Posts Tagged ‘Museum’

Joel Shapiro’s Loss and Regeneration poignantly addresses the disintegration of families and the tragedy of lives interrupted by the Holocaust. Shapiro’s work, situated on the plaza along Raoul Wallenberg Place, consists of two bronze elements that engage in symbolic dialogue.

After visitors have viewed the exhibitions chronicling the ghettos and the death camps, they enter the second-floor lounge to encounter a wall drawing by Sol LeWitt, entitled Consequence. Five large squares dominate the long wall.

Each square is bordered in black, and contains a central gray square outlined with a band of white. In between the white and black contours are subtle colors of varying hues.

The rhythmic pattern of squares within squares invites introspection, while the fields of color suggest absence. It represents lives, families, and communities made vacant as a consequence of the Holocaust.

Visitors encounter Ellsworth Kelly’s work in the third-floor lounge after touring the exhibition sequences that recount the escalation of Nazi violence between 1933 and 1939. In contrast to the dimly-lit exhibition spaces, the lounge is high-ceilinged and filled with light.

On two opposing walls are Kelly’s four wall sculptures, collectively entitled Memorial. The largest of four pieces is a white fan-shaped panel that stretches almost 27 feet at its widest point and floats several inches from the wall.

Opposite are three identical, evenly spaced white rectangles that also project several inches from the wall. Kelly’s sculptures create a constant interplay of light and shadow that changes throughout the day.

The Museum’s first floor holds the Hall of Witness, a large, three-story, sky-lit gathering place. The elements of dislocation that are first introduced outside the building reappear here.

Visitors move through a canopied entrance and cross over a raw steel platform to enter the Hall of Witness. It is a transitional threshold that separates and displaces the visitor from the outside world.

The building employs construction methods from the industrial past. The raw brick is load bearing, turnbuckles connect tie rods, and structure is exposed.

The glass roof shears the building on a diagonal line. The skylight drops beneath the flanking brick walls to the third-floor level, pressing down upon the open space below even as it opens the visitor’s view to the sky above.

Above the skylight, visitors in the Hall can see spectral-like figures crossing overhead on glass bridges that connect the north and south towers, lending an unsettling air of surveillance. The fissure underscores a sense of imbalance, distortion, and rupture, which are characteristics of the civilization in which the Holocaust took place.

Design features that fill the Hall of Witness and recur throughout the building summon more directly the tragic themes of the Holocaust. Crisscrossed steel trappings seem to brace the harsh brick walls against some great internal pressure.

The Hall’s main staircase narrows unnaturally toward the top, like receding rail tracks heading to a camp. The west wall of the Hall of Witness is made of black granite, the east wall of white marble – the former ominous, the latter hopeful.

The play of light and shadow, along with contrasting wide and narrow spaces, arouses contradictory notions of accessibility and confinement. The entire Hall is defined by unpredictability and uncertainty.

Altogether, the interior suggests a departure from the norm, informing visitors that they are in a profoundly different place. It is an environment that stimulates memory and sets an emotional stage for the Museum’s exhibitions.

Memory, above all, defines the Hall of Remembrance, the national memorial to victims of the Holocaust. Occupying the interior of the hexagonal structure that overlooks Eisenhower Plaza, the Hall is a solemn, simple space designed for public ceremonies and individual reflection.

Epitaphs are set onto the limestone walls that encircle an eternal flame. Diffused sunlight illuminates the Hall as it passes through the translucent glass of a high, center skylight.

The floor is red granite, spattered and cracked by natural fissures. Narrow openings on the side walls let in light and offer partial views of the Washington Monument and the Jefferson Memorial.

Jack R. Landry has worked in the travel business for 10 years. He has many recommendations of things to do in Washington DC.

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Visiting this museum is an emotional experience so be sure that you have enough time and stamina. The permanent exhibits are not recommended for children under 11 years old.

There is a separate exhibit for ages 8 and up that tells the story of the Holocaust through the eyes of a young boy. In the 1930s, the American filmmaker Julien Bryan chronicled life in Poland and Nazi Germany.

When Germany invaded Poland in September 1939, Bryan risked his life to record the ferocious siege of Warsaw. Bryan embraced this philosophy throughout his career by aiming to further world understanding through documentary films.

