The University of New Mexico Art Museum will present works of art made during the Holocaust in an exhibition titled, Through a Narrow Window: Friedl Dicker-Brandeis and Her Terezín Students, beginning Friday, Jan. 28. The exhibition, guest curated by Art Education Program Associate Professor Linney Wix, is a collaborative project between UNM's College of Education and the Art Museum. An opening reception will be held on Friday, Jan. 28 from 5 to 7 p.m. at the UNM Art Museum.
The exhibition, which runs through Sunday, March 13, will present 20 works by Bauhaus artist Friedl Dicker-Brandeis (1898-1944) and 29 works made by the children and adolescents who studied with her during their mutual imprisonment in the Terezín concentration camp between 1942 and 1944 in what was formerly known as Czechoslovakia. Works by Dicker-Brandeis span her student years at the Bauhaus, her mature years and the 21 months she was interned in Terezín. The 49 works on view at UNM are gathered from art collections in Prague, Vienna and Los Angeles.
"The exhibition honors not just Friedl Dicker-Brandeis but the works that were created, and that survived, because of her, and serves as a reminder that…art can flourish in even the darkest times," said Wix. "The UNM exhibit will provide a unique opportunity for New Mexicans to experience these compelling works as they consider what it means to share trauma through viewing art and understanding a particular art and education perspective as developed at the early Bauhaus and adapted for teaching children by Friedl Dicker-Brandeis."
Born in Vienna in 1898, Friedl Dicker-Brandeis was an acclaimed Bauhaus-educated artist and teacher. Her creative output spanned the painting of landscapes, still lifes and portraits to designing textiles, furniture, interiors, costumes and theatrical sets.
Late in the fall of 1942, Friedl Dicker-Brandeis received notice that she was to be deported to the Terezín concentration camp. In preparation, she packed art supplies. She also visited the shopkeeper in her small town of Hronov, Czechoslovakia, saying, "Hitler has invited me to a rendezvous. Do you have something warm?" The shopkeeper gave her a wool coat and told her she needn't pay for it. She brought him a painting, 'The View of Franzenbad from the Window,' saying, "I painted this in an hour. It takes much longer to make a coat" (Makarova, 2001, p. 28).
Friedl was only 44 years old when she traded her painting for a coat. She had behind her years of artistic study and practice; ahead, she would have an opportunity to share her life experiences in art with children traumatized by war and incarceration. That art, as facilitated by Friedl Dicker-Brandeis, served as a strategy for hope and survival for Terezin's child artists and will be highlighted in the exhibition. Friedl's approach to teaching art directly reflected her studies at the Bauhaus during its foundational years.
A series of family workshops, lectures and public performances including the nationally acclaimed, "And Then They Came for Me: Remembering the World of Anne Frank" and "Brundibar!," a children's opera first performed at the Terezín camp, will take place during the weeks of the exhibition.
For a complete schedule visit: Through a Narrow Window Events
A publication of the same title (UNM Press; 128 pp., 61 color plates), including a foreword by Vera John-Steiner, a preface by E. Luanne McKinnon, and essays by Edith Kramer, Linney Wix, and Kristina Yu as well as a translation of Friedl Dicker-Brandeis's 1943 essay "On Children's Art" by Lerke Foster, is also available.
The exhibition will be at the UNM Art Museum located in the Center for the Arts. The museum is open Tuesday – Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and from 1 to 4 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. Admission is free but a $5 donation is suggested.
For more information visit: Through a Narrow Window:
Friedl Dicker-Brandeis and Her Terezin Students, UNM Art Museum or call (505) 277.4001 for current programming information.
Media contact: Steve Carr (505) 277-1821; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org