Samuel Bak Receives Honorary Doctorate, Legacy Award
Two prestigious organizations recently honored the work and legacy of renowned artist, Holocaust survivor, and featured Facing History and Ourselves speaker Samuel Bak. Seton Hill University in Greensburg, Pennsylvania, awarded Bak an honorary doctor of fine arts degree at its 25th annual Kristallnacht Remembrance Service while the Terezín Chamber Music Foundation awarded him a Legacy Award. The award recognizes outstanding achievements or contributions of time, treasure, and talent, in the service of causes related to the Holocaust.
"Artist Samuel Bak takes it upon himself to bear witness to the things that happened in those times, so that human beings today and those of tomorrow are spared a similar destiny on earth," said Sister of Charity Gemma DelDuca, co-director of the National Catholic Center for Holocaust Education in Israel, who introduced Bak at the Seton Hill ceremony.
Illuminations: The Art of Samuel Bak was on view at Seton Hill University’s the Harlan Gallery this fall. The exhibit, hosted by the university’s National Catholic Center for Holocaust Education, featured 20 original works by the artist. Bak and his wife, Josée, together with Sue and Bernie Pucker, donated the paintings for the exhibition, which is intended to be shared across North America as part of an important new education resource for Facing History’s work with educators and students.
Much of Bak’s art is influenced by his experiences of the Holocaust as a child in Vilna, Poland. "I certainly do not make illustrations of things that happened,” he told Facing History. “I do it in a symbolic way, in which only gives a sense of a world that was shattered."
Read "Holocaust Center in Greensburg Honors Survivor Who Became Artist," on the Seton Hill website.
Download free lesson plans on using Samual Bak’s art in your classroom.