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Holocaust memory reframed : museums and the challenges of representation

Author: Jennifer Hansen-Glucklich
Publisher: New Brunswick, New Jersey : Rutgers University Press, [2014]
Edition/Format:   Print book : State or province government publication : EnglishView all editions and formats
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
Overview: Holocaust memorials and museums face a difficult task as their staffs strive to commemorate and document horror. On the one hand, the events museums represent are beyond most people's experiences. At the same time they are often portrayed by theologians, artists, and philosophers in ways that are already known by the public. Museum administrators and curators have the challenging role of finding a creative  Read more...
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Material Type: Government publication, State or province government publication
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Jennifer Hansen-Glucklich
ISBN: 9780813563244 0813563240 9780813563237 0813563232
OCLC Number: 847842716
Description: xiii, 261 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
Contents: Zakhor : the task of Holocaust remembrance, questions of representation, and the sacred --
An architecture of absence : Daniel Libeskind's Jewish Museum Berlin --
Architectures of redemption and experience : Yad Vashem and the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum --
The artful eye : learning to see and perceive otherwise inside museum exhibits --
"We are the last witnesses" : artifact, aura, and authenticity --
Refiguring the sacred : strategies of disfiguration in String, the Memorial to the Deportees, and Menora --
Rituals of remembrance in Jerusalem and Berlin : museum visiting as pilgrimage and performance.
Responsibility: Jennifer Hansen-Glucklich.
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Abstract:

Overview: Holocaust memorials and museums face a difficult task as their staffs strive to commemorate and document horror. On the one hand, the events museums represent are beyond most people's experiences. At the same time they are often portrayed by theologians, artists, and philosophers in ways that are already known by the public. Museum administrators and curators have the challenging role of finding a creative way to present Holocaust exhibits to avoid clichéd or dehumanizing portrayals of victims and their suffering. In Holocaust Memory Reframed, Jennifer Hansen-Glucklich examines representations in three museums: Israel's Yad Vashem in Jerusalem, Germany's Jewish Museum in Berlin, and the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C. She describes a variety of visually striking media, including architecture, photography exhibits, artifact displays, and video installations in order to explain the aesthetic techniques that the museums employ. As she interprets the exhibits, Hansen-Glucklich clarifies how museums communicate Holocaust narratives within the historical and cultural contexts specific to Germany, Israel, and the United States. In Yad Vashem, architect Moshe Safdie developed a narrative suited for Israel, rooted in a redemptive, Zionist story of homecoming to a place of mythic geography and renewal, in contrast to death and suffering in exile. In the Jewish Museum in Berlin, Daniel Libeskind's architecture, broken lines, and voids emphasize absence. Here exhibits communicate a conflicted ideology, torn between the loss of a Jewish past and the country's current multicultural ethos. The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum presents yet another lens, conveying through its exhibits a sense of sacrifice that is part of the civil values of American democracy, and trying to overcome geographic and temporal distance. One well-known example, the pile of thousands of shoes plundered from concentration camp victims encourages the visitor to bridge the gap between viewer and victim. Hansen-Glucklich explores how each museum's concept of the sacred shapes the design and choreography of visitors' experiences within museum spaces. These spaces are sites of pilgrimage that can in turn lead to rites of passage.

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"Well written and organized, fresh and significant. . . . Hansen-Glucklich successfully navigates the mechanics and aesthetics of Holocaust museums and their displays, from Berlin, to Jerusalem, to Read more...

 
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