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[BKARTS] New Exhibition at the Yale University Library


Anatol Girs
Hosted by the Arts of the Book Collection and the Slavic & East European
Collection, Yale University Library
September 3, 2002 - November 29, 2002

The exhibition showcases the work of the Polish book designer and
publisher, Anatol Girs (1904 - 1990).  The books published by Girs before
and after World War II are extraordinary, not only in their craftsmanship
and clarity of design, but in their relationship to the major world events
of the time.  They also illustrate the enduring creativity of an artist
during the most harrowing period of the twentieth century.  This exhibition
brings together works from all periods of Girs' career, highlighting the
groundbreaking book of short stories, "We Were in Auschwitz" (1946).

Before the war, Girs worked in collaboration with fellow artist Boleslaw
Barcz to design and publish books and other works of graphic art at their
firm, the Girs-Barcz Atelier.  Their designs won international prizes
including the Grand Prix in Florence (1933) and the Grand Cup in London
(1934).  The success prompted them to open their own press in 1938, the
Oficyna Warszawska.  However, this new venture did not survive the unstable
politics of the time.  Barcz was killed and the press burned during the
Warsaw Uprising.  Girs was arrested and imprisoned in several concentration
camps, including Auschwitz.  After the war, Girs encouraged fellow
survivors Tadeusz Borowski, Janusz Nel Siedlecki and Krystyn Olszewski to
write down their experiences, which resulted in the 1946 publication.  Girs
moved to the United States in 1947, and continued creating printed and
graphic works until his death.

The exhibit, "Anatol Girs," is made possible by the generous loan of works
from the private collection of Barbara Girs.  Alicia Nitecki, associate
professor of English at Bentley College in Waltham, Massachusetts, and
translator of the 2000 English translation of "We Were in Auschwitz," is
also a major contributor.

Professor Nitecki will speak on Friday, October 11, 2002, at 3:30 p.m. in
the Sterling Memorial Library Lecture Hall.

Call the Arts of the Book Collection for further information. 203.432.1712

Jae Jennifer Rossman
Special Collections Librarian &
Curator, Arts of the Book Collection
Yale University Library
PO Box 208240
New Haven CT  06520-8240 USA
(203) 432-1712
(203) 432-0549 (fax)

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