A Celebration of Survival by Barbara Hines

An immersive exhibition designed to honor the heroes, victims, and survivors of the Holocaust, “A Celebration of Survival,” by Barbara Hines, masterfully addresses the Holocaust framed in a message of redemption and forgiveness.  On view at Holocaust Museum Houston’s Mincberg Gallery January 20 through May 30, 2017, “A Celebration of Survival” inspires visitors to focus on what “could be” rather than the horrors of the past.

“Barbara Hines is known for using art as a way to bring understanding and peace into the world,” said Dr. Kelly J. Zúñiga, CEO of Holocaust Museum Houston.  “Her work is breathtaking with its incorporation of different light, colors, sounds, textures and interactive technology that stimulates all of one’s senses to contemplate her message.” 

Upon entering “A Celebration of Survival,” visitors will pass through “Veils of Remembrance,” diaphanous silk veils featuring life size portraits of children of the Holocaust, creating the effect of walking among them. “Portrait Walls” throughout will don 16 righteous non-Jews of the 26,000 “Righteous Among the Nations” who saved Jewish lives during the Holocaust, while “Quotations” will project prolific words by local survivors and other prominent Jewish thinkers. 

Deeper into the exhibition, an audio-visual installation featuring New Dimensions in Testimony, created by USC Shoah Foundation – The Institute for Visual History and Education, will invite students and adults to hold a “virtual conversation” by “talking” with a Holocaust survivor.   This pioneering project integrates advanced filming techniques, specialized display technologies, and next-generation natural language processing to provide an intimate experience with Holocaust survivor Pinchas Gutter, an eyewitness to history who can answer direct questions while sitting in front of you in a three dimensional, face-to-face interaction.  

“Hologram” and “avatar” fail to accurately describe New Dimensions in Testimony, which engages conversation with the survivor by asking questions that trigger relevant, real-time spoken responses. Pinchas Gutter will answer questions naturally, as if he is in the room, addressing topics ranging from his prewar life through the Holocaust and beyond.   Through the artistry of Barbara Hines and “A Celebration of Survival,” Holocaust Museum Houston is one of only five locations in North America to ever host this extraordinary learning technology.  

USC Shoah Foundation Executive Director Stephen Smith added, “Hearing about one of the most important events in history directly from someone who lived through it provides a framework for students to debate the many issues impacting their own lives today – bullying, hatred, discrimination, refugees and immigration.” 

The multimedia exhibition is further enhanced with voice recordings and images of prominent Jewish musicians, composers, writers, scientists, and artists from pre WWII to present day, while a two-dimensional “Tree of Life” constructed of olive-colored, powder-coated aluminum allows museum visitors to hang a metallic star bearing their personal affirmations and signatures.  Additional features include a world map of the Jewish population pre and post WWII, and the projected population for the future using gold, pulsating lights; and a wall projection of the Yad Vashem searchable database featuring 26,000 names of “Righteous Among the Nations,” recognizing non-Jews who risked their lives to save Jews during the Holocaust.

“Holocaust Museum Houston gives us the opportunity to reflect about what choices we are capable of making in the face of adversity,” said Barbara Hines.  “’A Celebration of Survival’ is my first solo multimedia exhibition and I’m honored to host it in the city I call home.”

Barbara Hines is an international artist based in Texas with studios in Houston and Aspen, Colorado. Born in Germany, Hines immigrated as a young child with her family to Australia. Upon graduation from the University of Sydney, she returned to Germany as a foreign language teacher. Hines later moved to New York City where she studied design and art at The New York School of Interior Design and Pratt Institute in Brooklyn. While raising a family between Houston, Colorado and London, Hines painted and exhibited landscape, figure and still life paintings in oil on canvas. She currently is focused on her large, biblically inspired abstracts and Jerusalem landscapes in mixed media. Holocaust Museum Houston presents her first solo multimedia exhibition. Hines is represented by the Meredith Long Gallery in Houston and Gallery 1949 in Aspen, Colorado.

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 and builds a more humane society by promoting responsible individual behavior, cultivating civility and pursuing social justice. Holocaust Museum Houston is one of only 1,056 accredited American Alliance of Museums of the more than 33,000 museums in the nation.

Holocaust Museum Houston’s Morgan Family Center 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.

January 20, 2017 - May 30, 2017

Mincberg Gallery

M: Closed
T-W: 10 am to 5 pm
Th: 10 am to 8 pm
F-Sa: 10 am to 5 pm
Su: Noon to 5 pm