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The Freedman Gallery Presents Illuminations: The Art of Samuel Bak



July 18, 2013

Reading, Pa. –Albright College’s Freedman Gallery will host Illuminations: The Art of Samuel Bak, on view in the Main Gallery from August 29 through September 29, 2013.

The exhibition coincides with the 20th anniversary celebration of The Holocaust Library and Resource Center, established in April 1993 by the Jewish Federation of Reading and Albright College. The exhibition features 20 original works by renowned artist and Holocaust survivor Samuel Bak, who was the focus of the ninth annual Richard J. Yashek lecture held April 30, 2013.

Events related to the exhibition, which are free and open to the public, include: 

Sunday, Sept. 1

  • Opening Reception, Freedman Gallery, 1–4 p.m.

Monday, Sept. 9

  • Freedman Gallery, 6–9 p.m.
  • The Universe of Nazi Camps and Ghettos lecture presented by Geoffrey P. Megargee, Ph.D., 7 p.m., Wachovia Theatre
  • 20th Anniversary Reception, 8 p.m., Center for the Arts Mezzanine

Monday, Sept. 16

  • Synthesize Me #1: The Ramifications of Conflict, from Individual Arguments to World War, 4 p.m., Klein Lecture Hall, Center for the Arts

Samuel Bak and his wife, Josée, together with Sue and Bernie Pucker, donated the paintings for exhibition to the Brookline, Mass., headquarters of Facing History and Ourselves, an organization dedicated to combating racism, anti-Semitism and prejudice, and nurturing democracy through education programs worldwide. In addition, this collection is intended to be shared across North America as part of an important new educational resource for Facing History and Ourselves’ work with educators and students.

Much of Samuel Bak’s art is influenced by his experiences of surviving the Holocaust as a child in Vilna, Poland. Bak explains: “I certainly do not make illustrations of things that happened. I do it in a symbolic way, in a way which only gives a sense of a world that was shattered. …” The themes of Bak’s work are also the themes of Facing History: questions of identity, responsibility, the challenges of justice, and the difficulties of rebuilding what was destroyed.

Megargee is applied research scholar at the Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. He is the author of Inside Hitler’s High Command (2000), which received the 2001 Distinguished Book Award of the Society of Military History. Megargee’s appearance is made possible by The Campus Outreach Lecture Program of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum’s Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies, supported by the generosity of the Jerome A. Yavitz Charitable Foundation, Inc. and Arlyn S. and Stephen H. Cypen. 

An accompanying publication as well as audio guide and additional resources will be available to visitors.

To learn more about the exhibit please visit http://www.albright.edu/freedman/current.html.

The Freedman Gallery is generously supported by The Silverweed Foundation and The Doris C. and Alan J. Freedman Family Fund. Additional support for the exhibition has been provided by the Jewish Federation of Reading.

The Freedman Gallery is located in the Center for the Arts at Albright College on 13th and Bern Streets, Reading. For more information or disabled assistance, please call 610-921-7715.

Albright is a nationally ranked, private college with a rigorous liberal arts curriculum with an interdisciplinary focus. The College’s hallmarks are connecting fields of learning, collaborative teaching and learning, and a flexible curriculum that allows students to create an individualized education. Albright College enrolls 1,650 undergraduates in traditional programs, and another 600 adult students in accelerated degree and graduate programs.