Bryan’s collection includes still photographs and a film gallery. Curators’ Corner is a behind-the-scenes look at the Museum’s collections and the stories they bring to life.

In this monthly series, the museum staff narrates the stories behind artifacts, photographs, and documents in our collections. “Auschwitz: Through the Lens of the SS: Photos of Nazi Leadership at the Camp” is a photo album depicting exactly what happened in the Nazi leadership camps.

The inscription “Auschwitz 21.6.1944” on its first page signals the uniqueness of the album. There are very few wartime photographs of the Auschwitz concentration camp complex, which included Auschwitz-Birkenau, the largest Nazi killing center.

Though his name does not appear anywhere in the album, the dates of the photographs and various decorations including adjutant cords on the uniform of the album’s owner, indicate that the album almost certainly belonged to and was created by SS-Obersturmfuhrer Karl Hocker. Hocker was the adjutant to the commandant of Auschwitz, SS-Sturmbannfuhrer Richard Baer.

Hocker was stationed at Auschwitz from May 1944 until the evacuation of the camp in January 1945. The photographs depict Hocker with other SS officers in Auschwitz in the summer and fall of 1944 and provide us with a new understanding of their lives and activities in the camp.

Even in the final months of the war, after Soviet troops had liberated concentration camps and labor camps to the east, SS officers stationed at Auschwitz enjoyed social functions and formal ceremonies. The album shows Auschwitz at a pivotal time-the period during which the gas chambers were operating at maximum efficiency-as the Hungarian Jews arrived and during the last months before the evacuation of the camp.

The only other known album of photographs taken at Auschwitz, published as the “Auschwitz Album,” specifically depicts the arrival of the Hungarian Jews and the selection process that the SS imposed upon them. American Friends Service Committee Collection: Guide to Names Mentioned and Name Lists Found in the AFSC Records Relating to Humanitarian Work in France and North Africa

The records documenting the American Friends Service Committee’s (AFSC) work in France in the 1940’s contain numerous lists of names of Quaker workers and the people they tried to help. These records can be found in both “American Friends Service Committee Records Relating to Humanitarian Work in France 1933-1950” as well as “American Friends Service Committee Records Relating to Humanitarian Work in North Africa, 1942-1945.”

An index of over 3,000 names appears in these collections. It was created by the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Archives and includes the Names of Children Considered for Emigration to the United States and the Names of Refugees Appearing on Lists of Convoys.

The Holocaust was the systematic, bureaucratic, state-sponsored persecution and murder of approximately six million Jews and millions of others by the Nazi regime and its collaborators. The personal effects of some of the victims – photos, clothing, letters – have become historical artifacts, speaking to lives that might otherwise be gone forever.

The USHMM’s 2007 Membership Calendar highlights artifacts and documents from the Museum’s collections. The millions of artifacts, documents, photographs, films, and testimonies help us gain a deeper understanding of the lessons of the Holocaust for today’s world and will stand as evidence of humanity’s greatest crimes for ages to come.

The website Life After the Holocaust documents the experience of six Holocaust survivors whose journey brought them to the United States, and reveals the complexity of starting over. Through each of the six themes as well as individual interviews with the survivors, visitors of the site can explore their stories and get a glimpse into their lives.

Terry Daniels has worked in the travel business for 10 years. He has many recommendations of things to do in Washington DC.

