Upcoming Special Exhibitions
Charlotte Salomon: “Life? Or Theater?”
June 19-September 21, 2014
Main Special Exhibition Gallery
During World War II, while living in exile in France, the young German-Jewish artist Charlotte Salomon (1917–1943) created Life? Or Theatre?: A Play With Music, comprising over thirteen hundred small gouache paintings. In this work, Salomon combined painting with text and musical cues to tell a compelling and autobiographical coming-of-age story set amid increasing Nazi oppression and a family history of suicide. Although the artist died in Auschwitz — a fact that deeply affects our view of the work — Life? Or Theatre? survived and stands as a testament to Salomon’s life and singular artistic vision.
Structured like a play, Life? Or Theatre? is divided into a prelude, a main section, and an epilogue. The prelude focuses on Charlotte’s youth in Weimar and Nazi Berlin; the main section on her artistic inspiration and lover, Amadeus Daberlohn; and the epilogue on her life in exile. The images, painted with only primary colors and white, range from expressionist portraiture to montages of time and space that combine multiple moments within the same page. This exhibition of nearly three hundred paintings from Life? Or Theatre? offers a rare, first-hand opportunity to see the depth of Salomon’s amazing masterpiece.
Charlotte Salomon: Life? Or Theater? was organized by the Jewish Historical Museum, Amsterdam. Copyright holder is the Charlotte Salomon Foundation, Amsterdam. The local presentation of the exhibition has been made possible by the generous and visionary support of The Craig and Donna Bernfield Family Foundation, Norman and Virginia Bobins, Nathan and Alyse Mason Brill, and Nicor Gas. The Golder Family Foundation is lead sponsor for all Illinois Holocaust Museum special exhibitions. This program is partially supported by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council Agency.
RACE: Are We So Different?
October 10, 2014 – January 25, 2015
Main Special Exhibition Gallery
People are different. Throughout history, these differences have been a source of community strength and personal identity. They have also been the basis for discrimination and oppression.
The idea of “race” has been used historically to describe these differences and justify mistreatment of people and even genocide. Today, contemporary scientific understanding of human variation is beginning to challenge “racial” differences, and even question the very concept of race.
RACE: Are We So Different?, developed by the American Anthropological Association in collaboration with the Science Museum of Minnesota, is the first national exhibition to tell the stories of race from the biological, cultural, and historical points of view. Combining these perspectives offers an unprecedented look at race and racism in the United States.
RACE is funded by Ford Foundation and National Science Foundation. The local exhibition at the Illinois Holocaust Museum is made possible by Presenting Sponsor Allstate Insurance Company and Co-Sponsor Walgreens. Additional support is being provided by Bank of America, BMO Harris Bank and the Evanston Community Foundation. The Golder Family Foundation is lead sponsor for all Illinois Holocaust Museum special exhibitions.