Holocaust Museum LA's archive is proud to feature a series of 17 monoprints by Washington, DC artist Jack Boul.
Profoundly affected by photos of the liberation of concentration camps he saw as a young U.S. soldier stationed in Italy during WWII, the stark images and dark lines depicted in Boul's Holocaust series attempts to convey the horror of the concentration camps while memorializing this catastrophic moment in history.
U.S. Army technician fifth grade Jack Boul, 1945.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Born in Brooklyn in 1927, Jack Boul attended the American Artist’s School in New York before being drafted into the U.S. Army in 1945. Boul served as a sergeant in an Engineers Battalion as part of the U.S. Occupation Forces and was stationed at a German Prisoner of War (POW) camp outside of Pisa, Italy. As Europe was liberated by Allied forces, photographs of the atrocities at Nazi concentration camps taken by the U.S. Signal Corps were circulated among the troops. Boul remembers showing some of these photographs to the German POWs at the camp where he was stationed and being met with denial.
After the war, Boul studied at the Cornish School of Art and then American University in Washington DC, where he went on to teach in the art department. He began exhibiting his artwork in 1951 in both group and solo shows. Boul, now 94, is a renowned artist, continues to paint every day at his studio outside Washington DC. His work – landscapes, still lifes, sculptures, and portraiture – is included in many collections, including the National Gallery of Art, San Francisco Museum of Fine Art, and Phillips Collection.
ABOUT THE EXHIBIT
The graphic and horrific images of the Holocaust stayed with Boul throughout his life. After he studied the official World War II photographs at the National Archives, Boul created this Holocaust series in reflection of what he witnessed. The collection was first shown at Washington’s Corcoran Gallery of Art in 2000 and later donated to Holocaust Museum LA.
The central themes of the series include loss, despair, and Man’s inhumanity to Man, but also the importance of remembering this traumatic history. Boul views the collection as his small way of keeping the history alive, himself saying, “I thought it was important that they not be forgotten.”
“Jack Boul’s series is more than simply about the Holocaust as a pictorial record. It transcends that, in the way that great art always transcends the immediacy of its subject...As with Kahlo, as with Goya, it’s an anti-war tract of great power."
- Eric Denker, senior lecturer at the National Gallery of Art
“Perhaps, then, this is what art is good for: to bear witness to the truth, no matter how often it is denied? To remind those of us who want to forget? To tell a story — yes, a story that has been told a thousand times before — one more time, to one more person.”
- Gina Nahai, author and professor of creative writing at USC
“The Boul show, seen in Washington, urges intricate remembering. Pause, it seems to say, retrieve and recollect..”
- Paul Richard, longtime art critic at The Washington Post
For more information, please contact:
Christie Jovanovic, Chief Curator of Collections