On the occasion of the exhibition “Fritz Ascher, Expressionist” at the Harnett Museum of Art at the University of Richmond in Richmond, Virginia, on view from January 16 until May 24, 2020, students were invited to respond with an essay, a poem or an artwork to the theme “Otherness,” inspired by the life or work of Fritz Ascher. When Covid-19 forced museums and schools to close, school groups were not able to take guided tours through the exhibition. In the middle of the unfolding pandemic, students created and submitted work for our competition. We applaud their initiative, resilience and creative powers, and the quality of their submissions.

On May 20, 2020 we celebrated these students and the winners of the competition in a virtual award ceremony Otherness and Hiding: Jewish Life in Nazi Germany. With this event, we also celebrated the official closing of the exhibition at the Harnett Museum of Art.

After welcoming remarks by Richard Waller, director of the University of Richmond Museums, and a short introduction into Fritz Ascher’s life and work by Rachel Stern, director of the Fritz Ascher Society, Marion A. Kaplan, Skirball Professor of Modern Jewish History at New York University, New York spoke about Hiding: Jewish Life in Nazi Germany.

Then Ori Z. Soltes from Georgetown University, Washington, D.C. recognized the student competition winners:

  • Luis Caceres, 12thgrade, Manhattan Center for Science and Mathematics, New York, NY
  • Stephen Cain, 10thgrade, St. Joseph’s Preparatory School, Philadelphia, PA
  • Betty Isakov, 12thgrade, Hebrew Academy of Nassau County, West Hempstead, NY
  • Joseph Murphy, 10thgrade, St. Joseph’s Preparatory School, Philadelphia, PA
  • Stella Wright, 7thgrade, Tomahawk Creek Middle School, Midlothian, VA



We thank Allianz Partners for sponsoring the competition and the award ceremony.

Competition Flyer 2020

Luis Caceres, NY

Stephen Cain, PA

Betty Isakov, NY

Joseph Murphy, PA

Stella Wright, VA

Competition Archives