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The FLIGHT Portfolio Lithographs from the collection of Dr. Herman Grishaver
July 7 - 28, 2012
On the evening of FRIDAY, JULY 27, Dr. Herman Grishaver gave a second presentation about the exodus of these artists - as well as of his and his family's narrow escape - from war-torn Europe.
During World War II, Varian Fry personally helped liberate many refugees from the oppressive, expanding Nazi empire, among them some who were considered dangerous simply for their work as artists. He continued in the effort of assisting war refugees and in the 1960s, in order to raise funds for the International Rescue Committee, he brought together twelve artists to contribute work toward a portfolio of lithographs (one serigraph) on the theme of "flight." The theme evokes the desperate situation imposed by Nazis on countless people, and has in some cases personally touched the lives of the artists in this collection. The portfolio was completed in 1971, four years after Fry's death.
The idea for the portfolio was proposed by an artist rescued by Fry and his colleagues, the sculptor Jacques Lipchitz. Lipchitz happened to escape Europe on the same ship out of Marseilles as did the lender of these works to the Crary Art Gallery, Dr. Herman Grishaver. The twelve contributors to the project were some of the leading abstract artists of the time. Included are Eugene Berman, Alexander Calder, Marc Chagall, Viera da Silva, Adolph Gottlieb, Wifredo Lam, Jacques Lipchitz, André Masson, Joan Miró, Robert Motherwell, Edouard Pignon, and Fritz Wotruba.
Other items on exhibition with the prints are historical documents and personal effects collected on this theme by Dr. Grishaver. He will give a talk during the opening reception on the collection as well as on the historical (and personal) significance of the impetus for these works.
Here is an informal interview with Dr. Grishaver on this topic: