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Jul 11, 2023

FRITZ ASCHER SOCIETY Newsletter July 2023

2023-07-13T05:39:23-04:00July 11th, 2023|Newsletter|Comments Off on FRITZ ASCHER SOCIETY Newsletter July 2023

There couldn’t be a better reason to send out this newsletter so late: The Emmy Rubensohn exhibition in Leipzig is now open! A big thank you to everyone who made this exhibition possible. “Emmy Rubensohn, Networker and Music Patron – from Leipzig to New York” GRASSI Museum in Leipzig, Germany From left: Exhibition opening with Rachel Stern (Director Fritz Ascher Society), Léontine Meijer-van Mensch (Director State Ethnographic Collections Saxony, Ken Toko (US Consul General of Middle Germany), and Ulrich Hörning (Mayor of the City of Leipzig) Emmy Rubensohn (1884-1961) was a networker, music patron, concert manager and author of letters. Born in Leipzig in 1884 as the daughter of the Jewish entrepreneurial family [...]

Jul 9, 2023

Between America and France:
Varian Fry and the Rescue of Artists
Talk by Ori Z Soltes, PhD

2023-07-19T13:51:04-04:00July 9th, 2023|, , |Comments Off on Between America and France:
Varian Fry and the Rescue of Artists
Talk by Ori Z Soltes, PhD

With a belated reminder of the proximity of the American and French Independent Day celebrations, this talk focuses on the artists’ Schindler, the American journalist, Varian Fry (1907-1967). Using methods both legal and not, Fry managed to rescue some 2,000 individuals from France between 1940 and 1941. France had become largely swallowed up by Nazi Germany, the “free” parts in Southern France (Vichy France) were not necessarily unreluctant to assist with the deportation of Jews into Nazi-held territories, and the US immigration policies were far from open-handed to those seeking refuge. Who was he and who were some of those he helped—or in some cases, could not help—to escape destruction? Lecture by Ori Z. Soltes, introduced and moderated by [...]

May 31, 2023

FRITZ ASCHER SOCIETY Newsletter June 2023

2023-06-11T08:09:34-04:00May 31st, 2023|Newsletter|Comments Off on FRITZ ASCHER SOCIETY Newsletter June 2023

In the 1940s, Erwin Blumenfeld established himself in New York as one of the leading photographers. Join us online to hear Paris-based granddaughter Nadia Blumenfeld Charbit give her personal insights into his life and work: WEDNESDAY, JUNE 7 12:00 pm ET / 18:00 Uhr CET ”Erwin Blumenfeld (1897-1968), from Berlin to New York. A Life in Photography” REGISTER FOR THIS ZOOM EVENT HERE Erwin Blumenfeld, The red cross, for Vogue US, 1945. © Erwin Blumenfeld Estate “No medium of expression is art unless it becomes a vehicle for successfully transmitting an emotion from the one using to the one viewing it – and if it does this what difference is there what raw materials are used?” [...]

Apr 23, 2023

FRITZ ASCHER SOCIETY Newsletter May 2023

2023-06-11T07:42:53-04:00April 23rd, 2023|Newsletter|Comments Off on FRITZ ASCHER SOCIETY Newsletter May 2023

The big anniversaries keep coming up - this week is the 75th anniversary of the establishment of the modern state of Israel in 1948. In honor of Yom Ha’azmaut, join us for Georgetown University professor Ori Z Soltes’ talk about what defines Israeli art and when it began to take shape. WEDNESDAY, APRIL 26 12:00 pm ET / 18:00 Uhr CET ONLINE EVENT ”Benno Elkan (1877-1960) and the Definition of Israeli Art” REGISTER FOR THIS ZOOM EVENT HERE Benno Elkan, Menorah, 1956. Bronze, 4.30 meters high, 3.5 meters wide. Gan Havradim (Rose Garden) opposite the Knesset, Jerusalem. Presented to the Knesset as a gift from the Parliament of the United Kingdom Parliament on April [...]

