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Yad Vashem in Jerusalem Showcases Six Decades of Holocaust Survivors' Creativity
Yehudit Shendar, a curator in the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial Museum, discusses a painting by Marc Kilonsky, a Holocaust survivor originally from Minsk and Leningrad but who now is American and lives in New York, that is part of a new exhibition entitled, 'Virtures of Memory Six Decades of Holocaust Surviviors' Creativity' during a press tour of the exhibit at the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial in Jerusalem, Israel. The exhibit comprises some 300 art works, one work each by 300 Holocaust survivors, and opens to the public on Sunday when Israel marks Holocaust Martyrs' and Heroes' Remembrance Day. EPA/JIM HOLLANDER.

JERUSALEM.- Yad Vashem will open a unique new exhibition, “Virtues of Memory: Six Decades of Holocaust Survivors’ Creativity,” on Monday, April 12, 2010 at 15:30, Holocaust Martyrs’ and Heroes’ Remembrance Day. Tens of survivors will attend the opening with their families.

The first exhibition of its kind, “Virtues of Memory” showcases the creative works of close to 300 Holocaust survivors whose artistic expressions of their Holocaust experiences and memories are housed at Yad Vashem. Over the past 65 years, an incredible corpus of work has been amassed at Yad Vashem, offering a look at the myriad ways Holocaust survivors have struggled to express themselves artistically after the Holocaust. Joining memoirs, testimonies and film, these artworks form a formidable expression of the Voice of the Survivors. Never before has this tremendous body of work undergone comprehensive research nor has it been presented in such a wide-ranging exhibition. This exceptional exhibition showcases the artistic expression of the individual, yet bestows a legacy to others. The artwork of prestigious artists like Samuel Bak, Yehuda Bacon, Moshe Kupferman, Shemuel Katz, Marcel Janco, Paul Kor and Friedel Stern is displayed alongside hundreds of pieces of art by lesser-known, and even amateur artists, some of whom are displaying their work in public for the very first time. Despite the individuality represented in each work, the exhibition is divided thematically and visually, grouping together recurrent themes and modes of expression.

Yehudit Shendar, Deputy Director of the Museums Division at Yad Vashem and curator of the exhibition notes, “Art is that most subjective of creative forms, but in the survivors’ art we glimpse a truth that we - being removed from the events- - may not otherwise be able to fathom. Each of the works is the voice of an individual; combined, they present a powerful ensemble, whose commanding expression of truth and memory calls out to us all."

“Virtues of Memory” will be displayed in the Yad Vashem Exhibitions Pavilion through April 2011, and opens to the public on April 13, 2010.

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April 12, 2010

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