Samuel Bak Gallery and Learning Center, In Loving Memory of Hope Silber Kaplan
Opened 22 June 2019
Pucker Gallery is pleased to announce the opening of the Samuel Bak Gallery and Learning Center, In Loving Memory of Hope Silber Kaplan as part of the Holocaust Museum Houston’s (HMH) re-opening following its expansion and renovation. The culmination of five years of renovation and planning, the gallery will house a permanent collection of paintings by Samuel Bak, a child survivor of the Holocaust and internationally acclaimed artist. The learning center will work in conjunction with the exhibits to foster contemplation and conversation on Bak’s work in relation to his experiences, as well as the experiences of other victims of the Holocaust. It will also serve as an educational resource for children and adults alike. Speaking on the gallery, Sam said that it serves “to educate young people. To reach open-minded adults. Since my art speaks to the mind, and also to the heart, it could make a difference.”
Opened to the public on June 22, 2019 alongside the museum’s grand re-opening, the Samuel Bak Gallery and Learning Center is a 1,923 square foot facility located in the Lester and Sue Smith Campus of the HMH. Three galleries will showcase rotating exhibitions sourced from a permanent collection of 125 paintings donated to the museum by the artist, contextualized with information about Bak’s life and background. This gift makes the HMH the largest repository for Bak’s artwork in the United States, with the works spanning his life and career from his days as a child prodigy in the Vilna Ghetto to the present day.
In concurrence with the HMH’s transition to be completely bilingual in English and Spanish, all interpretations and publications on Samuel Bak available at the museum will now be available in Spanish. This will allow for further accessibility and inclusivity as 37% of Houston’s population is Spanish speaking.