On February 18, 2016, a diptych painting (oil on canvas) by the artist Gershon Iskowitz (Poland 1921- Canada 1988) was hung in the Seminar Room (LB-362). It is on loan to the Webster Library, courtesy of the Leonard-and-Bina-Ellen Gallery. Additional chairs were delivered and the special railing needed to protect the diptych was recently modified to offer better protection for the painting.
The National Gallery of Canada website offers this very interesting information on the artist:
Gershon Iskowitz was a painter and draughtsman. He was born in the village of Kielce Poland in 1921. […] In 1939 Iskowitz’s uncle submitted a portfolio of his work to the Warsaw Academy of Fine Art. However, Iskowitz was never able to attend the Academy as on September 1, 1939 the Nazis invaded Poland. Iskowitz and his brother were sent to work in a Nazi operated factory, building wheel spokes for the German Army. In 1942 at the age of 18 Iskowitz was sent to the Auschwitz concentration camp. Two years later he was transferred west to the Buchenwald concentration camp. […]
In total Iskowitz would spend six years interned in Nazi concentration camps emerging at the age of 23. After the liberation on April 11, 1945 Iskowitz was sent to recuperate at a hospital near Munich. Two years later he began formal art studies at the Munich Academy of Art, as well as private studies with the Austrian artist Oskar Kokoschka. In 1949 Iskowitz would immigrate to Canada, settling in Toronto.
Post-war Iskowitz’s work was heavy with the memories of his experiences […]. This then lead to a period where he focused on the portrait and figure. However from the mid 1960’s onwards Iskowitz’s main inspiration was the Canadian landscape. A 1967 helicopter trip to view Canada’s northern territories was a turning point for his landscapes, after which his paintings developed into topographical abstracts […]. ”
For more information: http://www.gallery.ca/en/see/collections/artist.php?iartistid=2654
The Seminar Room was primarily designed for graduate students’ thesis defenses, meetings, and formal functions of an academic nature. It has 48 seats, of which 24 are around the table, and 24 along the walls. It is also equipped with the technology required to support different types of presentations and video conferences.