Wednesday, March 9, 2005 - Sunday, June 5, 2005
Newcomb Art Gallery, Tulane University
New Orleans, LA
In the mid-1890s a local photographer named Zalman Kaplan began recording life in the small town of Szczuczyn in northeastern Poland, creating what would become a visual record, partly by his son Moyshe Kaplan, covering four decades - pictures of the market and the meetings, of the synagogues and the churches, of the countryside and the "beach," and above all, the people. But the photos of the residents of Szczuczyn were often passed on to relatives who now live in America, Canada, Australia, Israel, and Mexico. For the last decade, Michael Marvins, Zalman's grandson, has been reassembling this body of work. The images give a glimpse of a vibrant multi-ethnic culture in the years before the Holocaust, striking for their normalcy as much as they are a testament of tragedy. (Michael Marvins' father, Moyshe Kaplan, had come to America with his wife Sonia in 1929, changed his name to Kaye Marvins, opened a successful portrait studio in Houston in 1945, and built with his wife a renowned portrait collection that includes work by such masters as Richard Avedon, Margaret Bourke-White, and Roman Vishniac.)
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