Looking back at MFA exhibition: devastating and important Lodz Ghetto photos by photojournalist and survivor Henryk Ross

Museum days with David Cox |  Installation scenes from our April 27, 2017 visit to the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston to see Memory Unearthed: The Lodz Ghetto Photographs of Henryk Ross. The travel exhibition originated from the Art Gallery of Ontario where this searing and important Holocaust photo collection is held and much of it digitized. You can explore more than 4000 negatives here: The Lodz Ghetto Photographs of Henryk Ross http://agolodzghetto.com/)

Henryk Ross (1910-1991) was one of less than 900 known survivors of 160,000 confined to the Lodz Ghetto by German Nazis.

photo caption: details from exhibition wall text

 

Before 1939, Ross was a photojournalist for the Polish press and heroically that didn’t stop in the ghetto. He was forced to photograph identity cards for every captive, promotional material, and assignments, often gruesome, for the oppressors’ “Department of Statistics”. While photographing ostensibly for “work” he snapped away bearing witness, building evidence and leaving a record. His wife Stefa was imprisoned there as well, aiding and encouraging his activity. They were married in the ghetto. Ross’s cover necessitated movement, access to equipment,  developing, and film: His perilous “employee” theft went undetected. Henryk Ross was a brave front lines prisoner and artist surreptitiously documenting specific and deteriorating realities of the innocents for five years– building a body of persistent resistance. He was a war photographer and patriot I did not know before this exhibition and will not forget.

photo caption: selected photos on display at the MFA (click to enlarge and for more information) genocide day by day

 

Miraculously both survived, and some negatives.  Ross’s work was used as evidence in the 1961 trial of Nazi war criminal Adolf Eichmann. They testified together. By then he hadn’t photographed anything for years and wouldn’t ever again. “I buried my negatives in the ground in order that there should be some record of our tragedy… I was anticipating the total destruction of Polish Jewry. I wanted to leave a historical record of our martyrdom.” -Henryk Ross

I wonder if there is a memorial plaque on Jagielonska Street near where he hid them?

As this repository was such an exacting chronicle and similar camera format, I thought about curating a show of American FSA/OWI photographers, Ross’s contemporaries, working with home front goals in the same time span as Ross. In 1942 Howard Lieberman and Gordon Parks official assignments included portraits in Gloucester, Massachusetts, of family members missing deployed husbands, brothers, sons and daughters, of a community honoring Memorial Day, of fishermen hard at work providing “Victory Food From American Waters”. People helping. Brave souls. (FSA photograpers and FSA had earned clout pre-1937. Did they inspire Ross? Decades later, did these artists ever come to know each other’s works?)

 

photojournalism_past destruction installation view_ 20170427_lodz ghetto photographs of henryk ross collection holocaust photos at museum of fine arts boston_ © catherine ryan
humanity  devoured- death march past synagogue ruins

 

The exhibition included examples of the Lodz ghetto horrifying, gutting circulars. I used Google translate to transcribe a few of the letterpress announcements. I imagine that the Art Gallery of Ontario will crowd source volunteer transcription one day.

Keep Calm and Carry On pronouncements here, too
Aug 12, 1940 Announcement 104: Jews! Remain Calm!
The events of the last days were triggered by the responsible elements that we wanted to bring chaos into our cycle. These people are aimed at the only important benefits allowed to organize positive and appropriate help for the population. In a short period of time since the creation of the ghetto, after great hardships, it was possible to obtain work from the outside for parts of tailors, carpenters, shoemakers, lappers and seamstresses; soon I will get employment for other crafts, as well as for handicrafts.
The Municipal Budget is Overstated.
Supplying children and the elderly is still in the foreground. Pomino will be equipped with kitchens for all: old and young. Regardless of the (?) general kitchen for workers and the unemployed, which will be issued with 10,000 tanks per day and for various layers (also for religious Jews) – block committees will continue to be supplied. this is a positive plan that must be spotted. this is not an easy task. therefore I am appealing to you with an appeal: keep calm. Do not allow yourself to be misled with irresponsible elements that would hinder your previous work and fulfill your future intentions.
I WANT TO SAVE PEOPLE.
I will do everything that is possible and I will strive to ensure that my tasks are carried out with all due diligence – Ch. Rumkowski

March 22, 1942 Announcement No. 371 :  Resettlement
Subject: Orders concerning the transfer of the ghetto.
Spatialization of the western ghetto part…From the Donnersiteg, the western part of the ghetto must be cleared of all residents and workers. the people living and working there must therefore be in the east…
I hereby announce that the resettlement continues to take place on the initiative of the authorities. I urge the persons concerned – who are destined for resettlement – to do so. upon receipt of the departure request, it is essential that you arrive punctually at the meeting time prescribed by you, otherwise you will have to leave the country without any additional packing.
litzmannstadt-ghetto the 22nd, marz 1942 Ch. Rumkowski* is the oldest of the Jews in Litzmannstadt 

excerpt from the MFA museum label (photo below) concerning Administration and Mordechai Chaim Rumkowski: “…The Elder of the Jewish Council, Mordechai Chaim Rumkowski, believed the residents might survive if they became productive…Due to its remarkable productivity, Lodz was the last Polish ghetto to be liquidated. The Jewish Council played a problematic role in the history of the Lodz Ghetto. Its members were forced to implement Nazi policy, but were perceived as privileged in return. Rumkowski remains one of the  Holocaust’s most controversial figures.”- MFA label