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Top 10 shocking architectural failures in history!
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Architecture is one of the most astounding and complex professions in the world today. It has only been well over a century since skyscrapers first made their appearance in the late nineteenth century, complete with photos of the construction that alarmingly include men eating their lunch thousands of feet into the air with nothing to hang on to should they fall. Architecture requires some of the most brilliant minds in the world today, as complex designs have to have a way to stay standing. If you look at buildings from the earlier times, they looked like square boxes with some windows. But the innovation of design has challenged architects to be more creative and productive in their designs. From buildings to bridges, people want more aesthetics than functionality these days. However, functionality is crucial because it can make the difference between life and death.
If a student makes an error on their test, the worst thing that will happen is that they get a bad grade. If an artist messes up on a piece, the worst thing that will happen is that there was time lost and wasted. But if an architect makes an error, then there is more devastation and more at risk. If an architect writes up plans that are flawed, and those plans are published around the world, then there is potential for worldwide catastrophe. When it all comes down to it, architectural failures can be devastating and lives can be lost at epic proportions.
In this video are ten of the biggest architecture failures that have ever occurred around the world. Not only did these fails result in monetary loss, but also resulted in catastrophic damage to the people involved that involved PTSD and death. From the collapse of bridges to the downfall of some of the mightiest buildings to have ever existed, these failures are a grim reminder that we are still not perfect and have a lot of work to do in terms of how much we can create on our own.
Sometimes loss of life isn’t the only major issue when it comes to architecture failures. Sometimes it’s something as simple as color of the building. Take the Walt Disney Concert Hall and the Vdara Hotel and Spa. The buildings are both very shiny and reflect the sun, thus unintentionally creating a massive heat ray that moves as the Earth moves around the sun. People have actually reported their hair getting singe and plastic melting from the rays coming off of the buildings. Perhaps that’s why we don’t see many silver buildings anymore?
The entries in this video are both tragic and humorous. As the art of architecture continues to evolve and change, we will likely see more failures come as experimentation in the building world continues to progress. We are learning with each building how to create something bigger and better, along with making sure that the building is safe and not put together with paperclips, glue, and maybe a few thumbtacks.

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The Bridge on the River Kwai was a famous movie made in 1957 detailing the events surrounding the Thai-Burmese railway being built by the Japanese during World War 2. I remember seeing this movie on television as a child, but it wasn’t until I visited Kanchanaburi that I understood its significance.

Go to any guesthouse in the Kanchanaburi locale and you will find a large posters and information books listing activities and prices for day trips to visit some of the only World War 2 memorabilia in Thailand. For a very reasonable cost, you will be transported directly from your Kanchanaburi hotel to a piece of history.

Some tours half and half days involving tours of other favourite Thai and tourist locations such as Erawan National Park before heading for World War 2 submerged afternoon. Be aware that the experience can be overwhelming, especially for those somehow affected by World War 2 directly or indirectly. Those that had family members in the war may want to take extra time to explore history and impending emotions surrounding the controversial and divisive past. If you choose to skip the Erawan National Park portion of your journey, you can opt for a full-day tour of the World War 2 museum and historical counterparts or simply rent a car at one of the many day hire places and take a stunning drive through the Thai countryside.

Roads leading to Thai tourist destinations tend to be relatively easy to navigate. In an effort to increase and support the Thai tourism industry, the Tourism Authority of Thailand has spent quite a lot of money in developing the infrastructure of tourist destinations, even when other parts of the country go to the pits. Maps are also available in English though you will need to be cautious in the roads as motorcycles can often get caught in blind spots and disorient the driver. Some road rules also differ that the West, though the main problem being that Thai drivers sometimes don’t abide by the rules at all. Be particularly careful at cross streets and traffic lights where right of way does not always equal right to drive. Please make sure that your car is fully insured. On the plus side, renting a car or perhaps a personal driver for a very reasonable cost, will give you more time to explore as well as give full attention to loved ones.

To start you will want to head to the World War 2 history museum. Developed with the help of the Tourism Authority of Thailand as well as benefactors from families involved in World War 2, this mature and handsome museum offers a peek into what it was like to be a Prisoner of War during World War 2. Historical and well-preserved photographs line the walls, as do genuine artifacts such as ankle cuffs and work tools. There is even a documentary played for each visit to help inform today’s generation of the gruesome details of the World’s sordid past.

Following the video you will be guided down to winding hillside path, which leads to Hellfire Pass, also known as Konyu Cutting. This was an unfinished portion of the Burma-Siam Death railway where many men lost their lives and suffered severe injuries from torture and endless days of work in spite of cankerous sores covering their bodies. Many died of sepsis; a blood infection from unhealed wounds. Many were also murdered by Japanese camp officers for being weakened and failing to comply with work demands. The dirt solid tunnel is haunting, especially as a quick wind sweeps through what is normally a peaceful and stunning mountainside.

Lek Boonlert is an editor and content reviewer at DirectRooms and is responsible for all Kanchanaburi Hotels content.