Displaced Persons: Photographs by Clemens Kalischer

Courtesy, Clemens Kalischer Courtesy, Clemens Kalischer

People have been the focus of freelance photographer Clemens Kalischer’s attention for more than 50 years.

Kalischer’s extensive body of work spans the image he contributed to Edward Steichen’s “The Family of Man” exhibit at The Museum of Modern Art in 1955, the freelance jobs he undertook for prominent magazines like Time, Life and Fortune, and the 35 years he worked on assignment for the New York Times.

This exhibition highlights photographs taken in 1947 and 1948 as displaced persons arrived in New York. “Displaced Persons,” one of Kalischer’s first series and one of his most personal and intimate, quietly chronicles the arrival of Holocaust refugees in the United States in the late 1940s, a scene of which he was both observer and participant.

The exhibit is based on the Kalischer collection owned by Houston attorney Marc Grossberg and from the artist’s own collection.

“I used to go to the harbor whenever a ship arrived… I had arrived the same way six years previously. I saw fear and expectation in the faces of men, women and children… because I had experienced the same thing,” Kalischer said of his work. ”I think it was the empathy which enabled me to move amongst the people and photograph them without disturbing them.”

Kalischer is currently living in Stockbridge, MA. He was born in Lindau, Germany in 1921. In 1933, he left Germany for Paris with his parents. After escaping from France, he came to the United States in 1942. He studied at Cooper Union and the New School in New York.

His works appear in the permanent collections of the Library of Congress, Brooklyn Museum, Metropolitan Museum of Art, the International Museum of Photography, the Museum of Modern Art and the Diaspora Museum in Tel Aviv, Israel.

The exhibit is generously underwritten by Frost, H-E-B, the Morgan Family Foundation, Carol Desenberg, Beth Wolff Realtors, Ilene Allen, H. Fred and Velva G. Levine, and Mr. and Mrs. Bruce Stein, and is presented with special thanks to Continental Airlines, official airline of Holocaust Museum Houston.

The public is invited to a free preview reception at from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 4, 2010. Admission is free, but advance registration is required for this reception. Visit http://www.hmh.org/RegisterEvent.aspx to RSVP online.

For more information, call 713-942-8000 or e-mail exhibits@hmh.org.

November 5, 2010 - July 24, 2011

Central 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