Posted on June 15th, 2016 by Rachel
The Jewish Museum of Maryland is about to embark on an exciting new project designed to honor our community’s Holocaust survivors. As part of the Holocaust Memory Reconstruction Project, we are inviting artist Lori Schocket to spend the next two weeks with us as she facilitates a series of workshops for Holocaust survivors, descendants and their families. (Visit www.thehumanelementproject.com to learn more about similar projects that Lori has facilitated in other communities.)
Participants are asked to bring with them artifacts, including photographs and documents, that highlight their experiences before, during and after the Holocaust, as well as a written statement that summarizes their stories.
A collage from a previous workshop
During the workshops, which last between 2 ½ to 3 hours, Lori, along with a group of JMM staff members and volunteers, will assist participants as they share stories and incorporate the materials they have brought with them into collages on a 10” x 10” foam panel.
Previous workshop participants
Each collage will be reproduced onto a large metal framework that will become an art installation. The installation will be featured in the JMM’s upcoming Remembering Auschwitz: History, Holocaust, Humanity exhibition on display March 5-May 29, 2016.
Remembering Auschwitz also includes A Town Known As Auschwitz, an exhibition developed by the Museum of Jewish Heritage, A Living Memorial To the Holocaust, and explores the pre-Holocaust history of the town, Oswiecim, where the camp was located.
Workshops take place the following dates, times and locations:
Sunday, June 19: Jewish Museum of Maryland (15 Lloyd Street, Baltimore, 21202)
Monday, June 20: Jewish Museum of Maryland (15 Lloyd Street, Baltimore, 21202)
Tuesday, June 21: Jewish Museum of Maryland (15 Lloyd Street, Baltimore, 21202)
Sunday, June 26: JCC (5700 Park Heights Avenue, Baltimore, 21215 – In the Community Room)
Monday, June 27: JCC (5700 Park Heights Avenue, Baltimore, 21215 – In the Community Room)
Tuesday, June 28: JCC (5700 Park Heights Avenue, Baltimore, 21215 – In the Community Room)
Another sample collage
We are pleased to partner with so many different organizations on this project including the Human Element Project, Baltimore Jewish Council, Jewish Communal Services, Center for Jewish Education and the JCC.
Please contact me at 410-732-6400 x236 / firstname.lastname@example.org for more information or to register for a workshop.
Posted on March 23rd, 2015 by Rachel
On March 10, 2015, two museum educators and a visitor services coordinator ventured to Edgewater, Maryland for a workshop called “Creativity in Museums.” This rewarding and inspiring workshop was hosted at the Historic Londontown and Gardens. Linda Norris presented this workshop based on her new book, Creativity in Museum Practice. We discussed the importance of looking outside your work for inspiration either in a physical setting, the media, or professionals from different museums. To get the creative juices flowing we did a brainstorming activity. We started with a problem and wrote down a solution on a piece of paper. Then the paper was passed to the person next to you. This activity allowed for all voices to be heard, but also challenging because it made you think outside the box.
Failure is inevitable in life and often occurs in the workplace. This can be damaging to our psyche and our creative process, but is necessary. In a small group we discussed an instance in our careers where we had failed and had to choose the best story. Linda called this activity “Failure Olympics.” The importance of failure is how we overcome and learn from it. We cannot assume what our audience will like or feel about a program or an exhibition, but gathering and testing out ideas will hopefully allow us to create something interesting and meaningful.
Participants of the Failure Olympics.
Historic London Town and Gardens was the next subject of an activity called SCAMPER. Each letter represented a word such as Substitute, Combine, Adapt, Modify, Put to Other Uses, Eliminate and Rearrange or Reverse. We explored the campus answering various questions for each word at different locations. It was not the best activity for March as the ground was wet and soggy from the snow and rain, but it was not an overall failure. SCAMPER helped us to re-imagine and re-purpose the space being used while learning about this history of this organization. “Creativity in Museums” permitted us to bring fresh and creative ideas back to the Jewish Museum of Maryland. We hope to apply these practices to future exhibitions and programs.
William Brown House
Posted on March 19th, 2014 by Rachel
On March 13, I attended a program at the University of Maryland’s Health Sciences Library in conjunction with a traveling exhibition that the Library is hosting, Deadly Medicine: Creating the Master Race. This exhibit, created by the US Holocaust Memorial Museum, has been traveling throughout the country for several years. The exhibition explores the rise of eugenics in Nazi Germany and how the quest to create a master race resulted in a public campaign to rid society of “undesirables” including those with mental and physical disabilities as well as individuals who were considered members of inferior races, such as Jews.
The exhibition’s curator, Susan Bachrach, gave a lecture to a crowd of medical students, University of Maryland administrators and professors, and community members. Dr. Bachrach’s riveting talk included background on the history of the eugenics movement, both in Weimar Germany as well as in other countries including the US. Many in the audience were unaware of the fact that forced sterilization was legal in several states in the US in the first half of the 20th century. While Maryland did not have such a law, in one notable 1927 Supreme Court case, Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes wrote the majority opinion upholding Virginia’s law in the 1927 case against Carrie Buck. (For more on this case, check out www.uvm.edu/~lkaelber/eugenics/VA/VA.html.)
Although the exhibit is difficult to view from the point of view of its deeply disturbing content and imagery, the subject matter is incredibly important and relevant for contemporary audiences especially in light of current debates on medical ethics. Dr. Bachrach’s lecture included video testimony from Holocaust survivors including siblings who were sent to Auschwitz where they were subjected to the notorious Dr. Mengele’s experiments on twins. Following this emotional testimony, it was hard to look at a photograph of Dr. Mengele in which he looks like a “normal” doctor going about his business. We so often think of the perpetuators of the Holocaust as evil monsters and it is difficult to grapple with the fact that their appearance does not always conform to this characterization.
The USHMM has created a virtual exhibit on their website that features more information as well as images.
The JMM and BJC are co-sponsoring a teacher training workshop taking place at the University of Maryland’s Health Sciences Library on April 2. The program is open to educators of all backgrounds.
Deadly Medicine is on view through April 30.
A blog post by Assistant Director Deborah Cardin. To read more posts from Deborah, click here.