Apr 19, 2023

Benno Elkan (1877-1960)
and the Definition of Israeli Art
Talk by Ori Z Soltes, PhD

2023-04-26T13:54:56-04:00April 19th, 2023|, , |Comments Off on Benno Elkan (1877-1960)
and the Definition of Israeli Art
Talk by Ori Z Soltes, PhD

In honor of Yom Ha'azmaut, Israel's Independence Day, and this year's 75th anniversary of the establishment of the modern state of Israel in 1948, this talk by Georgetown University professor Ori Z Soltes addresses the question of what defines Israeli art and when it began to take shape. Is it made only by Israelis---then how did Elkan's Menorah become the consummate symbol of Israel when he never lived in the state? Did "Israeli" art begin with or before the birth of the state? How does this relate to the opening of the Bezalel School of Art in 1906--and closing by 1929, only to re-open years later? How does it relate to the question of defining Jewish art? Benno Elkan's stunning work, [...]

Mar 30, 2023

FRITZ ASCHER SOCIETY Newsletter April 2023

2023-04-03T09:59:19-04:00March 30th, 2023|Newsletter|Comments Off on FRITZ ASCHER SOCIETY Newsletter April 2023

Spring is here! Let’s celebrate with Fritz Ascher’s blossoming Golden Chain. Just this past week, March 26, marked the 53rd anniversary of his death. Born in 1893 to Jewish parents in Berlin, Fritz Ascher (1893-1970) survived persecution by the German Nazi regime in hiding. Fritz Ascher, Golden Chain, ca 1959. Oil on canvas, 25.6 x 27.6 in. (65 x 70 cm). ©Bianca Stock Watch New York scholars Karen Wilkin and Elizabeth Berkowitz, PhD, discuss his post-1945 landscapes: WATCH THE RECORDING Dr. Eva Sabrina Atlan’s January 11 lecture in our virtual lecture series “Flight or Fight. stories of artists under repression” has found much interest. Today, we are excited to offer an English-language virtual [...]

Mar 6, 2023

EARLY ISRAELI AND AMERICAN ARTISTS:
RE-VISIONING THE HOLOCAUST.
Talk by Ori Z Soltes, Georgetown University, Washington DC

2023-04-17T19:19:05-04:00March 6th, 2023|, , |Comments Off on EARLY ISRAELI AND AMERICAN ARTISTS:
RE-VISIONING THE HOLOCAUST.
Talk by Ori Z Soltes, Georgetown University, Washington DC

In honor of Yom HaShoah, this talk by Georgetown University professor Ori Z Soltes focuses on three Israeli and three American familiar and unfamiliar artists working in very diverse styles and not typically thought of as focusing on the Holocaust. Each of them, however, has offered powerful reflections on the defining catastrophe of the twentieth century. Barnett Newman, the foremost verbal spokesman for the chromatic side of the abstract expressionist movement redefining American painting in the early 1950s, offers an unexpectedly intense reflection on the question of theodicy. Mordecai Ardon, in the process of assuming leadership of the Bezalel school in Jerusalem at around the same time, balances between abstraction and figuration in depicting the Nazi-engendered chaos. Yigal Tumarkin’s [...]

Feb 23, 2023

FRITZ ASCHER SOCIETY Newsletter March 2023

2023-02-23T08:11:27-05:00February 23rd, 2023|Newsletter|Comments Off on FRITZ ASCHER SOCIETY Newsletter March 2023

Have we got exciting events for you! Hear about the influential British photographer Dorothy Bohm, now aged 98, from her daughter: Wednesday, March 1 12:00 pm EST / 17:00 Uhr GMT DOROTHY BOHM (B. 1924): A WORLD OBSERVED Lecture by Monica Bohm-Duchen ZOOM EVENT REGISTRATION Dorothy Bohm, Haifa, Israel, 1959. © Dorothy Bohm Archive London-based art historian Monica Bohm-Duchen will give her personal insights into the life and work of her mother, photographer Dorothy Bohm, who as a girl of fourteen found sanctuary from Nazi Europe in the UK, and in due course established herself as one of the leading figures in post-war British photography. Dorothy Bohm was born Dorothea Israelit [...]

