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Artist Mark Podwal to Speak at Middlebury April 30

April 17, 2015

MIDDLEBURY, Vt. — Mark Podwal, an artist, author, and physician best known for his drawings on the New York Times Op-Ed page, will visit Middlebury College on Thursday April 30. Podwal will present his art and screen and discuss a short documentary film about his recent work. A reception and exhibition of Podwal’s prints will begin at 4 p.m. in the Axinn Center Winter Garden at Middlebury, followed by the film screening and discussion at 4:30 in Axinn Room 232. 

At the Terezin Ghetto Museum in 2014, there was an exhibition of Podwal’s 42 new paintings and drawings, which are disturbing reminders of how Europe’s extensive history of “Jew-hatred” laid the groundwork for the Holocaust. All 42 original artworks exhibited at Terezin have been published as archival pigment prints.

"For many years now, I have marvelled at Mark’s art and treasured his friendship,” said Michael Kraus, the Frederick C. Dirks Professor of Political Science, who helped organize Podwal’s visit. "No matter what his subject, the spirituality and the vitality of his images stays with you." 

Archival pigment prints of acrylic, gouache and colored pencil works on paper from Mark Podwal's portfolio of 42 prints titled, "All this has come upon us..."

Podwal recently donated a limited edition portfolio of the Terezin prints to Middlebury College in honor of his son, Michael Podwal, who attended Middlebury in 2000-2001. The portfolio, permanently held in Special Collections & Archives, is one of ten hors commerce copies signed by the artist. Sixty limited edition portfolios have been acquired by major institutions including the Library of Congress, the Bodleian Library at Oxford University, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, and Yale, Harvard, and Princeton Universities. 

In the 39-minute film created by Czech Television, Podwal offers a portrait of the creative process behind his Terezin Ghetto Museum exhibition. In the exhibition, titled, “All This Has Come Upon Us…” each artwork resembles a book’s pages on which tragedies pictured that befell the Jewish people are paired with biblical verses from Psalms. Filmed in Auschwitz, Prague, Terezin, Krakow and New York, the documentary includes interviews with Nobel Laureate Elie Wiesel and Metropolitan Opera General Manager Peter Gelb discussing Podwal’s art.

The reception and film screening are open to all.