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Art and the Holocaust

The research guide focuses on the intersection of art and the Holocaust from the viewpoints of those directly affected.

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About This Guide

Too often, the narrative of art and the Holocaust is told through the eyes of Nazi looting, propaganda art, and Hitler's 'Degenerate Art Show.' Missing from this story are the paintings, drawings, sculptures, and found object artworks of artists who were directly affected by Nazis. This guide functions to highlight these artists--exiles, prisoners, and descendants--and the emotional and/or physical turmoil they expressed through their art.

If the purpose of art is to enhance life, what are we to make of an art inspired by the constant threat of meaningless death?...We look at sketches of starving Jews, of ' crowds waiting to be deported to death camps, of desolate children, of executions, and we search for terms other than "beauty" or "form" to describe what no pen or brush should ever have been inspired to commit to paper or canvas.

--Lawrence Langer on Art and the Holocaust "The Art of the Concentration Camps," 1978