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Texas Holocaust and Genocide Commission


Virtual Lecture | Charlotte Salomon: A Life Before and After Auschwitz

Event details
Calendar   Speaking Engagements
Location Zoom
Date Thu, Nov 17, 6:00pm - 7:00pm
Duration   1h

Join Holocaust Museum Houston for this virtual lecture about Charlotte Salomon featuring Monica Bohm-Duchen.

Charlotte Salomon (1917-1943) was a talented Berlin-born artist who was murdered at Auschwitz, while four months pregnant, at the age of 26. Her main body of work, a sequence of nearly 800 gouache images entitled Leben? or Theater? (Life? or Theatre?) and created while seeking refuge in the South of France, is an ambitious fictive autobiography which deploys both images and text, and incorporates a wide range of musical, literary, and cinematic references. The narrative, informed by Salomon's experiences as a cultured, and assimilated German Jewish woman, depicts a life lived in the shadow of Nazi persecution and a family history of suicide, but also reveals moments of intense happiness and hope. Challenging the artistic conventions of Salomon’s time, it remains almost impossible to categorize. This illustrated lecture by London-based art historian Monica Bohm-Duchen will explore the multiple aspects of this sophisticated, complex, and haunting work, and will reflect on its relevance for our own time.

Monica Bohm-Duchen is a London-based writer, lecturer and exhibition organizer. In 1995 she curated a major international exhibition entitled After Auschwitz: Responses to the Holocaust in Contemporary Art. She was co-curator of Life? or Theatre? The Work of Charlotte Salomon, shown at the Royal Academy of Arts, London in 1998, and co-edited an anthology of critical essays entitled Charlotte Salomon: Gender, Trauma, Creativity, published by Cornell University Press in 2006. Her book, Art and the Second World War was published by Lund Humphries in association with Princeton University Press, in 2013/14. She is the founding Director of Insiders/Outsiders [Insiders Outsiders Festival], an ongoing celebration of the contribution of refugees from Nazi Europe to British culture and beyond.

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