Samuel Bak Museum
Opened 16 November 2017
Neue Zürcher Zeitung (English Translation)
CROSS OF THE KNIGHT
Pucker Gallery is pleased to announce the recent opening of a new museum honoring local and internationally renowned artist and Holocaust survivor Samuel Bak of Weston, MA. Born in 1933 in Vilna, Poland, Bak demonstrated extraordinary artistic talent from a very early age. As Vilna came under German occupation in 1940, Bak and his family were forced into the Vilna Ghetto. He and his parents were later sent to a labor camp, from which he narrowly escaped. At the end of the war, he and his mother were the only members of his family to survive.
Bak has spent his life using his remarkable talent to explore his experiences as a child of the Holocaust and the basis of human behavior in our world. Throughout his long career, Bak implements in his canvases a visual vocabulary that deals with the atrocities of war. Recurring characters and images emphasize the destruction and fragmentation of his early experiences, while hopefully suggesting a rebuilding from that devastation. The juxtaposition of this intense subject matter with Bak's incredible skill for painting and his surprising palette, is startling. Bak's powerful paintings are not only artistically valuable, but also historically, and culturally significant.
The Samuel Bak Museum is located on the first two floors of the Tolerance Center of the Vilna Gaon State Jewish Museum. Bak has already donated over 50 works of art spanning his artistic career to this institution. In addition to the works from the artist, the Museum will also be accepting works in the coming years. Nominated by the Vilna Gaon State Jewish Museum, Samuel Bak has been named an Honorary Citizen of Vilnius by the Mayor. He is the 15th person to receive this honor, due to his exceptional contributions to Lithuania. Previous recipients include: Ronald Reagan (former U.S. President) and Shimon Peres (former Israeli Prime Minister and President).
It is important to note the honor for a living artist to have a museum dedicated to them. The Museum is a testament to his story, his life, and educating current and future generations.
To view responses to the dedication please click on the quotes below.
"Your powerful thoughts and words painted it all." -Darius Degutis 2017, 2010
"Is there a life lesson in the dedication of the Bak Museum?" -Bernie Pucker, 2017
Order for Merits to Lithuania - President of the Republic of Lithuania Dalia Grybauskaitė, 2018