Reckles' exhibit, "Antisemitism: Exodus to the Holocaust" runs through Sept. 17 and is free and open to the public. The public is invited to meet Reckles at a free reception at 6 p.m. on July 13, 2006, at the Museum's Morgan Family Center, 5401 Caroline St., in Houston's Museum District.
Reckles, a resident of Sugar Land, TX, will return to the Museum on Saturday, Sept. 16, for a free demonstration scheduled for noon to 3 p.m., as part of Houston's Museum District Day. During that day of festivities, youngsters (recommended for age 9 and under) will learn about his process of building miniature models inside glass bottles and will have a chance to construct paper versions of their own models.
Twenty years ago, Reckles discovered the old nautical art of building ships in bottles. This art form requires many hours of research aimed at creating a meticulous art piece from scratch. It utilizes hundreds of individually created components fashioned from different woods, metals and fabrics, with much of it assembled inside the bottle.
Reckles' long-time friend, Eileen Reed, a docent at Holocaust Museum Houston, had always enjoyed Reckles' work and suggested he should create miniatures related to the Holocaust and antisemitism.
Holocaust art has been depicted in virtually every medium, but this is the first known portrayal in this unique medium.
"This dying art form is pursued today by less than 200 artists in the United States though it dates back to 1600. Even in this medium's final decline, I have found a unique way to revitalize this art form in order to send an important message. At last, here is a way for me to personally speak against a practice that has disturbed me my entire life," Reckles said.
In his upcoming exhibit, Reckles uses his art to make both political and educational statements, depicting acts of antisemitism dating from 1100 to the Holocaust. Using this exclusive medium, each of Reckles' creations tells its own story of historical and personal antisemitic experiences.
The piece, "A Jew Lived Here," represents an interaction between Reckles and a villager in Sokolka, Poland. Fifteen years ago, Reckles traveled to Poland with hope of tracing his family history. During his visit, he met an old man who lived in a house that once was inhabited by Jews. The man had found a menorah buried in the garden and gave it to Reckles. The story of that interaction is uniquely portrayed in the piece. On his return, Reckles contributed the menorah to Holocaust Museum Houston.
Reckles' work has been recognized by museums worldwide, including the world renowned Smithsonian National Museum of American History, which has called his work "modern American Maritime art." His work also has been exhibited, collected and commissioned by individuals.
Reckles creations have been featured in several editions of "Ships in Bottles of the World," and his technical "how-to" articles have been included in many national publications devoted to nautical research, history and art.
Holocaust Museum Houston promotes awareness and educates the public of the dangers of prejudice, hatred and violence against the backdrop of the Holocaust by fostering remembrance, understanding and education.
Holocaust Museum Houston 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 Holocaust Museum Houston, call 713-942-8000 or visit www.hmh.org