Charlotte Salomon (detail) from Life? or Theatre?, 1941–3

Public Lecture with Irene Faber

Sunday, September 7 at 7 p.m.
Jewish Community Centre
715 McKinnon Ave., Saskatoon


Irene Faber gives a public lecture about the artist Charlotte Salomon (1917-1943), who is represented in the Mendel Art Gallery exhibition, Convoluted Beauty: In the Company of Emily Carr. The exhibition and the lecture are sponsored by B’nai Brith Lodge 739 and Congregation Agudas Israel. Faber is Head of Collections, Jewish Historical Museum, Amsterdam.


About the artist:

Charlotte Salomon (b. 1917, Berlin, Germany) grew up in middle-class German-Jewish Berlin. In 1939, amid escalating Nazi aggression, she was sent to live with her grandparents in the South of France. When her grandmother committed suicide, Salomon learned that eight members of her family, including her mother, had committed suicide over the years. To avert a nervous breakdown, the 23-year-old confronted her own story through painting. Within a year she created over 1,300 small gouaches, using elements from films and comics, adding pieces of music as accompaniment. She selected 769 of these paintings to form a work titled Life? or Theatre? A Play with Music.

In 1943, when Salomon was 26 years old, she was arrested and transported to Auschwitz, where she died as part of the Nazi campaigns of mass extermination of Jewish citizens. Her epic work, Life? or Theatre?, had been left with her non-Jewish doctor for safekeeping, and in 1971, it was donated by Salomon’s father and step-mother to the Jewish Historical Museum in Amsterdam. Life? or Theatre?  was exhibited for the first time in 1961, and major exhibitions of the work have since appeared at the Royal Academy of Arts in London in 1998, Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; and the Jewish Museum, New York.

Exhibition Tour

Free exhibition tour every Sunday at 1 p.m.
Meet in the lobby. No registration required.

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Location & Hours

950 Spadina Crescent East
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan

Regular Hours: 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Free admission