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Art, Jewish History, and Augmented Reality

Art, Jewish History, and Augmented Reality

Myriad Lenses: The Evolving Act of Bearing Witness

A conversation with distinguished panelists from the Boston Museum of Fine Arts and Wellesley College Jewish Studies and Media Arts about never-before-exhibited photographs of the Lodz Ghetto during WWII, seen for the first time in Augmented Reality.

Thursday, June 24, 2021

You can find the Event Recording Here

Download the app from the Apple Store
The app, produced by Boulevard Arts, is called BLVRD Features, and the interactive experience for this event with the Boston Museum of Fine Arts is called is "Henryk Ross's Resilient Lens".You can explore the photographs through the app by moving physically closer to them, as though you were in a museum.

Polish, Jewish photojournalist Henryk Ross risked everything to document life in the Lodz ghetto under the Nazis between 1940 and 1944. His box of negatives, which were buried during the final liquidation of the Ghetto and then excavated after the camp’s liberation in 1945, offer an extraordinary and humanizing archive of images and other records–comprising the most comprehensive collection known of Holocaust photographs by a single Jewish photographer.

Inspired by a major gift of Ross’ photographs to the MFA Boston (publicly announced in February 2021) Wellesley alumna Elizabeth Reede ('84) and her team at Boulevard Arts developed an Augmented Reality (AR) app exploring never before seen images from Ross’ collection and the incredible story they tell about resilience and resistance. The AR app makes it possible for a broad audience to experience this piece of history. It also provides an opportunity for us to engage a discussion around the essential and evolving act of bearing witness to the past.

WJA will host a moderated conversation as they consider the intersection of media and storytelling from a number of different perspectives: How do we share and experience lived history? How do we keep memory alive? How should we address complexity or ambiguity? What does it mean to look at things through a 21st-century lens? How do we make history contemporary?

This event is co-sponsored by the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, Wellesley Friends of Art, and the Wellesley Jewish Alumnae Association. Join us for a conversation about these photographs and download the app to view them from your mobile phone.

Panelists include:

Kristen Gresh, Estrellita and Yousuf Karsh Senior Curator of Photography, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Josh Lambert, Sophia Moses Robison Associate Professor of Jewish Studies and English at Wellesley College

Claudia Joskowicz, Assistant Professor of Art and Co-Chair, Department of Media Arts and Sciences at Wellesley College

Larissa Bailiff, Senior Director of Education, Boulevard Arts

Elizabeth L. Reede, Wellesley class of '84 and CEO, Boulevard Arts

Untitled from Litzmann (Lodz) Ghetto
Henryk Ross (Polish, 1910–1991)
Photograph, gelatin silver print 

*Gift of Howard Greenberg in honor of Jacques Preis 
*Courtesy, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston