Exhibit at Skirball Museum
Moral Courage, an exhibition of monumental works by artist
Karen Gunderson, opens at the
Skirball Museum of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion
on March 18, 2002 and continues through May 2, 2002. Gunderson utilizes
the emotional and symbolic texture of intense darkness and illumination
to evoke images of rescue and resistance as demonstrated by Danes
and Bulgarians during the Holocaust.
Gunderson's installation includes seascapes evoking the rescue
of Danish Jews by boat to Sweden, as well as iconic portraits of
the Kings of Denmark and Bulgaria who led their nations' rescues
of Jewish citizens. Gunderson believes that "art can inspire and
heal" and comments, "this series of work is the most important I
have created because it chronicles extraordinary historical events."
While growing up in a Danish community in Racine, Wisconsin, Gunderson
learned about the courage of King Christian X against the Nazis.
In 1943, the people of Denmark, led by King Christian X, helped
save 7,000 Danish Jews from Nazi roundups by assisting their escape
to Sweden in boats. The King Boris III portrait was inspired by
the remarkable story of how the nation of Bulgaria saved its 50,000
Jews from the Nazis. By scratching the surface, the artist created
a black on black image to portray King Boris III, a leader who cared
for all his citizens.
In "Night Passage to Sweden," an eleven-foot charcoal drawing,
Gunderson depicts a dark seascape and safe passage. In another work,
an installation of four large-scaled drawings each depicting the
sea from a different navigational direction, Gunderson places the
viewer within the small rescue boat. In "Eleven of Many," Gunderson
implies that many people from different life experiences were part
of the rescue of the Bulgarian Jews.
Moral Courage is being presented at the Skirball Museum
in conjunction with Holocaust
Awareness Weeks 2002: Role Models from the Holocaust. Two
weeks of lectures, exhibits, films, and cultural events are offered
to the public. Area bookstores and public libraries will feature
exhibits and book signings, the Cincinnati Film Society will host
film viewings across the Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky area,
and local universities and high schools will welcome world-renowned
speakers. For information about Holocaust Awareness Weeks
or to receive a calendar of events contact Carrie Glenny at (513)
221-1875 ext. 355.
HUC-JIR's Skirball Museum, Cincinnati is open to the public Monday
through Thursday 11:00 am - 4:00 pm, Sundays 2:00 pm - 5:00 pm,
and by appointment. Docent guided tours can be arranged for groups
of ten or more by calling the museum office at (513) 221-1875, ext.
358. The Skirball Museum is located in Mayerson Hall, 3101 Clifton
Avenue, on the campus of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of
Religion. Admission and parking are free of charge. The museum is