INTO THE LIGHT: The Healing Art of Kalman Aron

  • Location:
    Museum of Jewish Heritage, 36 Battery Place, New York, New York, 10280, US

An intimate conversation with Kalman Aron + Susan Beilby Magee, led by Jean Bloch Rosensaft, celebrating the publication of INTO THE LIGHT: The Healing Art of Kalman Aron.

A six-year-old girl sits for her portrait by an unknown artist…. Fifty years later, he asks her to write his story. Renowned artist, Kalman Aron and author Susan Beilby Magee, discuss Aron’s emergence from the ashes of the Holocaust and his exploration of the nature of humankind, his own humanity and the mystery of life—on canvas. They reveal how Aron resolved fundamental life issues: How does one respond to the extremes of human brutality? What happens to the rage, sorrow and despair? Does one chose to remember, forgive, and heal?

Following the presentation, a book-signing celebrating the October publication of Hard Press Editions & Posterity Press’ INTO THE LIGHT: The Healing Art of Kalman Aron will be held with Aron and Magee. The book relates the life of this émigré artist from his youth as an art prodigy in Latvia, through four years of darkness in Holocaust slave labor and concentration camps—where drawing portraits of guards for morsels of food would save him from starvation. After the war, he made his way to the Vienna Fine Arts Academy where he received his Masters in Fine Art. He then left Europe, finding sanctuary in California in 1949. Aron first found success in America by painting pastels of children, later becoming known for landscapes and studies of people in his unique style of “psychological realism.” His work soon caught the attention of Hollywood celebrities and connoisseurs alike, and commissions arrived from such notables as Ronald Reagan, Henry Miller and André Previn. Shown in museums and held in private collections in America, Israel and Europe, Kalman Aron was honored in 2010 with the hanging of his iconic Mother and Child in the Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust. Aron resides in Los Angeles, California.

Tracing themes of courage, art, transformation and Holocaust history, INTO THE LIGHT presents a visual record of one man’s journey from the darkness into the light. “This book is a universal story about healing,” says Magee.“Its lessons relate to all who have suffered—physically or psychologically, whether collectively or individually. I hope it may guide all who seek to put their suffering aside and reclaim their light.”

Susan Beilby Magee’s career spans diverse realms of politics, economics and spirituality. A leader of the women’s movement and director of the Mayor’s Office of Women’s Rights in Seattle, she moved to Washington DC as a White House Fellow in 1976. Magee held policy and management positions in domestic finance and economic development in the US Treasury and Commerce Departments and later served as an international business consultant. Having earned a BA from Pomona College and MBA from the Wharton School, she has served on numerous boards of directors. Twenty-six years ago, she turned from business to matters of the heart, meditation and healing, becoming a certified hypnotherapist and meditation teacher. She is the founder of the Washington Circle of Master Healers and participates in healing programs at the Center for Prayer and Pilgrimage at the Washington National Cathedral.

Susan Magee’s life-long friendship with Kalman Aron began when she sat for her portrait at age six. A half century later, the artist asked her to write his story, and she spent countless hours interviewing him, his family and friends and other Latvian survivors. Over the past nine years, she traveled his path across Europe from Riga, through seven slave labor and concentration camps in Latvia, Poland, Germany and then Czechoslovakia and finally to Vienna where he studied art before coming to Los Angeles.

Free and Open to the Public with Advance Registration.