Love. Womanhood. Friendship. Faith. These are some of the themes explored in the Maltz Museum’s upcoming exhibition Spots of Light: To Be a Woman in the Holocaust (March 19 – June 9, 2013). The first exhibition to focus exclusively on Jewish women and their experiences in the Holocaust, Spots of Light is a large-scale video installation – images move and change before the visitor’s eyes, giving historical material a contemporary feel and perspective.
A production of the Museums Division, Yad Vashem in Jerusalem, the exhibition attempts to reveal the human story that lurks behind the historical account. The multimedia concept is used in this exhibit because of how rare physical objects representing the Holocaust are. “Spots of Light is a unique exhibition in that it is focused on the actions and responses of Jewish women to the horrific and unprecedented circumstances into which they were thrust,” says Yehudit Inbar, Director of the Museums Division at Yad Vashem. “The range of women’s responses to the Holocaust, was broad and diverse, reflecting the complexity of their situation, and was characterized in particular by taking responsibility of taking care of others.”
Stories of 45 women are told through ten thematic sections; Love, Motherhood, Caring for Others, Womanhood, Partisans and Underground, Everyday Life, Friendship, Faith, Food, and Arts. Through these women’s initiative, creativity, and courage, the exhibit demonstrates that human beings are strong enough, even in the most difficult of circumstances to maintain those values which are the foundation of humanity. “This is a rare opportunity to see the Holocaust from a unique and unexpected point of view. We are so pleased to collaborate with Yad Vashem on this project.” says Museum Executive Director Lynda A. Bender. Spots of Light garnered international acclaim having been on display in Austria, Australia, Germany, and Spain. Nationally, the exhibition was recently viewed at UNC Charlotte and the Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center in Skokie, Illinois.
The Maltz Museum will add its own contributions to the exhibition. In To Be a Woman in the Holocaust: Cleveland Stories, produced exclusively for the Maltz Museum, area filmmaker Steven Hacker interviews several Northeast Ohio women survivors about their family’s experience. Additionally, the Maltz Museum will include artifacts on loan from the Illinois Holocaust Museum, including two women’s uniforms worn by camp prisoners and precious items hidden by women and retrieved after the war. Additional artifacts from Cleveland survivors are regularly on display in the Museum’s permanent collection, An American Story. These items, along with the short film and a season-long offering of programs at the Museum, add greater depth to the themes of Womanhood, Motherhood, and Friendship.
Docent-led tours are available daily for adult and student groups of ten or more, with discounts for groups of 15+. Reservations are required for group tours. Parking adjacent to the Museum is free, and includes close-in handicapped spaces. Wheelchairs are available by advance reservation. The Museum is available for a range of private events with exclusive viewing of the exhibition, details and pricing on request.
Curated by Yehudit Inbar, Director, Yad Vashem Museums Division
Presented by The Esther & Hyman Rapport Philanthropic Trust
Signature Sponsors: BNY Mellon; Karen & Alan Krause; and Audrey & Albert Ratner
Benefactor Sponsors: Creekside Financial Advisors; Lou Freiberg; PNC Bank; and Shul Boys
Patron Sponsors: Beth & Bob Brandon; Alvin, Lottie, and Rachel Gray Fund; Kol Israel Foundation; McCarthy Lebit Crystal & Liffman Co., LPA; Notre Dame College; Betty Rosskamm and Family; Sisters of Charity Foundation of Cleveland; Lauren & Steve Spilman; and Ursuline College
Spots of Light is supported in part by the residents of Cuyahoga County through a public grant from Cuyahoga Arts & Culture.