‘A Town Known as Auschwitz’ hosted at Harding art gallery

The Stevens Art Gallery at Harding University is featuring a free art show titled "A Town Known as Auschwitz: The Life and Death of a Jewish Community.” The display, which originates from the Museum of Jewish Heritage – A Living Memorial to the Holocaust in New York City, contains historical photographs and records from the 16th century through the post-war period.

“The exhibit is primarily an attempt to tell the world about a community, much like your hometown, where people of different religious beliefs live and work together,” said Dr. John Keller, art professor and curator of the Stevens Art Gallery. “Unfortunately, under the Nazi regime, it was transformed into the infamous town known to the world as Auschwitz.”

In the article “Before Auschwitz Was Auschwitz” in The New York Jewish Week, journalist Jonathan Mark describes the impact of the show.

“The exhibit is nothing less than a resurrection, a walk down streets and through the marketplace where we meet the wise men and the wise guys; the young moms of the public high school parents association; the young Zionists preparing for kibbutz life; and chasidic rebbes, artists, whiskey makers, lawyers, tailors, children — and ghosts.”

The display corresponds with this year’s Harding Read, Corrie ten Boom’s The Hiding Place, and the American Studies Institute distinguished speaker Eva Kor. 

“Eva Kor, Corrie ten Boom and this exhibit all tell a story about the importance of community, the power of faith, and the need to forgive and be forgiven when we are faced with severe trials … and we most assuredly will be at some time in our lives,” said Keller. “This show is history, and it is history we need to remember.”

“A Town Known as Auschwitz” runs until Tuesday, Nov. 7. Stevens Art Gallery is open 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday and noon-4 p.m. Saturdays. 

The art gallery will have special hours to support other events happening around campus.

Saturday, Oct. 21

  • Gallery will be open from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. as a part of Homecoming activities.

Saturday, Oct. 28

  • Free screening of “The Hiding Place” movie, 4:30 p.m., Rialto Theatre (100 W. Race Ave., Searcy). Gallery will open from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. following the movie.

Tuesday, Nov. 7

  • American Studies Institute Distinguished Lecture: Eva Kor, Auschwitz survivor, 7:30 p.m., Benson Auditorium. Event is free and open to the public. Gallery will open immediately following the speaker and remain open until 10 p.m.

For more information about this exhibit as well as other upcoming events in the art department, visit harding.edu/art. To learn more about special events and services offered by the University, visit harding.edu/community.