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For decades, artists and architects have struggled to relate to the Holocaust in visual form, resulting in memorials that feature a diversity of aesthetic strategies. In Memory Passages, Natasha Goldman analyzes both previously-overlooked and internationally-recognized Holocaust memorials in the United States and Germany from the postwar period to the present, drawing on many historical documents for the first time. From the perspectives of visual culture and art history, the book examines changing attitudes toward the Holocaust and the artistic choices that respond to it.
The book introduces lesser-known sculptures, such as Nathan Rapoport’s Monument to the Six Million Jewish Martyrs in Philadelphia, as well as internationally-acclaimed works, such as Peter Eisenman’s Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe in Berlin. Other artists examined include Will Lammert, Richard Serra, Joel Shapiro, Gerson Fehrenbach, Margit Kahl, and Andy Goldsworthy.Archival documents and interviews with commissioners, survivors, and artists reveal the conversations and decisions that have shaped Holocaust memorials.
Memory Passages suggests that memorial designers challenge visitors to navigate and activate spaces to engage with history and memory by virtue of walking or meandering. This book will be valuable for anyone teaching—or seeking to better understand—the Holocaust.
Natasha Goldman is Adjunct Lecturer and Research Associate in Art History at Bowdoin College.