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August 16, 2012 - Image 45

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2012-08-16

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rt continued from page 3

The Wayne State exhibit
is made possible in part
by sponsors Hillel of
Metro Detroit and the
Holocaust Memorial
Center. Event sponsors
from WSU include the
Cohn-Haddow Center
for Judaic Studies, the
College of Liberal Arts
and Sciences, the Dean
of Students Office, the
Department of History,
the James Pearson Duffy
Department of Art and
Art History, the Walter R
Reuther Library and the
Wayne State University

Says Miriam Starkman,
executive director of Hillel of
Metro Detroit: "We are proud
to help sponsor this exhibit,
which reinforces both WSU's
historic relationship to the
Jewish community and that
there is dynamic Jewish life on
campus today."

Come see why Wayne State

University attracts so many of

the region's brightest students.

A nationally recognized research

university in the city's coolest

neighborhood, Wayne State

is alive with possibilities. You

can choose from hundreds of

academic programs and prepare

The artwork offers a view of the day-to-day despair inside Nazi
concentration camps.

Polish Mission Director Marcin
Chumiecki, born and raised 10
miles south of Auschwitz, says
the exhibit shows a different
aspect of life within the
concentration camps. "These
were human beings finding
a way to escape from the
everyday misery," he says. "Art
took them into another world."

d and the Struggle
eedorn, 19804 9

between the
Polish Mission,
WSU and

Forbidden Art

Talk of bringing Forbidden Art to the U.S. began
during WSU's Solidarnosc exhibit in 2010. From
left: Polish Mission Director Marcin Chumiecki,
former President of Poland Lech Walesa,
Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum Director Piotr
Cywinski and Wayne State's Mike Smith.

Forbidden Art makes its U.S.
debut Aug. 17-Sept. 1 at the
Polish Mission of the Orchard
Lake Schools, a Catholic center
of formation and education.

hE1 0



began when
Lech Walesa,
leader of
the Polish
president of
Poland and
Nobel Peace
Prize winner,
attended the
opening of
the Reuther

Library's Solidarnosc: Poland's
Struggle for Freedom exhibit in
October 2010. Chumiecki and
Smith had traveled to Poland to
arrange Walesa's visit, touring
the Auschwitz-Birkenau State
Museum and meeting with
Director Piotr M.A. Cywinski.

Thus began a two-year process
to bring Forbidden Art to
America. Following the two
metro Detroit stops, Smith and
Chumiecki have helped arrange
exhibits at Northeastern Illinois
University in Chicago and then

at UCLA; the logistics for a
possible Georgetown stop are
being negotiated.

As the exhibit leaves Poland
to travel across America,
Auschwitz-Birkenau State
Museum's Cywinski says, "The
memory is carried in the words
of the survivors. But it is also
stored in the objects remaining
after Auschwitz. These are two
faces of the same authenticity."

for careers in the market's most

rewarding fields — including the

health sciences, engineering and

education. Sign up for a tour at

wayne.edu and discover how you

can become a part of it all.

When asked how splendor
could survive such atrocities,
Chumiecki notes that talented
prisoners were sometimes
commissioned by SS officers
to paint portraits and
reproductions of famous pieces
in well-equipped studios onsite.
It's thought that perhaps these
artists smuggled supplies back
to the barracks to share with
fellow inmates. Of course, all
would have been done at great
risk. Such was the pull to leave
proof of one's existence as
an individual at a time when
every other aspect of life was

"Even under the worst of
circumstances, people were
compelled to create art and
protect it from harm," says
Smith. "Forbidden Art allows
us to celebrate that human

Rebecca Kavanagh is an editorial
specialist at Wayne State


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