Talent Is Desire - Friedl Dicker-Brandeis and the Art Teaching Experiment

The exhibition depicts an interwar Central European avant-garde figure, Friedl Dicker-Brandeis. Despite the tragic circumstances, her Terezín pedagogical experiment is a persistently fascinating project not only for its complexity, but also for its applicability within the contemporary education.

“She wanted to increase a sense of something positive in us. Her presence made everything better – just like that, by itself.” These are the words of a holocaust survivor and a Friedl Dicker-Brandeis´s pupil Mrs. Evelyna Landová Merová.

When entering the transport sent from Chrudim to Terezín on December 14th 1942, besides just several essentials, Friedl has dedicated the rest of the allowed limit of fifty kilograms to her art supplies. After her arrival, this originally Viennese painter started to organize drawing lessons for the youngest prisoners. Not only this activity developed an esthetical feeling and expression among the children, but also helped them to overcome the anxiety caused by the stay at Terezín. Within her special exercises, that Friedl learned during her stay at Weimar State Bauhaus, she led the children to work with color and light and used a method of so called rhythm exercises through which the children forgot on the daily despair. The real therapy then took place in the so called „cabinet“, a little closet situated in the house L410, where the children could talk with their teacher privately. Until the extermination transports started in autumn 1944, Friedl was tirelessly teaching and also finding ways of ensuring a sufficiency of art supplies and material. With the number of four and half thousands of works, she has left behind the largest collection of children drawings in the world.

  • LANGUAGE VERSIONS: CZE, ENG
  • CURATOR: Michaela Sidenberg, Jewish Museum in Prague
  • DATE FIRST SHOWN: 2019

MATERIALS

project catalogue, collections of papers and brochures from individual schools, project methodology, film – all available on request

PROGRAMME

exhibition commentary by project instructor, Holocaust lecture by project instructor, exhibition guide training for pupils/students

TECHNICAL PARAMETERS

  • 20-25 roll-up panels

CONTACT

Zuzana Pavlovská

   

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