Current Special Exhibitions


Ruth Gruber: Photojournalist

February 16 – June 1, 2014

Main Special Exhibition Gallery

Ruth Gruber

Ruth Gruber: Photojournalist celebrates the remarkable life, vision, and heroic tenacity of a 20th century pioneer and trailblazing photojournalist. Now 102 years old, Gruber’s work spans more than five decades, from her groundbreaking work in the Soviet Arctic in the 1930s and her iconic images of Jewish refugees on the ship Exodus 1947, to her later work in the 1980s documenting Ethiopian Jews in the midst of a civil war. A selection of vintage prints and early film footage, never before included in an exhibition, will be presented alongside contemporary prints made from original negatives, and rare ephemera from her personal archive.

This exhibition was made possible by friends of Ruth Gruber, and is a traveling exhibition of the International Center of Photography, New York. The Golder Family Foundation is lead sponsor for all Illinois Holocaust Museum special exhibitions. Additional local support provided by the David C. & Sarajean Ruttenberg Arts Foundation. This program is partially supported by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council Agency.

Photo: Unidentified Photographer. Ruth Gruber, Alaska Territory, 1941–43.

View photos from the February 23 exhibition opening event on Facebook >

Due to popular demand, we will be screening an encore presentation of the film:


Sunday, May 18 | 1:30 – 3:00 p.m.
Learn more >


HELEN SUZMAN: Fighter for Human Rights

January 9 – April 20, 2014

Second Floor Balcony Gallery

Suzman IHMEC websiteHelen Suzman was one of South Africa’s most vociferous and energetic opponents of apartheid. She takes pride of place among those liberals who devoted their lives to the fight for human rights and the rule of law in South Africa. From the start of a political career that spanned almost four decades, she worked tirelessly, never flinching from challenging the pernicious system created by apartheid. The exhibition also highlights her enduring friendship with the late Nelson Mandela which began in early 1967 when she met him at the infamous Robben Island Prison.

This exhibition was originated by the Isaac and Jessie Kaplan Centre for Jewish Studies and Research at the University of Cape Town, South Africa. The Curator is Millie Pimstone, Project Initiator and Coordinator is Prof. Milton Shain, and the Graphic Designer is Linda Bester. The American tour was initially funded by the Dobkin Family Foundation, New York. Exhibition Manager: Jill Vexler, Ph.D. The local presentation of HELEN SUZMAN: Fighter for Human Rights was generously underwritten by Stephanie and Michael Levy, Avril and Hersch Klaff, Jackie and Anthony Greis, Ellen and Eric Joss, Jill and Rob Selati, Gail and David Abrams, Norma and Phillip Gordon, Faye and Cecil Levy, and Estelle and Tony Lakier.




Second Floor Hall of Reflection Gallery

IHMEC Out of ChaosThe Hidden Children/Child Survivors Chicago group consists of local Jewish adults who were hidden during the Holocaust in order to survive. Like other child survivors, they are the last generation to have witnessed the Holocaust.

Each panel in this exhibition represents one of the twenty-four authors of the book Out of Chaos: Hidden Children Remember the Holocaust, published by Northwestern University Press. In the book, photographs accompany each of their personal stories and anecdotes which relate to their lives in Europe during the war.

This exhibition was generously underwritten by Olga M. Weiss.


Photo: Werner Rindsberg (later called Walter Reed) center and brothers Kurt and Herbert, Germany, about 1934. Both brothers were murdered in Poland in 1942.





  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest
  • Instagram
  • Google+
  • Museum Blog