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Fritz Ascher

Nov 14, 2022

IN-PERSON CONFERENCE: Welcoming the Stranger.
Abrahamic Hospitality and Contemporary Implications
Fordham University, New York

2022-12-11T20:29:13-05:00November 14th, 2022|, |Comments Off on IN-PERSON CONFERENCE: Welcoming the Stranger.
Abrahamic Hospitality and Contemporary Implications
Fordham University, New York

One of the signal moments in the narrative of Abraham is his insistent and enthusiastic reception of three strangers. That moment is a beginning point of inspiration for all three Abrahamic traditions as they evolve and develop the details of their respective teachings. On the one hand, welcoming the stranger by remembering “that you were strangers in the land of Egypt” is enjoined upon the ancient Israelites, and on the other, oppressing the stranger is condemned by their prophets. These sentiments will be repeated in the New Testament and the Qur’an and elaborated in the interpretive literatures of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Such notions have been seriously challenged on many occasions throughout history—at no time more profoundly than in [...]

Oct 23, 2022

Flucht ins Überleben [Escape to Survival]. Four Berlin Biographies from the Time of National Socialism
Märkisches Museum, Berlin (Germany)

2022-11-02T01:09:36-04:00October 23rd, 2022|, , |Comments Off on Flucht ins Überleben [Escape to Survival]. Four Berlin Biographies from the Time of National Socialism
Märkisches Museum, Berlin (Germany)

Four selected life stories tell of survival strategies in war, flight and persecution - and of the consequences of the traumatic experiences for those affected. EVENT RECORDING FORTHCOMING Today we believe that flight, expulsion, oppression and murder which dominated Europe 70 years ago have been overcome. Recent events in Ukraine show us that this is not the case. And again there are countless individuals whose lives are uprooted and who have to reorient themselves. But what does that do to those affected, what does it do to artists and how do they reflect on this experience? With four selected biographies of Berliners, we recall the survival strategies they had to develop during the National Socialist [...]

Apr 26, 2022

FRITZ ASCHER SOCIETY Newsletter May 2022

2022-04-28T09:33:15-04:00April 26th, 2022|Newsletter|Comments Off on FRITZ ASCHER SOCIETY Newsletter May 2022

Dear Friends, Thursday is Yom HaShoah - Holocaust Memorial Day. In January, we invited you to actively commemorate victims of National Socialism by contributing to the Arolsen Archive’s digital memorial #EVERYNAMECOUNTS. I know that some of you found the project so meaningful that you are still donating your time to it. Right now, you can choose to enter data of documents from Buchenwald, Flossenbürg or Dachau: PARTICIPATE HERE This Thursday, I invite all to donate time to help build this important digital memorial. On our website you find further information about the project and our partnership with the Arolsen Archive: https://fritzaschersociety.org/digifas/everynamecounts/ And please share your experience with us! In May, we turn to the experience of [...]

Mar 28, 2022

FRITZ ASCHER SOCIETY Newsletter April 2022

2022-03-28T05:26:02-04:00March 28th, 2022|Newsletter|Comments Off on FRITZ ASCHER SOCIETY Newsletter April 2022

Dear Friends, When the artist Ben-Zion was born in 1897, his hometown Starokostiantyniv belonged to the Russian Empire. By the time he left for the United States, it belonged to the Ukraine/Poland. Today it again belongs to the Ukraine, and is brutally attacked and destroyed by the Russian army. As the casualties are mounting, we hope for peace, democracy and independence in the Ukraine. Join us on Wednesday, April 6 for a ZOOM LECTURE in our monthly series "Flight or Fight. stories of artists under repression” about the painter, printmaker, sculptor, educator, and poet: Wednesday, April 6, 12:00pm “Ben-Zion (1897-1987): Man of Many Faces” Featuring Tabita Shalem and Ori Z Soltes ) ZOOM EVENT REGISTRATION Ben-Zion, Prophet [...]

