Yad Vashem’s collection of Holocaust art is the largest and most wide-ranging collection in the world. It comprises some 10,000 works, most of them from the Holocaust period. In order to properly display this collection, focusing only on the works created during the Shoah, the Holocaust Art Museum was built through the generous support of Miriam and Sheldon Adelson. The art displayed in the new Museum allows a different view of the Holocaust — based on the experience of the individual — using a medium that appeals not just to the intellect, but also penetrates straight to the heart.
Creating art during the Holocaust meant risking one’s life at a time when the materials needed were almost non-existent. Many of the artists were on the verge of collapse — physically and mentally — without access to even the most minimal essentials of daily life. In spite of all this, the piece of art was created, and sometimes managed to survive even when — as was mostly the case — the artist did not.
The works displayed are not just testimonial; they express an awesome creative power. The artists who produced them knew that this was a once-in-a-lifetime chance to express all they wished to say in a few lines etched on paper.
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