19 Mar - 29 Sep

Charlotte Salomon in Close up


In the spring and summer of 2024, part of the Jewish Museum will be transformed into a cinema theater from the 1920s and 1930s. Charlotte Salomon in Close up shows the influence of film on Salomon’s world-famous life artwork To live? or Theater?

To live? Or Theater?
Charlotte Salomon is a young Jewish woman in 1930s Berlin. She grows up in an environment full of music, art and culture, and studies at the art academy. In 1939 she fled from the Nazis to the south of France where she stayed with her grandparents. There she created a special multimedia work of art that consisted of almost 800 gouaches. Salomon was murdered in Auschwitz in 1943. She was then 26. In 1947 her parents found the work of art, To live? Or Theater? and publish it. The work captured the imagination of many and became world famous.

Berlin & film
Salomon’s home city of Berlin was a center of artistic creativity where the – then relatively new – medium of film was explored in many ways. Directors and screenwriters created stories and images in exceptional and new forms. In the film theaters the audience experienced a new world, full of visual stimuli and experiences. Charlotte also liked to go to the cinema. The influence of this resonates in many ways in To live? or Theater?

The work is very similar to a storyboard for a film. For example, she uses flashbacks and interleaving pages are reminiscent of intertitles in silent films from the 20s and 30s.

New light
Charlotte Salomon in Close up sheds new light on Salomon’s work. By combining film footage from that time with gouaches from the artwork, you are invited to look at the influence of film from pre-war Berlin on Salomon’s unique artistic legacy.

Charlotte Salomon in Close up, until September 29, 2024, Jewish Museum, Amstelstraat 1, entrance ticket: €20.00

Joods Museum