Mar 10, 2022

Arnold Schoenberg’s Pierrot Lunaire
and the Role of the Clown
in the Arts

2022-03-11T08:13:14-05:00March 10th, 2022|, |Comments Off on Arnold Schoenberg’s Pierrot Lunaire
and the Role of the Clown
in the Arts

Pierrot, the famous character from the Italian commedia dell’arte, is set by the composer A. Schoenberg as the moonstruck and fantastical clown, who is a symbol for putting on a mask to hide one’s true feelings or opinions. Forever lovelorn and wistfully contemplating the dying moon, he lurches through the night, hiding his face underneath a thick layer of white paint. The extravagance of emotions, the aesthetic of exaggeration, and the distortion of communication through the mask turn Pierrot into an incredibly fascinating and universal figure. Pre-concert talk Rachel Stern, Director and CEO, The Fritz Ascher Society for Persecuted, Ostracized and Banned Art Stephen Decatur Smith, Stony Brook University, Department of Music Concert [...]

Mar 1, 2022

FRITZ ASCHER SOCIETY Newsletter March 2022

2022-03-28T04:56:27-04:00March 1st, 2022|Newsletter|Comments Off on FRITZ ASCHER SOCIETY Newsletter March 2022

Dear Friends, Join us TOMORROW for a ZOOM LECTURE in our monthly series "Flight or Fight. stories of artists under repression" about a recently re-discovered artist: Wednesday, March 2, 12:00pm EST: Jussuf Prince of Thebes – Re-constructing the life and work of a forgotten talent from Safed Featuring Dorothea Schöne, Berlin (Germany) ZOOM EVENT REGISTRATION Jussuf Abbo, Head of a Black Man, ca. 1939, plaster, painted, H: 28 cm.  Estate of Jussuf Abbo, Brighton/UK, photo: Gunter Lepkowski Born in Safed, in the province of Beirut of the Ottoman Empire, the sculptor Joseph M. Abbo (1888–1953) – who later renamed himself Jussuf Abbo – came to Berlin in 1911 and began studying at the Royal Academy of [...]

Feb 27, 2022

“Identity, Art and Migration”
Online Exhibition

2022-02-16T13:07:29-05:00February 27th, 2022|Comments Off on “Identity, Art and Migration”
Online Exhibition

“Identity, Art and Migration” investigates the experience of seven Jewish European artists who were forced to abandon their country of origin, or remain in hiding for years, in response to Nazi policies in effect from 1933 to 1945. These six artists: Anni Albers, Friedel Dzubas, Eva Hesse, Rudi Lesser, Lily Renée and Arthur Szyk emigrated to the United States, while one, Fritz Ascher, stayed behind in Germany, hiding in a basement for three years. These artists’ lives and work address the multi-layered concept of identity and the particulars of its expression from slightly different angles. We invite you to explore with us how these wrenching experiences affected their sense of who they were, and the art they made. [...]

Feb 1, 2022

Boris Lurie:
Searching for Truth in Holocaust Images
Featuring Eckhart Gillen, PhD, Berlin (Germany)

2022-02-06T07:18:15-05:00February 1st, 2022|, , |Comments Off on Boris Lurie:
Searching for Truth in Holocaust Images
Featuring Eckhart Gillen, PhD, Berlin (Germany)

In Claude Lanzmann’s seminal nine-and-a-half-hour film SHOAH, he chose not to use any images of the Holocaust, telling the story instead solely through the words of witnesses. By contrast, art historian Georges Didi-Huberman and contemporary artist Gerhard Richter have both emphasized the power of images to reflect and educate—the former in his book Images in Spite of All: Four Photographs from Auschwitz, and the latter in a series of paintings titled “Birkenau.” Join the Museum of Jewish Heritage and the Fritz Ascher Society for a lecture exploring the tension between these different perspectives on images, words, and the Holocaust with German art historian and curator Eckhart Gillen. Gillen grounds the discussion in the example of Boris Lurie, the subject [...]

