“Stolen Art or Recovered Heritage? The Murals of Bruno Schulz”Tuesday, February 12, 2013 - 2:00 pm to 3:30 pm
Gambrell Hall – Room 005 (basement)
“Stolen Art or Recovered Heritage? The Murals of Bruno Schulz”
An illustrated talk by Theodore Rosengarten
Visiting Professor of History and Jewish Studies, College of Charleston
Associate Scholar of Jewish Studies, University of South Carolina
Now that the communist boot has been lifted from the neck of eastern Europe, and people are free to discuss the Holocaust, can the material legacy of the victims be trusted to the countries where they lived and died, or do the world’s surviving Jews have a moral right to claim it as their property? Professor Theodore Rosengarten will tell the tale of what the New York Times has called the “Murals of Pain,” the wall paintings of Polish-Jewish artist and writer Bruno Schulz, which were discovered in 2001 in the pantry of an old house in Drogobych, Ukraine, and spirited out of the country to Yad Vashem, in Jerusalem.
“We feel robbed,” says Konstanti Gebert, writing as a Pole and a Jew. “A limb of our heritage was cut off, our pain is indescribable.” To the contrary, writes a correspondent in the Times. “The wall minus Bruno Schulz’s art should be displayed as a monument in Poland as a reminder of what was not done to save the Jews.” Using stunning images of the “polychromes” that were painted under duress in 1942 and of scenes from Drogobych today, Rosengarten will explore the competing claims of Poland, Ukraine, and Israel to control and exhibit the work of the murdered artist, and the consequences of its removal from its Ukrainian hiding place.
Jewish Studies Program, College of Arts and Sciences, University of South Carolina