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This event is sponsored by Ilona Oltuski in memory of Ruth Drory.

Image above: Samson Schames, Kindling of the Lights, c. 1956. Glass tiles on glass, 56 x 71 cm. Jewish Museum Frankfurt

Samson Schames (1898-1967) came from a long-established Jewish family in Frankfurt am Main. With the support of his uncle, renowned gallery owner Ludwig Schames, he made his way into the 1920s art scene and began his training as a painter, graphic artist, and stage designer. Schames’ designs, drawings, and oil paintings from the period up to 1933 testify to his deep connection to Frankfurt and her landscapes.

Samson Schames, Opernplatz Frankfurt, 1930. Jewish Museum Frankfurt

Samson Schames, The Tear, c.1941. 57.2 x 45.5 cm. Leo Baeck Institute New York

After the National Socialists rose to power, Schames immigrated to London in 1939, where he began creating innovative mosaics from shards of glass, porcelain, and crockery—the material evidence of the bombings.

This presentation elaborates on the three important phases of the artist’s life and relates his time in Frankfurt and artistic beginnings to the work he made in British exile and finally to his new home, New York. It also pays tribute to the first temporary exhibition the Jewish Museum Frankfurt showed in 1989.

Samson Schames, Blowing the Shofar, c. 1956. Glass tiles on glass, 56 x 71 cm. Jewish Museum Frankfurt

Samson Schames, Kindling of the Lights, c. 1956. Glass tiles on glass, 56 x 71 cm. Jewish Museum Frankfurt

Annika Friedman has been part of the Jewish Museum Frankfurt team since 2021, initially as curatorial assistance and since 2022 as the curatorial project manager for the permanent exhibition in the Rothschild Palais. In addition to “Samson Schames: Fragments of Exile” she most recently co-curated the 2022/23 exhibition “Back into the Light. Four Women Artists – Their Works. Their Paths” which detailed the lives and careers of four artists whose paths intersected and subsequently diverged in Frankfurt after the rise of the National Socialists.
She received her Master in Holocaust Studies at the University of Haifa in Israel and her Bachelor at University of British Columbia in Canada. During her studies she was the assistant curator of the art exhibition “Arrivals, Departures – The Oscar Ghez Collection,” and a project coordinator in the archives of the Hecht Museum (Haifa).

The cabinet exhibition “Samson Schames: Fragments of Exile” at the Jewish Museum Frankfurt was curated by Annika Friedman and developed in cooperation with the Leo Baeck Institute in New York. It was closed early to make room for Sharone Lifschitz’ 2009 film “The Line and the Circle.” Using the process of developing photos in a darkroom, the film tells the story of Kibbutz Nir Oz, which was attacked and destroyed by Hamas on October 7, 2023. More information HERE.

This event is part of the monthly series “Flight or Fight. stories of artists under repression,” which is organized by The Fritz Ascher Society for Persecuted, Ostracized and Banned Art, New York. Future events and the recordings of past events can be found HERE.

The Fritz Ascher Society is a not-for-profit 501(c)3 organization. Your donation is fully tax deductible.

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