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Liberated Prisoners at Buchenwald, Germany

Margaret Bourke-White (American, 1904-1971)

Liberated Prisoners at Buchenwald, Germany, 1945

  • Gelatin silver print
  • 10 5/8 x 10 5/8 in. (26.9 x 26.9 cm)
  • The Jewish Museum, New York
  • Purchase: Lillian Gordon Bequest, 2000-77
  • © Estate of Margaret Bourke-White/Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY

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Liberated Prisoners at Buchenwald, Germany

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Liberated Prisoners at Buchenwald, Germany


George Segal's decision to include a standing figure in The Holocaust was influenced by the survivors in a photograph by Margaret Bourke-White (click here to learn more about Bourke-White's work). Segal used a friend of his, an Israeli survivor of the camps, as the model for the figure.

  • How is Segal's figure similar to or different from the people in this photograph by Bourke-White?

  • Is it significant that Segal's figure was cast from a Holocaust survivor? Why or why not?


Six Prayers

Anni Albers (American, b. Germany, 1899-1994)

Six Prayers, 1965-66

  • Cotton, linen, bast and silver thread
  • 73 1/4 x 117 in. (186.1 x 297.2 cm)
  • The Jewish Museum, New York
  • Gift of the Albert A. List Family, JM 149-72.1-6
  • © 2003 The Josef and Anni Albers Foundation/ Artists Rights Society (ARS) New York

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Six Prayers

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Six Prayers


Unlike George Segal's Holocaust memorial, textile artist Anni Albers created a memorial that is nonrepresentational (click here to learn more about Albers's work). Some artists feel that figurative approaches are inadequate when it comes to dealing with the Holocaust, and they turn to abstraction as a means to express the inexpressible. Discuss:

  • Which work do you find more powerful, the Albers or the Segal? Why?

  • Why do you think an artist would choose a nonrepresentational approach over a figurative approach?