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Mauricio Lasansky’s “Nazi Drawings” in Context

The Baker Museum Exhibition Lecture

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Oct 20, 10:00am
Signature Event Space 10:00am
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The Baker Museum Exhibition Lecture
Mauricio Lasansky’s “Nazi Drawings” in Context: Grappling with the Holocaust Before and After Eichmann’s Trial in Jerusalem

Rachel McGarry, Ph.D., Elizabeth MacMillan Chair of European Art and Curator of European Paintings and Works on Paper at the Minneapolis Institute of Art

Argentine-American artist Mauricio Lasansky (1914-2012) executed his formidable “Nazi Drawings” series in the 1960s, just as the world was beginning to grapple with the atrocities of the Holocaust. In the immediate aftermath of World War II, the Nazis’ attempted genocide of the Jewish people of Europe was absorbed in the carnage of war. Survivors bore witness to a deafening silence in the 1940s and ’50s. This changed in 1961, following the trial of the notorious Nazi war criminal Adolf Eichmann in Jerusalem. Eichmann’s trial was the first to be televised across the globe. Ninety survivors testified, and their harrowing, heartbreaking stories illuminated the terrifying reach of the Third Reich and helped to humanize the millions of nameless victims. Following this watershed event, the Shoah was seen, felt, documented, studied and memorialized around the world. Art, literature, film, theater and television each played a vital role in shining a light on the tragedy. Lasansky’s “Nazi Drawings” were part of this effort.

This presentation is part of the exhibition Envisioning Evil: “The Nazi Drawings” by Mauricio Lasansky.

Rachel McGarry

Rachel McGarry

Rachel McGarry is the Elizabeth MacMillan chair of European art and curator of European paintings and works on paper. Since joining the staff at the Minneapolis Institute of Art (Mia) in 2006, McGarry has organized numerous exhibitions, including her most recent exhibition, Envisioning Evil: “The Nazi Drawings” by Mauricio Lasansky (2021-22). The accompanying catalogue considers the shifting understanding of the Holocaust in postwar America and the legacy of Adolf Eichmann’s 1961 trial in Jerusalem. In 2014, McGarry organized the exhibition Marks of Genius: 100 Drawings from the Minneapolis Institute of Arts and oversaw the important publication that accompanied the show. Presently, she is co-curating the exhibition Botticelli and Renaissance Florence: Masterworks from the Uffizi in partnership with the Uffizi Galleries. Opening in fall 2022 at Mia, the show will be one of the most comprehensive shows on Botticelli ever staged in the United States.

McGarry earned an M.A. and Ph.D. from the Institute of Fine Arts at New York University, specializing in Italian Renaissance and Baroque art. Her dissertation examined the early career of Guido Reni and his activities in Bologna and Rome. Before coming to Mia, she worked at Christie’s in New York and at the Metropolitan Museum of Art as an exhibition assistant in drawings and prints and research assistant in European paintings.

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