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Texas Holocaust and Genocide Commission


Artists Migrating to the United States, In and Beyond the Nazi Period

Event details
Calendar   Speaking Engagements
Location Zoom
Date Wed, Dec 15, 11:00am - 12:00pm
Duration   1h

Shaped in accordance with the theme of the current Fritz Ascher Society online project, "Identity, Art and Migration," this brief conference focuses on psychological, historical and art historical aspects of migration—broadly and in particular within the context of artists seeking refuge in the United States during the Holocaust.

Register here.

Expert Panel
Rebecca Erbelding, PhD, USHMM historian in Washington, DC
Dr. Erbelding is the author of Rescue Board: The Untold Story of America’s Efforts to Save the Jews of Europe (Doubleday, 2018), which won the National Jewish Book Award for excellence in writing based on archival research. She holds a PhD in American history from George Mason University and has been a historian, curator, and archivist at the US Holocaust Memorial Museum since 2003. She served as the lead historian on the Museum’s special exhibition, Americans and the Holocaust.

Katya Grokhovsky, artist and founder of The Immigrant Artist Biennal in New York, NY
Born in Ukraine and raised in Australia, Katya Grokhovsky is a New York-based artist, curator, and Founding Director of The Immigrant Artist Biennial. Her work has been exhibited nationally and internationally. Grokhovsky has received support through numerous residencies including The Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts (EFA) Studio Program, School of Visual Arts MFA Art Practice Artist in Residence, Kickstarter Creator in Residence, Pratt Fine Arts Department Artist in Residence, Art and Law Fellowship, MAD-The Museum of Arts and Design Studio Program, BRICworkspace Residency, Ox-BOW School of Art Residency, Wassaic Artist Residency, Atlantic Center for the Arts, Studios at MASS MoCA, NARS Residency, Santa Fe Art Institute Residency, Watermill Center, and more. She has been awarded the Brooklyn Arts Council Grants, NYFA Fiscal Sponsorship, ArtSlant 2017 Prize, Asylum Arts Grant, Australian Council for the Arts Grant, and Freedman Traveling Scholarship for Emerging Artists, among others.

Ori Z Soltes, PhD, Teaching Professor at Georgetown University in Washington, DC
Dr. Soltes teaches at Georgetown University across the disciplines of theology, art history, philosophy and politics. He is the former Director and Curator of the B’nai B’rith Klutznick National Jewish Museum where he curated some 80 exhibitions. He is the author of several hundred articles and catalogue essays, and the author or editor of 25 books, including The Ashen Rainbow: The Holocaust and the Arts; Symbols of Faith: How Jewish, Christian, and Muslim Art Draw from the Same Source; and Tradition and Transformation: Three Millennia of Jewish Art and Architecture and Immortality, Memory, Creativity, and Survival: The Arts of Alice Lok Cahana, Ronnie Cahana and Kitra Cahana (FAS 2020).

These diverse experts will address the specifics of American immigration policies in the first half of the twentieth century and how they particularly affected those seeking refuge from the ravages of the Nazi Holocaust across Europe; the consequences of forced migration in the work of the seven artists whose work is the focus of the Identity, Art and Migration project; the continuation and reshaping of issues affecting immigrant artists and their art in the recent history of the United States and the current reality of Europe.

The presentations will be followed by questions to the speakers posed by the moderator as well as by audience Q & A.

Rachel Stern, Director and CEO of the Fritz Ascher Society in New York, NY
Rachel Stern is the Founding Director and CEO of The Fritz Ascher Society for Persecuted, Ostracized and Banned Art. Born and educated in Germany, she worked for ten years in the Department of Drawings and Prints at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. She is a 2018 recipient of the Hans and Lea Grundig Prize, in recognition of her research about the artist Fritz Ascher (Berlin, 1893-1970), the international traveling exhibition and the book To Live is to Blaze with Passion: The Expressionist Fritz Ascher/ Leben ist Glühn: Der Expressionist Fritz Ascher (Cologne: Wienand 2016). In 2020, she published a selection of poems by Fritz Ascher, Fritz Ascher. Poesiealbum 357 (Wilhelmshorst: Märkischer Verlag) and edited, with Julia Diekmann, the exhibition catalogue The Lonely Man. Clowns in the Art of Fritz Ascher (1893-1970) / Der Vereinsamte. Clowns in der Kunst Fritz Aschers (1893-1970) (Holzminden: Verlag Jörg Mitzkat).

This event is part of the online project "Identity, Art and Migration" organized by The Fritz Ascher Society for Persecuted, Ostracized and Banned Art, New York.

Generously sponsored by the Consulate General of the Federal Republic of Germany in New York.

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