If you’ve been to the Museum in the last few years, or seen photos of it, you have seen the portraits of Holocaust survivors displayed on the entrance of the building. These portraits, created by artist B.A. Van Sise, make up our first public photography installation, titled Eyewitness, which was commissioned for Yom HaShoah/Holocaust Remembrance Day at the Museum in 2017.
The installation consists of 31 photographs of Holocaust survivors (between 4 and 13 feet high) filling the windows of the Museum’s façade and windows along the Reflection Passage on the Museum’s third floor.
Speaking about his work, B.A. Van Sise noted, “In a fifteen year career as a photojournalist, this has possibly been the single hardest assignment I have ever taken on. I chat with the subjects, listening to their stories, and I end up carrying part of their lives within me, after I leave. I was an elementary school teacher in a previous life, and many of the survivors were roughly the age of the first graders I used to teach, when they went through the Holocaust. Meeting these people, you realize: they were never children.”
Starting April 21, 2020 – Yom HaShoah – we will be posting profiles of the survivors featured in Eyewitness on our blog. We look forward to sharing these wonderful portraits, and the histories of these survivors that show their strength, courage, and resilience.