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Lecture: "Valuing Grief"

Lecture: David Shneer "Valuing Grief"

Blockbuster photography shows like War/Photography, about the history of photography’s role in documenting war, and Faking It, which looks at photographic manipulation “before photoshop,” have riveted audiences by the thousands.  One artist appears in both, a Soviet photographer named Dmitrii Baltermants.  In this presentation, Dr. Shneer tells the story of Baltermants’s most famous photograph, titled Grief, from its wartime origins on a Nazi killing field in southern Russia to its star-studded feature role in major art exhibitions in the 21st century.  He focuses on the question of value and how what was valued during the war in an image of fascist atrocities was not the same value that the image had in the 21st century. Dr. Shneer explores the history of its circulation, exhibition, and collection as he shows how Cold War politics, the emergence of institutionalized Holocaust memory, and the rise of the art market all co-existence simultaneously, and uncomfortably, in Grief.

About the Lecturer:

David Shneer is Louis P. Singer Endowed Chair in Jewish History, Professor of History, Religious Studies, and Jewish Studies and 2015-2016 College Scholar at the University of Colorado, Boulder.  Dr. Shneer is also a 2016 recipient of the Kenneth J. Botto Research Fellowship at the Center for Creative Photography. He is a Distinguished Lecturer for the Association for Jewish Studies and is a visiting scholar at the Remarque Institute at New York University. He blogs at the Radical Jewish Traveler. Listen to his interview for the Wexler Oral History Project at the Yiddish Book Center.  More information is available at: