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"Becoming a Witness: From Abstraction to Figuration" Exhibition Lecture Series

Thursday, March 7, 2024 5:15pm

+ 3 dates

  • Thursday, April 4, 2024 5:15pm
  • Thursday, May 2, 2024 5:15pm
  • Thursday, June 6, 2024 5:15pm
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Exhibition lectures begin with a performance by a UNO flute student at 5:30 P.M. and are followed by a guest lecturer at 6:00 P.M. These Thursday evening lectures will be presented on a variety of topics that relate to the current exhibition Becoming a Witness: From Abstraction to Figuration. RSVP required.


February 8, 2024: Dr. Bridget Sandhoff, Associate Professor of Art History, will discuss Bak's relationship to the Etruscan city of Tarquinia, its history, and how it served as an inspiration for Bak's painting during his Italian residency.

  • Claire James & Christine Beard will perform a flute duo by Italian Jewish composer Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco whose music was banned, and the composer was forced to flee Italy due to antisemitism and racial laws imposed by the fascist regime in Italy.


March 7, 2024: Dr. Adrian R Duran, Professor of Art History, will discuss the artistic scene of mid-20th century Italy and the broader context of European painting within which Samuel Bak worked during the decades following World War II. 

  • Sofia Cormack will perform a flute piece of music by Daniel Dorff chosen to abstractly tie the idea of forced migration, being uprooted from one’s home, and embarking on a journey to the unknown.


April 4, 2024: Award-winning author Rebecca Clarren will discuss her celebrated new book, The Cost of Free Land: Jews, Lakota, and an American Inheritance, delving into questions of how to face the stories we tell about our families and our nations, how to grapple with the legacy of the past through a Jewish lens, and what it means to consider history with both truth and empathy.

  • Noah Edwards will perform flute piece of music by Dutch composer Marius Flothuis who, because he refused to support the Nazis, was banned, and forced to resign from his position as assistant artistic director of the Concertgebouw in 1942.


May 2, 2024: Dr. Jeanette Gabriel, Director of the Schwalb Center for Israel and Jewish Studies, will share her research on the Eichmann Trial.

  • Lily Gimse will perform a modern piece for solo piccolo by American composer Amanda Harberg entitled “Hall of Ghosts.” Though the work was originally composed during the pandemic to express the emptiness of concert halls, the work can serve as a metaphor of the courtroom (hall) being filled by the (unseen) ghosts of Eichman’s victims during the trial.


June 6, 2024: Dr. Christine Erlander Beard, Kayser Professor of Flute & International Studies, will review her research on the music of the Holocaust.

  • Christine Beard on flute will be joined by Mary Perkinson on violin, Tyler Sieh on viola, and Gregory Clinton on cello to perform works by two Dutch Jewish composers, Rosy Wertheim and Reine Osorio-Swaab, who were forced into hiding during WWII.

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