new exhibition to commemorate International Holocaust Remembrance Day.

The new exhibition, “Last Portrait:  Painting for Posterity,” will open 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.
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.

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