Exhibition - Rendering Witness: Holocaust-Era Art As Testimony

Sunday, Dec 20, 2020 at 10:00am

Museum of Jewish Heritage - Edmond J. Safra Hall
36 Battery Place
New York, NY 10280

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Just as every Holocaust survivor’s testimony is unique, so too is art produced by Jews and other victims of the Nazis during the Holocaust. It is a miracle that this art survived. Each artwork in this exhibition reasserts the artist’s humanity and individuality, qualities too often obscured by iconic Holocaust photographs that were taken by the Nazis or their collaborators.

These artists documented the Holocaust as it unfolded around them, providing a unique personal layer to the visual culture of World War II. Some of the art depicts iconic scenes of the Holocaust, such as ghetto topographies and deportations, while other works are more introspective. The art in this exhibition is not accompanied by historical artifacts produced by the Nazis and their collaborators. While it is important to document perpetrator-made artifacts and images, the art in this exhibition stands alone.

Museums and memorials rely on photographic evidence; some survivors produce art reflecting their experiences; and various films and television productions have recreated scenes of World War II.

But what was it like for the deported cartoonist looking out a barrack window at an SS flag?

When a young girl imprisoned in a ghetto was advised by her father, “Draw what you see,” how did she respond?

Rendering Witness: Holocaust-Era Art as Testimony highlights work from the Museum of Jewish Heritage collection made during and immediately after the Holocaust in Czechoslovakia, Germany, Hungary, and Poland. Much of this art was created in secret, with artists facing punishments as harsh as death if they were caught. Some of the artworks are tiny, reflecting their hidden origins. Other drawings were folded and hidden underneath a mattress or beneath one’s prisoner uniform.

To peer into history through the eyes of an artist, documenting what they saw and how they saw it, is the rarest of encounters. Rendering Witness offers a special opportunity to see art made under the most difficult circumstances – and to learn the stories of how it survived.

Exhibition Date: January 16, 2020 – December 31, 2020 

Admission (includes audio guide and entrance to all exhibitions)

General Admission: $16

Seniors and Patron with Disabilities: $12

Students and Veterans: $10

Members: Complimentary based on membership level. Visit the Membership Page for more information.

Member Guest Ticket: Members can purchase up to two $8 Member Guest Tickets

FREE admission to all exhibitions for Holocaust survivors, active members of the military and first responders, and students and teachers through grade 12 in schools located in New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut (with valid school-issued ID).

Timed admission tickets are now available online

Tickets include access to all exhibitions, including Auschwitz. Not long ago. Not far away., and must be purchased online in advance of your visit.

This event listing provided for the New York community events calendar. Community events are not associated with or sponsored by AARP, but may be of interest to you. If you have an event to share, let us know!

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