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Texas Holocaust and Genocide Commission


Seven Murals by Philip Orenstein: A French-Jewish Perspective on France during WWII

Event details
Calendar   Workshops
Location Virtual
Date Wed, Feb 15, 11:00am - 12:00pm
Duration   1h

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, Philip Orenstein had survived Nazi persecution as a young boy hidden with his brother by a gentile family. After World War II, in 1949, his family emigrated to the United States. He became a visual artist and professor of art at Rutgers University in New Brunswick (NJ), where he had majored in physics.

This event features Philip Orenstein presenting his artwork, followed by a conversation with Dr. Nadine Orenstein.

Register here.

Philip Orenstein is a visual artist and professor emeritus of art at Rutgers University. He was born in Paris, France, in December 1938. After World War II, in 1949, his family emigrated to the United States. He majored in physics at Rutgers University. Orenstein also painted, studied art history, and took a course in modern art history with Alan Kaprow, who encouraged him to quit physics and become an artist. After graduating from Rutgers, Orenstein moved to New York in the early 1960’s, where he painted, sculpted and designed for adecade. In 1971 he began teaching studio art at Rutgers University, eventually becoming a tenured professor and teaching art at Rutgers for thirty years. Orenstein has an extensive exhibition record dating from 1964 to the present.

Dr. Nadine M. Orenstein is the Drue Heinz Curator in Charge of the Department of Drawings and Prints in The Metropolitan Museum of Art where she has been active as a curator since 1992. She has written and lectured extensively on sixteenth and seventeenth-century prints and drawings. Her exhibitions include Pieter Bruegel the Elder: Drawings and Prints (2001), Hendrick Goltzius (1558 – 1617). Prints, Drawings and Paintings (2003), Infinite Jest: Caricature and Satire from Leonardo to Levine (2011), and The Mysterious Landscapes of Hercules Segers (2017). The Renaissance of Etching (2019 – 2020), co-organized with the Albertina, Vienna was awarded the 2020 IFPDA Foundation Book Award.

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