Keynote Lecture April 20
In celebration of its tenth anniversary, the UMD Baeumler-Kaplan Holocaust Commemoration Committee will sponsor a series of events addressing the Holocaust. The highlight of this year's program features Painter Samuel Bak, who will present a lecture titled "Return to Vilnius" on Tuesday, April 20 at 4:00 p.m. in the Kirby Ballroom.
In conjunction with this lecture, Bak's work will be featured in a standing art exhibit of contemporary artists whose works address Holocaust awareness themes. This exhibit, including works by Graphic Artist Art Spiegelman, Photographer Debbie Teicholz and Installation Artist Ellen Rothenberg, will be on display at the UMD Tweed Museum of Art from April 13-June 13, 2004.
Samuel Bak had his first exhibition of his drawings at the age of nine in the Vilna Ghetto. Escaping after its destruction, he found himself in the DP Camps in post-war Germany. He writes: "Shortly after the occupation of Vilna by the Wehrmacht, both of my grandfathers were taken to the Ponari forest and there they were shot, together with other Jews. On the following Yom Kippur holiday, both of my grandmothers were also taken to this forest. My father was shot by the Nazis a few days before the liberation of Vilna. I don't know how, of all people, my mother and I were selected by fate to survive the liquidation of the ghettos and the labor camps and the various hiding places in which we kept ourselves concealed during the German occupation. I feel the necessity to remember and take it upon myself to bear witness to the things that happened in those times, so that human beings today and those of tomorrow, if it were only possible, are spared a similar destiny on earth. So I have chosen the way of creating images of a seeming reality, imbuing them with a multitude of layers, from clear and unknown symbols to the most private and intimate feelings of a world that has its own apparent logic. I hope that the complexity of these paintings might go beyond my private story and beyond the vicissitudes that mark the Jewish people and their fate."
Bak emigrated to Israel, where he studied at the Bezalel Art School in Jerusalem. Bak, who has resided in Paris, Lausanne, Rome and New York, now lives in the Boston area. He has had numerous solo exhibitions of his work at galleries and in museums in the United States, Israel and Europe.
Listed below is a complete list of Baeumler-Kaplan Holocaust Commemoration events and programs.
2004 Baeumler-Kaplan Holocaust Commemoration Calendar:
All events are free and open to the public
Thursday, April 8 at 12 noon: Gallery talk on Samuel Bak and Holocaust Art
Thursday, April 15 at 7:00 p.m.: Presentation on Holocaust Memorials
Sunday, April 18 at 7:00 p.m.: Film
Tuesday, April 20 at 4:00 p.m.: Keynote Lecture
Wednesday, April 21 at 6:00 p.m.: Art & Design Lecture
Thursday, April 22 at noon: Alworth "Brown Bag" Presentation
For more information on Baeumler-Kaplan Holocaust Commemoration events,
see http://www.d.umn.edu/cla/holocaust/ or contact Deborah Petersen-Perlman
phone: 726-6849 or 726-7528