Identity and Migration: Artists and Composers who Fled Persecution (February 27)

Artist of the FAS Conference Panel

Artist of the FAS Conference Panel, © Fritz Ascher Society

03.02.2022 - Article

What is it that defines human identity? DNA? Language? Culture? Landscape? Polity? Or is it a combination of all of these factors?

How do the sources of identity make it easy or difficult for individuals who migrate from one location to another—by choice or under duress—not merely to adapt but to become fully comfortable within their new home? How do artists, with their particular set of sensibilities respond to their own Migration?

“Identity, Art and Migration” investigates the experience of seven Jewish European artists who were forced to abandon their country of origin, or remain in hiding for years, in response to Nazi policies in effect from 1933 to 1945. These six artists: Anni Albers, Friedel Dzubas, Eva Hesse, Rudi Lesser, Lily Renée and Arthur Szyk emigrated to the United States, while one, Fritz Ascher, stayed behind in Germany, hiding in a basement for three years. These artists’ lives and work address the multi-layered concept of identity and the particulars of its expression from slightly different angles. Together with our Partner of the Fritz Ascher Society, the WCJ and the Sheen Center, we invite you to explore with us how these wrenching experiences affected their sense of who they were, and the art they made.

Opening Remarks

Consul Yasemin Pamuk, Consulate General of the Federal Republic of Germany in New York

Distinguished Panelists

Ori Z Soltes PhD, Georgetown University in Washington DC: Artist Refugees from Nazi Germany in the United States

Rebecca Erbelding PhD, Historian and Author in Washington DC: US Immigration Policy during the 1930s Refugee Crisis

Stephen M Rasche JD, Catholic University in Erbil, Kurdistan Region, Iraq Identity in a Time of Forced Displacement: Religious Art and the Iraqi Christian Experience

David Stern, German born American Artist, New York NY Immigration and Culture Shock in Times of Globalization

Musical Performance (Piano) Carolyn Enger, Steinway Recording Artist

- Arnold Schoenberg - Sechs kleine Klavierstücke Op. 19

- Emahoy Tsegué-Maryam Guèbrou: Homesickness Pt. 1

- Paul Ben-Haim - Canzonetta from Five Pieces for Piano, Op 34


Rachel Stern, Director and CEO of The Fritz Ascher Society

Sponsored by the Consulate General of the Federal Republic of Germany in New York.

Location & Time

Sheen Center, 18 Bleecker Street, New York, NY 10012

Sunday, February 27, 3:00 PM

For further information please visit https://migration.fritzaschersociety.org

Top of page