Dec 8, 2021

Fritz Ascher (1893-1970):
Coming back to Life
Featuring Karen Wilkin and Elizabeth Berkowitz, PhD

2022-08-26T05:10:27-04:00December 8th, 2021|, , |Comments Off on Fritz Ascher (1893-1970):
Coming back to Life
Featuring Karen Wilkin and Elizabeth Berkowitz, PhD

Fritz Ascher (Berlin 1893 - 1970 Berlin) almost made it out of Germany as the persecution of the Jews was developing. SINCE HE HAD been arrested and released from concentration camp and prison after several months, friends managed to book passage on a ship to Shanghai, but the German Nazi bureaucracy refused to let him leave the country. Ascher found refuge in the basement of his deceased mother's friend, Martha Grassmann--in a house located in the Grunewald, the heart of the Nazi brass residential neighborhood in Berlin. In hiding--an interior migration--he shifted from vibrantly expressionist paintings and drawings to dense poetry. AFTER the war he emerged to a Germany very different from the one he had known before and [...]

Oct 27, 2021

Remembering Friedel:
An Intimate View of Friedel Dzubas (1915-1994)
Featuring Karen Wilkin and Sandi Slone

2022-08-26T05:20:00-04:00October 27th, 2021|, , |Comments Off on Remembering Friedel:
An Intimate View of Friedel Dzubas (1915-1994)
Featuring Karen Wilkin and Sandi Slone

In a prolific career that spanned nearly five decades, Friedel Dzubas (b. Berlin, 1915–d. 1994, Newton, Mass.) articulated his mature style by the 1970s, creating a striking visual language from counterpoised abstract shapes of brushed color that he juxtaposed, overlapped, and opened to reveal his gessoed grounds. Yet, in prior years, Dzubas’s early work in Berlin were influenced by Expressionist artist of the two primary groups known as Die Brücke and Die Blaue Reiter. As Dzubas told curator Charles Millard in 1982, “Their unheard-of brashness of color; that was really brave. That was very exciting. Color’s an emotional thing. These people not only spoke directly; they felt deeply. There was passion.” His early pen and ink watercolors embed the [...]

Oct 6, 2021

Through the Prism of Time:
John H. Less (1923-2011)
and His Visual Impressions of
Holocaust Refuge in Shanghai

2022-02-18T05:25:20-05:00October 6th, 2021|, , |Comments Off on Through the Prism of Time:
John H. Less (1923-2011)
and His Visual Impressions of
Holocaust Refuge in Shanghai

Presentation by Steven Less, PhD Senior research fellow emeritus of the Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law and son of the artist in Heidelberg (Germany) and Hannah-Lea Wasserfuhr PhD Candidate at the Center for Jewish Studies in Heidelberg, Heidelberg (Germany) Moderated by Rachel Stern Director and CEO of the Fritz Ascher Society in New York Born in Berlin, John Hans Less (1923 – 2011) fled to Shanghai in September 1940 as a 16-year-old together with his family to escape Nazi persecution. Largely dependent on relief organizations to survive, the Less family soon went through further disruptions when the Japanese occupied the city and later confined Jewish refugees to the Hongkew [...]

Sep 30, 2021

“Fritz Ascher: Themes and Variations”
A Digital Exhibition Experience

2022-09-23T16:17:47-04:00September 30th, 2021||Comments Off on “Fritz Ascher: Themes and Variations”
A Digital Exhibition Experience

This digital exhibition includes important examples from the oeuvre of the German Jewish Expressionist artist Fritz Ascher (1893-1970). Ascher’s career extended from prior to the First World War until the late 1960s. However, Ascher’s artistic trajectory was interrupted due to persecution under National Socialism, and he spent much of the Second World War in hiding, concealed in a family friend’s basement. Ascher’s work consequently encompasses both the vibrant artistic scene in early-20th-century Germany, as well as the trauma and aesthetic shifts consequent of Ascher’s persecution and deprivations during the twelve years of the Nazi regime. These selected works are representative not only of critical moments in Ascher’s personal and artistic development, but also of key themes that occupied Ascher’s [...]

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