Upcoming Special Exhibitions
Through Soviet Jewish Eyes: Photography, War, and the Holocaust
February 22 – September 8, 2015
Main Special Exhibition Gallery
Through Soviet Jewish Eyes, co-curated by David Shneer, Director, Program in Jewish Studies and Professor of History, University of Colorado Boulder, and Lisa Tamiris Becker, Past Director, CU Art Museum, bears witness to the horrors of WWII through the eyes of Soviet Jewish photojournalists.
The exhibition features 58 framed photographs by Evgenii Khaldei, Georgii Zelma and Dmitrii Baltermants, and others exploring what their Jewish identity might have meant when confronting war and Nazi persecution. While their work served as Soviet propaganda, glorifying the Red Army and publicizing Nazi atrocities to visually define the war for the Soviet population, they also went off assignment to explore the Jewish ghettos in places like Ukraine and Hungary and there found survivors living among the ruins of Europe, the yellow Stars of David on their overcoats still marking them for death. They not only created arresting war images, but were also the first to document the liberation of Nazi sites of atrocity. Exhibit text panels will be translated into Russian to make the exhibition accessible to Chicago’s large Russian-speaking population.
Public programs planned in conjunction with the exhibition will offer opportunities for scholarly learning, hearing from an eyewitness, and commemorating the 70th anniversary of Russian Victory in Europe Day. In addition, a family program will explore photography as a tool for documentation and social justice – important lessons that can be learned from the past, to transform the future.