The Museum’s first public art installation featured portraits of Holocaust survivors living in New York City. Photojournalist B.A. Van Sise spent the past year photographing survivors who are part of the Museum’s Speakers Bureau and who serve as Gallery Educators. Eyewitness was commissioned for Holocaust Remembrance Day at the Museum. 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.
“In a 15–year career, 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 once an elementary school teacher, 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.”
—B.A. Van Sise
Hear B.A. Van Sise discuss more about this project.