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Holocaust-era eyewitness drawings on exhibit at NY’s Museum of Jewish Heritage

NEW YORK, New York – The Museum of Jewish Heritage – A Living Memorial to the Holocaust has announced the opening of a special exhibition featuring drawings made during and shortly after the Holocaust by eyewitnesses documenting their experiences. 

Rendering Witness: Holocaust-Era Art as Testimony is curated from the Museum’s collection and features a majority of artworks never presented before. The exhibition opened on Jan. 16 and runs through July 5, at the Museum located in Manhattan’s Battery Park City. 

“Rendering Witness is a very special opportunity to see the first-hand experiences of the Holocaust as depicted by individuals who lived through its horrors. The artists, which include a young girl, took great risks to make this art. These were tremendous acts of bravery and resistance. That these fragile works have survived is a testament to the human spirit,” said Jack Kliger, museum president & CEO.  

The works were produced in Czechoslovakia, Germany, Hungary, and Poland during the Holocaust, primarily in ghettos and a slave labor camp, or immediately after the Holocaust. The artists documented the Holocaust as it unfolded around them, providing a unique personal layer to the visual culture of World War II. 

The exhibition includes 21 artworks, 14 of which have never before been on display. The exhibition includes works by two well-known artists, Helga Weissova and Alfred Kantor. Three other artists featured – Jo Spier, Alfred Lakos, and Vincent Brauner – all had careers before the Holocaust.

The Museum of Jewish Heritage maintains a collection of more than 40,000 artifacts, photographs, documentary films, and survivor testimonies and contains classrooms, a 375-seat theater (Edmond J. Safra Hall), special exhibition galleries, a resource center for educators, and a memorial art installation, Garden of Stones, designed by internationally acclaimed sculptor Andy Goldsworthy. The Museum is the home of National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene.

Currently on view is the acclaimed exhibition Auschwitz. Not long ago. Not far away, the most comprehensive exhibition dedicated to the history of Auschwitz and its role in the Holocaust ever presented in North America. In response to demand, the exhibition’s run was recently extended to August 2020. Also on view is Ordinary Treasures: Highlights from the Museum of Jewish Heritage Collection. 

The Museum of Jewish Heritage – A Living Memorial to the Holocaust is located at 36 Battery Place in New York City. 

For more information, including museum hours, visit mjhnyc.org or call (646) 437-4202.

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