Jan 24, 2023

The Art of Felix Lembersky (1913-1970)
Yelena Lembersky and Ori Z Soltes, PhD

2023-03-15T14:04:18-04:00January 24th, 2023|, , |Comments Off on The Art of Felix Lembersky (1913-1970)
Yelena Lembersky and Ori Z Soltes, PhD

The program features a talk by Lembersky’s granddaughter, Yelena Lembersky, co-author of the recent and highly acclaimed memoir, Like a Drop of Ink in a Downpour: Memories of Soviet Russia. Yelena will be introduced by Georgetown University professor, Ori Z Soltes, who has known her for many years and has written extensively on the work of Felix Lembersky. “We are merely honest people and see what is good and bad, and we cannot be confused.” – Felix Lembersky, Leningrad, the Soviet Union, 1960 Image above: Felix Lembersky, At the Train Station, ca 1960-64. © Felix Lembersky estate Felix Lembersky (1913-1970) was a Soviet Jewish painter, teacher, theater sets designer, and an organizer of artistic groups in Leningrad and [...]

Jan 8, 2023

Seven Murals by Philip Orenstein (b. 1938)
A French-Jewish Perspective on France During World War II
Philip Orenstein and Dr. Nadine M. Orenstein in conversation

2023-02-15T19:21:41-05:00January 8th, 2023|, , |Comments Off on Seven Murals by Philip Orenstein (b. 1938)
A French-Jewish Perspective on France During World War II
Philip Orenstein and Dr. Nadine M. Orenstein in conversation

Inspired by a visit to his birth country in the 1990s, American artist Philip Orenstein (b. 1938) created seven murals about the French complicity in the persecution of Jews in France during World War II. At that time, the French government had not admitted it had taken part in the persecution. The murals have been shown in various galleries and museums in the United States. In 1999, William Zimmer wrote in the New York Times, “Mr. Orenstein’s method involves combining poignancy with the determination that the viewers not miss the story. To this end, Mr. Orenstein skillfully, and wittily, employs the look of today’s splashy graffiti.” The works have not yet been shown in France. Born in Paris, France, in 1938, [...]

Jan 8, 2023

CASTAWAY MODERNISM. Basel’s Acquisitions of “Degenerate” Art
Presentation by Dr. Eva Reifert, Kunstmuseum Basel
followed by discussion with Rachel Stern

2023-02-06T07:18:23-05:00January 8th, 2023|, , |Comments Off on CASTAWAY MODERNISM. Basel’s Acquisitions of “Degenerate” Art
Presentation by Dr. Eva Reifert, Kunstmuseum Basel
followed by discussion with Rachel Stern

The Kunstmuseum Basel’s department of classic modernism houses one of the most prestigious collections of its kind. It was in fact assembled at a comparatively late date. In the summer of 1939 — shortly before the outbreak of World War II — Georg Schmidt (1896–1966), the museum’s director at the time, managed to acquire twenty-one avant-garde masterpieces all at once. The works were among those denounced in 1937 by Nazi cultural policy as “degenerate” and forcibly removed from German museums. The Third Reich’s Ministry of Propaganda correctly assumed that a portion of such works would find buyers abroad and bring in foreign currency. In this way certain artworks deemed “internationally exploitable” reached the art market via various channels. [...]

Dec 1, 2022

AS SEEN THROUGH THESE EYES
Conversation with Film Director Hilary Helstein, Los Angeles

2023-02-01T06:15:59-05:00December 1st, 2022|, , |Comments Off on AS SEEN THROUGH THESE EYES
Conversation with Film Director Hilary Helstein, Los Angeles

In honor of UN Holocaust Remembrance Day, Hilary Helstein, director of the award-winning documentary "As Seen Through These Eyes" spoke with Rachel Stern, director and CEO of the Fritz Ascher Society New York, about the making of her documentary. As poet Maya Angelou narrates this powerful documentary, she reveals the story of a brave group of people who fought Hitler with the only weapons they had: charcoal, pencil stubs, shreds of paper and memories etched in their minds. These artists took their fate into their own hands to make a compelling statement about the human spirit, enduring against unimaginable odds. Featuring interviews with Simon Wiesenthal as he talks about his art, never before appearing in a film, [...]

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