August 22, 1942 Announcement no. 428 Concerning the size of the ghetto
In addition to the previously no longer enter. Who does not follow this request and on Thursday d. 24 august 1944, after 7 o’clock early in these areas as well as in the already cleared still encountered, is struck, with death… 
It is bounded by the area: in the west …
limited: in the east …
limited: to the south …
limited; in the East…
and slow to the south…
For special attention
Workers barracked in these areas in closed premises can remain in their workplace and be allowed to work in the same place.
Secret State Police

September 4, 1942 Announcement No. 391 General Curfew in Ghetto

Museum of Fine Arts display label (see photo above) “On September 4, 1942, Lodz Ghetto populace was told that elderly and sick residents and children under the age of 10 would be deported from the ghetto. This notice forbade the remaining residents from leaving their homes while deportees were collected. “From Saturday September 5 1942 from 5pm on a general curfew is in effect until revoked. Excepted are: firefighters, the Transportation Department, feces and garbage haulers, workers involved in the reception of goods at the Baluty Market Square and the Radogoszcz (station), doctors and pharmacy personnel.”

Installation view_ label_20170427_Lodz Ghetto Photographs of Henryk Ross collection Holocaust photos at Museum of Fine Arts Boston_ originated by Art Gallery of Ontario © catherine ryan _130708.jpg

from the digitized archives: click to enlarge and read description

Local Artist Naomi Lee is exhibiting her art at The Addison Gilbert Hospital Lobby 298 Washington St, Gloucester, MA Through the month of April, 2018

Naomi Lee

Art to me is a feeling, a thought, an expression and then a creation.

I am a self taught artist inspired by the warmth of the sun, calm of the moon, strength of the wind and the power of the sea.

Even as a child I always went to the ocean to sort out my thoughts

I started painting about ten years ago. I love painting in all mediums and or course working with anything else I see as a creation. Especially nature’s gifts I come across when taking my walks along the shore. Driftwood, shells, sea glass, roses and what ever hits my eye at the moment.

I have been part of the Beverly Art Association, Salem Art Association and have been invited to be part of the Fourth of July Marblehead Art Festival as well as being in the Cabot Street Beverly Art Festival.

I hope you enjoy my art.

Loren Doucette warmly invites you to 3 upcoming Shows!

image   image

1) 4-Day “Open Studio Event”

Flatrocks Art Gallery – 77 Langsford St. Gloucester, MA

May 10,11,12 and 13 (open 12-5pm each day)

Artists Reception: Saturday May 12, 6-8pm

Celebrating a prolific winter at Flatrocks Gallery, I will have a casual Open Studio Event showing my drawings and paintings along with some works by my winter studio mates, Jan Weinshanker and Ruth Worell.

2) “Closely Related”

Flatrocks Art Gallery – 77 Langsford St. Gloucester, MA

May 27 through June 24 (open 12-5pm daily except for Mondays and Tuesdays) Open Monday Memorial Day!

Artists Reception:  Saturday May 26, 5-7

This exhibition examines elements that appear congruently in works by the following artists: Kathleen Gerdon Archer, Shelly Champion, Loren Doucette, Paige Farrell, Jay McLachlan, Barbara Moody, Hans Pundt, Lynne Sausele, Patti Sullivan, Juni VanDyke

3) “EVOLUTION”

Tusinski Gallery – 2 Main St. Rockport, MA

ONGOING

For hours and works on view, please go to: tusinski gallery.com

Karen Tusinski welcomes 4 new artists into her gallery to celebrate her 10th successful year! The works will rotate as the season progresses! Artists on view: Karen Tusinski, Loren Doucette, Carter Wentworth, Joanna Huss and Kate Nordstrom.

Local Artist Naomi Lee is happy to be able to share her artwork at Addison Gilbert Hospital and at other local spots around town.

naomi art agh

Naomi Lee was called and offered an opportunity to show her art for the second time at Addison Gilbert Hospital in Gloucester, MA, through the end of July.

Naomi says she is so happy to be able to share her feelings on canvas. Her passions, the warmth of the sun, the calm of the moon, respect for the strength of the wind and the power of the sea.
Naomi, a self taught artist has been asked to take part in exhibiting at the Marblehead and Beverly Art Festivals. Also, The Annisquam Art Gallery for the past three years. She is currently a member of the Beverly and Salem Art Associations.

