Museum to Host Three Events on Holocaust Themes This July

HOUSTON, TX (June 17, 2010) – Holocaust Museum Houston will host two public lectures featuring internationally known experts on the Holocaust along with the film “The Rape of Europa” as part of the eighth annual Max M. Kaplan Summer Institute for Educators held at Holocaust Museum Houston July 6-9, 2010.

The institute is a four-day program that moves beyond the general history of the Holocaust to explore the various dimensions and implications of the Holocaust and other genocides.

The institute, held each summer, provides substantive content and the opportunity to network with internationally known scholars of the Holocaust and teachers from around the world. Working in the Museum’s exhibit space and classrooms, teachers grow in their understanding of the Holocaust and refine their skills to teach about the history and lessons of the Holocaust.

Sessions open to the public this year include a presentation on “The Roma in the Contemporary World” by Dr. Ian Hancock, professor and director of the Program of Romani Studies and the Romani Archives and Documentation Center at The University of Texas at Austin, from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. on Tuesday, July 6 in the Museum’s Albert and Ethel Herzstein Theater.

Hancock – a Romani scholar, linguist, and activist – was recently appointed a member of the Texas Holocaust and Genocide Commission. Dileep Karanth, editor of “Danger! Educated Gypsy: Selected Essays by Ian Hancock,” writes in the book’s introduction, “My teacher, Professor Ian F. Hancock, is an unusual man: unusual in his background, in the breadth of his interests and in the range of his accomplishments. He was the first Gypsy to be awarded a doctorate in the United Kingdom; he is perhaps the only person to hold three doctorates without having finished high school. Author of over 350 publications, esteemed teacher to generations of students and tireless spokesman for the Romani peoples of the world, Ian has achieved much fame and even some notoriety in his eventful lifetime.” Hancock regularly introduces non-Romani audiences of to the history, culture and complexities of Roma existence. In March 2010, Hancock presented the keynote address at the European Commission Meeting on Roma. In this public lecture, Hancock will share his scholarship and ideas at a time when the Romani people in Europe experience severe human rights violations. Hancock’s work suggests that the current situation of Roma must be explored from both a contemporary and a historical perspective. His expertise is both scholarly and personal, and his position as a Romani and a scholar allows him both opportunity and unique challenges.

On Wednesday, July 7, the Museum will present the film “The Rape of Europa” beginning at 6:30 p.m. also in the Museum’s Albert and Ethel Herzstein Theater at 5401 Caroline, in Houston’s Museum District.

For 12 long years, the Nazis looted and destroyed art on a scale unprecedented in history. “The Rape of Europa” is a feature documentary film that takes the audience on an epic journey through seven countries and into the violent whirlwind of ideological fanaticism, greed and warfare that threatened to wipe out the artistic heritage of Europe. Fighting back, heroic young museum officials and art historians from America and across Europe mounted a miraculous campaign to rescue and return the millions of artworks displaced by the war. Today, more than 60 years later, the legacy of this tragic history continues to play out as families of looted collectors recover major works of art, conservators repair battle damage and nations fight over the fate of ill-gotten spoils of war. Joan Allen narrates this breathtaking chronicle about the battle over the very survival of centuries of western culture.

Admission to both events is $4 for HMH members and $5 for nonmembers, but seating is limited, and advance registration is required. Visit http://www.hmh.org/RegisterEvent.aspx to RSVP online.

On Thursday, July 8, Nancy Yeide, head of the Department of Curatorial Records at The National Gallery of Art since 1990, will speak on “The Creation of “Beyond the Dreams of Avarice: The Hermann Goering Collection,” beginning at 6:30 p.m. at the Brown Auditorium Theater, at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Caroline Wiess Law Building, 1001 Bissonnet.

Yeide has been involved in World War II-era provenance for the last decade. As an internationally recognized expert on the history of art collecting in the 19th and 20th centuries, she has taken a leading role in conducting provenance research on works in the gallery’s collection and has spoken and written widely on the subject. Yeide was named the prestigious Ailsa Mellon Bruce Sabbatical Curatorial Fellow for 2002-2003, during which time she researched the art collection of Reichsmarschall Hermann Goering. The results of her extensive research were recently published in the catalogue raisonné “Beyond the Dreams of Avarice: The Hermann Goering Collection.” According to Yeide, next to Hitler, Goering was the most voracious collector of artworks plundered from Nazi-occupied lands. Goering believed himself to be a sophisticated connoisseur and, in his own mind, a Renaissance man. At his country estate, Carinhall, outside Berlin, Goering built galleries to display his growing collection. Yeide’s analysis suggests that the Goering Collection held more than 1,800 works, looted from collections, museums and galleries across Nazi-occupied Europe. Yeide holds a master of arts degree from American University and serves on a number of professional advisory panels. She is a frequent lecturer on a variety of topics at universities and museums around the world.

Admission to Yeide’s lecture is free, but seating is limited, and advance registration is required. Visit http://www.hmh.org/RegisterEvent.aspx to RSVP online.

These programs have been supported by a grant from the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany. For their support of the Max M. Kaplan Summer Institute for Educators, Holocaust Museum Houston thanks the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany; the Max M. Kaplan Teacher Education Fund; the Chevra Kadisha Holocaust Studies Scholarship Fund; the Lea K. Weems Memorial Scholarship Fund; H-E-B, Corporate Chairman Circle Member; and Continental Airlines, the official airline of Holocaust Museum Houston.

Holocaust Museum Houston is dedicated to educating people about the Holocaust, remembering the 6 million Jews and other innocent victims and honoring the survivors' legacy. Using the lessons of the Holocaust and other genocides, the Museum teaches the dangers of hatred, prejudice and apathy.

Holocaust Museum Houston’s Morgan Family Center is free and open to the public and is located in Houston’s Museum District at 5401 Caroline St., Houston, TX 77004. For more information about the Museum, call 713-942-8000 or visit www.hmh.org.

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