Roberto Polo Gallery

The Gallery will close for Easter on Sunday, April 16th, 2017;

Jan Vanriet | PRESS RELEASE | Donation to the Museum of the History of Polish Jews (Warsaw)


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Press Release - Donation to the Museum of the History of Polish Jews (Warsaw)

Roberto Polo is pleased to announce his donation to the Museum of the History of Polish Jews (Warsaw) of two oil paintings on canvas by Jan Vanriet, father of Belgian Narrative Painting. Both of these paintings represent Jewish deportees from the Second World War, Esther and Mojsesz, are dated 2010, measure 50 x 40 cm and entered the museum’s collections on the 29th of September 2014.

The Museum of the History of Polish Jews opened in April 2013. Its exhibition space of nearly 13,000 m2, functions as a cultural and educational centre, a forum offering a multitude of events parallel to the permanent collections: temporary exhibitions, debates, performances, film screenings, lectures, theatrical events... The museum's official inauguration, with a permanent exhibition recounting the 1000-year history of Polish Jews, is slated for October 28th, 2014. The Museum of the History of Polish Jews is inscribed in the tradition of the most important museums in the world consecrated to Judaism, after the one in Moscow and before those in Berlin and New York.

The Museum of the History of Polish Jews was built on the ruins of Warsaw’s ancient Jewish quarter, transformed by the Nazis into a ghetto, now situated near the Monument to the Heroes of the Ghetto. This landmark location, steeped in history, demanded extreme caution on the part of the Finnish architects Rainer Mahlamäki and Ilmari Lahdelma, who conceived a highly symbolic and modern structure, a tribute to the Jewish people of Poland.

The presence of Jan Vanriet’s paintings in the Museum of the History of Polish Jews is significant. His work is often haunted by the sombre past of Second World War concentration camps: his parents, uncle and grandmother were deported due to their commitment to the Belgian resistance movement. The exhibition Jan Vanriet | Losing Face turns around the theme of deportation during the Second World War and first opened on the 13th of November 2013 to astounding visitor attendance and press coverage in the Kazern Dossin – Memorial, Museum and Documentation Centre on Holocaust and Human Rights in Mechelen (Belgium). An enriched venue of this remarkable exhibition will open in the Jewish Museum and Tolerance Centre (Moscow) on the 27th of January 2015, Holocaust Memorial Day, and in the Museum of the History of Polish Jews in 2017. The Moscow venue was conceived by the celebrated Berlin architect Sergei Tchoban and will feature a new publication on Jan Vanriet’s work.