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Memory Unearthed


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The Lodz Ghetto Photographs of Henryk Ross

From 1941 to 1944, the Polish Jewish photographer Henryk Ross (1910-1991) was a member of an official team documenting the implementation of Nazi policies in the Lodz Ghetto in Poland. Covertly, he captured on film scores of both quotidian and intimate moments of Jewish life. In 1944, he buried thousands of negatives in an attempt to save this secret record. After the war, Ross returned to Poland to retrieve them. Although some were destroyed by nature and time, many negatives survived.

Memory Unearthed presents a selection of the nearly 3,000 surviving images- along with original prints and other archival material including curfew notices and newspapers - from the permanent collection at the Art Gallery of Ontario. Ross’s images offer a startling and moving new representation of one of humanity’s greatest tragedies. Striking for both their historical content and artistic quality, his photographs have a raw intimacy and emotional power that remain undiminished.

Edited by Maia-Mari Sutnik.
With essays by Maia-Mari Sutnik, Bernice Eisenstein, Robert Jan van Pelt, Michael Mitchell, and Eric Beck Rubin

Maia-Mari Sutnik is curator of photography at the Art Gallery of Ontario and adjunct professor in the School of Image Arts at Ryerson University.
Bernice Eisenstein is the author of the internationally acclaimed graphic memoir - I Was a Child of Holocaust Survivors.
Robert Jan van Pelt is a professor of cultural history at the University of Waterloo School of Architecture.
Michael Mitchell is an award-winning freelance photographer, writer, and documentary filmmaker.
Eric Beck Rubin is a writer, public speaker, and instructor at the University of Toronto.


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