February 3 - April 9, 2023
From the Holocaust Museum Houston:
“Celebrated artist and Holocaust survivor Alice Lok Cahana made a vow as she faced the horrors of Auschwitz, and later, the Bergen-Belsen camp – if she survived, she would not hate those who imprisoned her and, she later learned, those who murdered her family. “If I hate,” Cahana often told friends, “That means Hitler would’ve won.”
Alice Cahana passed away in 2017, however, her story lives on through a prolific collection of artwork that illustrates her experience during the Holocaust and memorializes the lives lost. Holocaust Museum Houston (HMH) will celebrate Cahana, not only as an artist, but as a devoted friend, loving mother and resilient survivor, with the opening of The Life and Art of Alice Lok Cahana, on view February 3 through April 9, 2023, in the Josef and Edith Mincberg Gallery.
The exhibition of more than 15 mixed-media works includes two large pieces, “Have You Seen My Sister?” and “Bergen-Belsen”, on loan from the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, five works owned by HMH, and various unique paintings and one sculpture on loan from local friends, collectors and Cahana’s family. A video component of the exhibition will showcase personal stories and memories about Alice told by family and friends of the artist.
“Our first exhibition when the Museum opened in 1996 was a retrospective of Alice Lok Cahana’s works,” said Dr. Kelly J. Zuniga, CEO of Holocaust Museum Houston. “The 2023 show brings us full circle to honor her memory while introducing her prolific work to a whole new generation of art lovers.”
Alice grew up in Sárvár, Hungary, and at the age of 15 was transported to Auschwitz with her family as part of the massive deportation of Hungarian Jews. Liberated in 1945 from Bergen-Belsen, Alice was one of the fortunate few who survived.
In 1957, she moved to Houston where she studied art at the University of Houston and Rice University. Her early paintings were abstract color fields, reflecting the painting style that dominated Houston in the 1950s and 1960s. Paintings in this style relied heavily on color and flat surfaces devoid of representation. In the late 1970s, after a visit to her family’s former home in Hungary, began to create work through a new kind of mark-making, employing collage, along with an abstract visual language that could more directly express her memorial to the dead. She believed that her work had to be about the transcendence of the human spirit, the triumph of human spirituality over inhuman evil.
Alice Cahana’s work appears in prestigious collections around the world including Yad Vashem, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (USHMM), Holocaust Museum Houston (HMH), and her painting “No Names” is the only piece of Holocaust art on permanent display at the Vatican Museum in Rome.
Holocaust Museum Houston graciously thanks Presenting Sponsors Drs. Judith and Harvey Rosenstock; Anchor Sponsor The Fran and Mark Berg Family; Lead Sponsors Nancy and Jack Dinerstein, Dr. Anna Steinberger and Nancy and Irving Stern; Friend Sponsors Kelli Cohen Fein and Martin Fein, Heidi and David Gerger, Ellen and Dan Trachtenberg and Marsha Wallace; additional supporter by Nancy and Rich Freed, Simone and John Irwin, and Mitzi Shure and Jerry Wische.
For tickets and more information, please visit hmh.org.
Holocaust Museum Houston, Lester and Sue Smith Campus, is fully bilingual in English and Spanish. Located at 5401 Caroline Street, HMH is closed Mondays except Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Memorial Day and Labor Day from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; open Tuesdays through Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sundays from noon to 5 p.m. The Museum’s Legacy Café is open during Museum hours. Admission is $22 for adults; $16 for seniors (ages 65+) and AARP members and active-duty military; always free for children and students through age 18; and free to all visitors Thursdays from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. Parking is available at the Museum’s adjacent lot for $8 for a four-hour period. Tickets are available exclusively online. For more information, visit hmh.org/visit.”
On View: February 3, 2023 | 12–5 pm
5401 Caroline Houston
Houston, 77004 TX
(713) 942-8000Get directions