Located in the Houston Museum District, the Holocaust Museum Houston first opened its doors in 1996, and is the fourth largest Holocaust memorial museum in the country. The museum strives to help raise awareness about how dangerous the prejudice and hatred that was promoted during the Holocaust was, and the latest exhibition to be hosted here, titled A Celebration of Survival, does exactly that.
A Celebration of Survival will be held at the museum’s Mindberg Gallery, and aims to encourage people to focus on the future rather than on the past. The exhibition has been created by Barbara Hines, who is known for the way in which she uses art to promote peace ad understanding, making use of interactive technology and breathtaking colors, lights, sounds and textures to provide a truly immersive insight into the subject at hand.
Veils of Remembrance
When you first walk into the exhibition, the haunting Veils of Remembrance is the first series of pieces that you will come across. This area features diaphanous silk veils with life-sized portraits of children of the Holocaust, making it feel as though you are walking among them. After this is the Portrait Walls, which displays photographs of 16 non-Jews that each played a significant role in saving Jewish lives, followed by the Quotations wall, which is where you will find snippets of touching words from local survivors and other prominent Jewish thinkers.
New Dimensions in Testimony
The New Dimensions in Testimony installation features extraordinarily advanced learning technology that creates an “avatar” of Pinchas Gutter, a Holocaust survivor, in the room. Using highly complex filming techniques, specialized digital technology and advanced natural language processing, this installation enables Gutter to answer questions relating to life during the Holocaust, providing a one-of-a-kind intimate experience with a survivor. The way in which the public is able to hear first-hand about one of the most important events in history, from someone who lived through it themselves, is an educational experience that nothing else can compare to. In addition to this, the technology utilized in this part of the exhibition is truly magnificent, and the Holocaust Museum Houston is one of just five locations in the country that has made use of this sort of technology.
There are many other highlights to the Celebration of Survival exhibition, with one of these being the Tree of Life. Created from powder-coated aluminium, this tree is where visitors can hang a metallic star, onto which they write their personal affirmations. There are also several voice recordings and images throughout the exhibit of important Jewish artists, writers, composers and more, as well as a world map that depicts the Jewish population before and after WWII, really driving home the massive number of lives that were lost.
A Celebration of Survival is currently running until the 30th of May 2017, and admission to the whole museum will grant you access to the exhibition. With the museum being open every day of the week other than public holidays, there are still plenty of opportunities to view it before it draws to a close.