Painting to Testify: Early Post-Liberation Works by David Friedmann
Thursday, December 19, 2019 – Sunday, February 2, 2020
The Morris Museum commemorates International Holocaust Remembrance Day (January 27) and the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau with an exhibition of paintings by David Friedmann (1893-1980), a renowned portraitist in Berlin and Prague before his deportation to Lodz Ghetto in 1941. The works on view portray Friedmann’s haunting memories of survival during the Holocaust, from life in the Ghetto, to internment at Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp and subcamps Gleiwitz I and Blechhammer until his liberation in 1945. The selected works, created in Prague from 1945-1948, are part of a series entitled, Because They Were Jews!
Through hunger and sickness, Friedmann kept a diary and painted scenes of his family and the infernal life in the Ghetto. His art, his diary, would be his testimony, but they were destroyed. He believed there was a reason for his survival – to show the world the persecution, torment, and agony as practiced by the Nazis, in the hope that such barbarism would never happen again. He portrayed what he had witnessed and experienced, sometimes depicting himself as the prisoner with the eyeglasses. He supplemented his drawings and paintings with descriptions to create a singularly detailed pictorial and written record of the Holocaust.
On Wednesday, December 25th, the Museum will be open from 12:00PM – 5:00PM. All the Galleries will be open and there will be a special film screening. Get details.
Image Top: David Friedman. Death March from Camp Gleiwitz I to Camp Blechhammer, 1947. Oil on canvas. Copyright ©1989 Miriam Friedman Morris.