You can see other art by Naomi around town at the Cape Ann Brewery, Capt Bill’s Wale Watch and the Welcome Center at Harbor Loop. Her next art show is scheduled at Cape Ann Coffees for the months of September and October

86 Bass Ave Gloucester, MA 01930
(978) 282-1717

naomi art  2016

Naomilee1950@hotmail.com

Unveiling of Ken Knowles’ “Schooner Race”

Pictures from last nights’ reception at Bank Gloucester for the unveiling of renowned artist Ken Knowles painting “Schooner Race” commissioned by Bank Gloucester. A smaller version of the painting was auctioned off by auctioneer Senator Tarr (clearly his second calling!) with proceeds donated to Wellspring.

 

Brett Gamache At The Cultural Center On Rocky Neck

June 5 – 29 : Landscapes & Seascapes,
Recent Paintings by Brett X. Gamache

Brett X. Gamache

SAT June 7, 4-7pm : Opening Reception
SUN, June 8, 4-5pm: Artist Talk

The Interview-

Plein Air Landscape Painting Workshop
with oil painter, Brett X. Gamache

Saturday, June 14, 9 AM-2 PM

At RNAC’s Cultural Center at Rocky Neck, 6 Wonson St. Gloucester, MA

Brett X. Gamache
Experience the joy of painting on site by joining a small group of fellow artists in a Plein Air Landscape Painting workshop on Saturday, June 14th from 9 AM -2 PM on Gloucester’s Rocky Neck. Gamache provides one-on-one instruction as participants paint at near by locations. Workshop fee: $100 (RNAC members, $75)
For more details, go to rockyneckartcolony.org/workshops.php

Poignant Banksy Monarch Image Shared By GMG FOB Bing McGilvray

Banksy quote ~ “We don’t need any more heroes; we just need someone to take out the recycling.”

banksy-1

GMG FOB Bing McGilvray posted this Banksy Monarch painting on our GMG Community Group. THANK YOU BING!

Another Banksy quote ~ “Writing graffiti is about the most honest way you can be an artist. It takes no money to do it, you don’t need an education to understand it and there’s no admission fee.”

 

Salt Water: Paintings by Hartley Ferguson

The opening of Hatley Ferguson’s Salt Water: Paintings by Hartley Ferguson was held November 22 at a new showcase for local artists. Essen’s Bakery owner Toby Gado is showcasing Harley Ferguson’s work following the opening reception “Art After Dark”.  The artist  has always lived by the sea from summers on Fisher’s Island to more than 30 years living in Gloucester and now her present location in the Basque Country in Northern Spain.

Although she has primarily been a figurative painter, the water and swimmers in this exhibit have been a recurring focus combining her love of the water and swimming with her love of the human form. While not self portraits, many of these paintings grew out of her experiences under, through and in the water.

Inquires may be made to and paintings purchased from the artist’s agent Sue Henderson, (978) 828-3826 or sueartistsagent@yahoo.com . A portion of the proceeds from painting sales will be donated to the Colleen Ritzer Memorial Scholarship Fund in Danvers.

Artist Spotlight Series

This will be a series of artist spotlights, showing the work and giving a little inside look into the artists who create it.  The first spotlight is on lifelong Gloucester artist, Theresa Testaverde.

spotlight_theresa testaverde

Theresa’s art is often a collage of whatever stirs her as interesting and challenging. Some of her work is inspired by loved ones, family and friends.

Theresa is a native of Gloucester, has been drawing since the age of 5, has a BFA with her principle focus in Printmaking, and has worked in the commercial field of Specialty Printing since college.

She is the daughter, granddaughter and great-granddaughter of Gloucester fishermen. Her maternal grandfather, Joaquin Codinha, was deeply involved in the business side of the Fishing industry. Her paternal grandfather, R. Salve Testaverde wrote, “Memoirs of a Gloucester Fisherman.” And Theresa’s great-grandfather (her mother’s grandfather) was Antonio Santos Cortina, who while on a fishing trip on the Laura Goulart, was lost at sea in 1924. “Passionate followers of the heart; fishers of the sea.”

On Fisherman’s Wharf, her family’s FV, the Linda B, would have schools of fish hauled up in a net and loaded on trucks for market. Her most recent drawings, “Fish Faces, A Series of Drawings’ is dedicated to her young years of growing up – “we had all the fish and more!”

In addition, Theresa’s artwork for her “Daily Fish” Coasters is a salute to the life of a fisherman. “I recognize that a fisherman’s life is a noble and valued life, a dangerous life which requires dedication, heart, strength, intense work during stormy days and an immense respect of the sea from which he earns his daily bread.”

All of this was a way of life for Theresa growing up. In her words, “I embrace all of them, their memory, their stories. The women and men from which I am part. I could not create any of my artwork without these reflections. This life had heart, purpose, was hard working, honest, diligent and had love. To remember us young is to examine the heart of family, in our little town, Gloucester. My family members required the sea to maintain their everyday needs. This “fish” artwork is for them.”

You can see more of Theresa’s work at The Cultural Center at Rocky Neck, 6 Wonson Street, East Gloucester during the Rocky Neck Holiday Art & Fine Crafts Festival Saturdays and Sundays, Noon-4 PM, November 30 – December 29.

E.J. Lefavour