Over a period of nearly a decade, acclaimed photographer, artist, and filmmaker Judy Gelles posed three questions to fourth graders around the world. Who do you live with? What do you wish for? What do you worry about?
The students’ responses spoke to the common human condition and range of societal issues we face today – from violence and global hunger to immigration, the demise of the nuclear family, and the impact of media and popular culture. Gelles incorporated the images and words of 65 of the youngsters, from 10 different countries, in an absorbing traveling exhibition aimed at connecting visitors locally and globally and bridging cultural differences.
Gelles, who died in March 2020 at age 75, described herself as a “conceptual and photo-based artist using words and images to provide social commentary on who we are and how we think.” Her work is included in major collections including the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Philadelphia Museum of Art, and the Museum of Modern Art in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Faye Schulman wanted the world to know: Jews did not go like sheep to the slaughter during World War II. They mounted resistance against their Nazi oppressors. “I was a photographer,” Schulman said. “I have pictures. I have proof.”
Her rare images, collected during her nearly two years in the forests along the Russian-Polish border with the Molotava Brigade partisan group, are spotlighted in the traveling exhibit Pictures of Resistance: The Wartime Photography of Jewish Partisan Faye Schulman. They capture the camaraderie, the horror and loss, and the bravery and triumph of the ragtag but resolute partisans – some Jewish, some not – who fought the Germans and their collaborators.
The exhibit, produced by the Jewish Partisan Educational Foundation and co-presented by the Midwest Center for Holocaust Education, also features a videotaped interview with Schulman.
Kansas City’s aviation history dates to the mid-19th century and a scene right out of Oz – the first ascension of a manned hot air balloon in the city, witnessed by thousands of people spilled onto rooftops and other high vantage points. It extends from biplanes to bombers, from dusty airfields to modern airports, from flying schools to the successful pursuit of a hometown airline, TWA.
As the latest chapter unfolds – and construction of a new $1.5 billion, single-terminal iteration of Kansas City International Airport moves toward completion in March 2023 – this new exhibit celebrates that rich heritage, charting the arc of air travel in the city and surrounding area. Kansas City had previously been a hub of transportation by water, by overland trail (the Santa Fe) and by rail. By air, too, it became (and billed itself) “Nearest by Air to Everywhere.”
The exhibit draws heavily from vintage photos and other images in the Library’s Missouri Valley Special Collections, and from the Kansas City Museum, the Jackson County and Overland Park historical societies and other cultural partners.