Post­ed by Nao­mi Firestone-Teeter

The touch­ing, haunt­ing paint­ings by Samuel Bak, inspired by the lit­tle boy from the famous Stroop Report pho­to tak­en in the War­saw Ghet­to in April 1943, are now avail­able in a book pub­lished by Syra­cuse Uni­ver­si­ty Press. Along with the images, Dan­na Nolan Fewell and Gary A. Phillips con­sid­er the his­tor­i­cal and visu­al impli­ca­tions of this icon­ic image and its con­tem­po­rary evo­ca­tions. The book, Icon of Loss: The Haunt­ing Child of Samuel Bak, is now available.

A sur­vivor of the Vil­na liq­ui­da­tion and a child prodi­gy whose first exhi­bi­tion was held in the Vil­na Ghet­to at age nine, Bak weaves togeth­er per­son­al his­to­ry and Jew­ish his­to­ry to artic­u­late an iconog­ra­phy of his Holo­caust expe­ri­ence. Bak’s art pre­serves mem­o­ry of the twen­ti­eth-cen­tu­ry ruina­tion of Jew­ish life and cul­ture by way of an artis­tic pas­sion and pre­ci­sion that stub­born­ly announces the cre­ativ­i­ty of the human spirit.

To view images from the book, please vis­it Puck­er Art Pub­li­ca­tions.

Orig­i­nal­ly from Lan­cast­er, Penn­syl­va­nia, Nao­mi is the exec­u­tive direc­tor of Jew­ish Book Coun­cil. She grad­u­at­ed from Emory Uni­ver­si­ty with degrees in Eng­lish and Art His­to­ry and, in addi­tion, stud­ied at Uni­ver­si­ty Col­lege Lon­don. Pri­or to her role as exec­u­tive direc­tor, Nao­mi served as the found­ing edi­tor of the JBC web­site and blog and man­ag­ing edi­tor of Jew­ish Book World. In addi­tion, she has over­seen JBC’s dig­i­tal ini­tia­tives, and also devel­oped the JBC’s Vis­it­ing Scribe series and Unpack­ing the Book: Jew­ish Writ­ers in Conversation.