The collections of the Jewish Historical Institute include the biggest in post-war Poland collection of Jewish art: numerous judaica, objects of religious cult and paintings from 19th and 20th centuries by such painters as Maurycy Gottlieb, Artur Markowicz or Maurycy Trębacz. The biggest number of works, often unique, were made by artists of the generations which died during the war. The Underground Archive of the Warsaw Ghetto, also called the Ringelblum Archive, includes preserved works by Gela Seksztajn and other less-known artists, whose names we are not even sure of.
The exhibition "Salvaged" was organized by the JHI on the occasion of the opening of the exposition of the Museum of History of Polish Jews. We show original works from the interwar period and shocking works-testimonies from the Warsaw and Łódź ghettos. We show the best works, which will make the visitor aware of the richness and diversity of artistic experiments of painters of Jewish descent. Some of them directly show Jewish types, scenes from houses of prayer, whereas the others, like Roman Kramsztyk's paintings, are simply a good and interesting development of Cézanne's style.
These works have not been exhibited in years. The only remembered exhibition from the post-war period is "Exhibition of works of Jewish visual artists martyrs of German occupation 1939-1945." We return to this event convinced that these artists deserve our memory and recognition. It is also a good time to share with our guests treasures of the JHI constituting part of Polish and Jewish history and culture. I hope that the exhibition "Salvaged" will be acknowledged by you and that it will make it easier to understand how culture, tradition and painting styles permeate each other.
Director of the JHI