“Through Soviet Jewish Eyes: Photography, War and the Holocaust”

April 25, 2013 through Oct. 27, 2013
Central Gallery

Although World War II is one of the most documented conflicts of the 20th century, western audiences have had little exposure to Soviet photographic images.

Opening April 25, 2013 at Holocaust Museum Houston, the exhibition “Through Soviet Jewish Eyes: Photography, War, and the Holocaust” features 58 photographs revealing the war as presented through the lens of the most important Soviet photojournalists.

The exhibition remains on view through Sunday, Oct. 27, 2013 in the Museum’s Central Gallery.

Printed over six decades, the collection highlights works by Evgenii Khaldei, Georgii Zelma and Dmitrii Baltermants, among others, from the dawn of the Soviet era and throughout the Great Patriotic War, also known as the war’s Eastern Front. A large number of Soviet photojournalists were Jewish, and the exhibition explores aspects of what this religious and cultural identity might have meant when confronting war and Nazi persecution through Soviet and Jewish eyes. Charged by the Stalinist state to tell the visual story, these artists were emotionally and intellectually connected to recording the Holocaust. With their compelling war photography, they were the first to document the liberation of Nazi sites of atrocity – three years before others chronicled the liberation of concentration camps in Germany.

The exhibition encompasses art, culture and aesthetics with photographs spanning the Nazi-Soviet war, from June 22, 1941 until V-Day on May 9, 1945. The opening section contextualizes the wartime images within the Constructivist and Socialist Realist tradition of Soviet photography from the 1920s and 1930s.

On loan to Holocaust Museum Houston by the CU Art Museum, University of Colorado Boulder, the exhibition was curated by David Shneer, director of the Program in Jewish Studies and professor of history at the University of Colorado and Lisa Tamiris Becker, director of the CU Art Museum.

Inspired by Shneer’s critically acclaimed book of the same title and National Jewish Book Award finalist, “Through Soviet Jewish Eyes” highlights the central challenge to avant-garde aesthetics and to “art” itself that was posed by the war and by Soviet culture of the time.

Featured photographs include several currently housed in private collections that have never before been displayed to the public. Ranging from large-scale dramatic prints to intimate-scaled vintage prints, the exhibition calls attention to the afterlife of the photographs and the continued interest of contemporary society and the art world in viewing them.

The public is invited to a free reception from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, May 16, 2013. Admission is free, but advance registration is required for the reception. Visit http://www.hmh.org/RegisterEvent.aspx to RSVP online.
 
The exhibit is underwritten by SWE Homes, Elizabeth and Alan Stein and the Museum’s Corporate Chairman members.

For more information, call 713-942-8000 or e-mail
 exhibits@hmh.org.

Press Release Remind me about this event Related Exhibits
Dmitrii Baltermants (1912-1990), "Grief," Kerch, Crimea, January 1942, gelatin silver print, 
36 1/2 x 43 1/2  inches;
Dmitrii Baltermants (1912-1990), "Grief," Kerch, Crimea, January 1942, gelatin silver print, 36 1/2 x 43 1/2 inches; Loan from Teresa and Paul Harbaugh; Photo: CU Art Museum; © Estate of Dmitrii Baltermants
Mark Markov-Grinberg (1907-2006, 
"For the Motherland," 1943; gelatin silver print; 15 1/2 x 11 1/2 inches; Gift of Te
Mark Markov-Grinberg (1907-2006, 
"For the Motherland," 1943; gelatin silver print; 15 1/2 x 11 1/2 inches; Gift of Te Mark Markov-Grinberg (1907-2006, "For the Motherland," 1943; gelatin silver print; 15 1/2 x 11 1/2 inches; Gift of Teresa and Paul Harbaugh, CU Art Museum, University of Colorado Boulder; Photo: CU Art Museum; © Mark Markov-Grinberg / PhotoSoyuz
Emmanuel Evzerikhin (1911-1984),"Memories of a Peaceful Time," Stalingrad, 1943; gelatin silver print, 9 3/4 x 15 1/2 i
Emmanuel Evzerikhin (1911-1984),"Memories of a Peaceful Time," Stalingrad, 1943; gelatin silver print, 9 3/4 x 15 1/2 inches; Loan from Teresa and Paul Harbaugh; Photo: CU Art Museum; © Emmanuel Evzerikhin / PhotoSoyuz
Dmitrii Baltermants (1912-1990), "Attack," 1941; gelatin silver print, 24 x 36 inches; Gift of Teresa and Paul Harbaugh
Dmitrii Baltermants (1912-1990), "Attack," 1941; gelatin silver print, 24 x 36 inches; Gift of Teresa and Paul Harbaugh Dmitrii Baltermants (1912-1990), "Attack," 1941; gelatin silver print, 24 x 36 inches; Gift of Teresa and Paul Harbaugh, CU Art Museum, University of Colorado Boulder; Photo: CU Art Museum; © Estate of Dmitrii Baltermants
Dmitrii Baltermants (1912-1990), "And There Was War," Moscow, May 9, 1970; gelatin silver print, 18 3/4 x 12 3/4 inches
Dmitrii Baltermants (1912-1990), "And There Was War," Moscow, May 9, 1970; gelatin silver print, 18 3/4 x 12 3/4 inches; Gift of Teresa and Paul Harbaugh, CU Art Museum, University of Colorado Boulder; Photo: CU Art Museum; © Estate of Dmitrii Baltermants
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Morgan Family Center
5401 Caroline St.
Houston, TX 77004-6804
Phone: 713-942-8000



Holocaust Museum Houston is a member of the Houston Museum District Association and is located in Houston's Museum District.

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Effective April 15, 2014, admission rates for Holocaust Museum Houston will change. Please note the new rates:

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Holocaust Museum Houston is free each Thursday from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. and on Memorial Day (May 25, 2015), D-Day (June 6, 2015), Kristallnacht (Nov. 9, 2015) and International Holocaust Remembrance Day (Jan. 27, 2015).

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