Mémorial de la Shoah Paris

Rachel Perry is a research fellow at the Strochlitz Institute for Holocaust Research at the University of Haifa. She lectures in the Weiss-Livnat Graduate Program in Holocaust Studies at Haifa University as well as in the Art History department at Tel Aviv University. She completed her Ph.D. at Harvard University in the department of Art History with a dissertation on art in France during the Occupation and Reconstruction.

Dr. Perry’s research straddles the fields of Art History, Visual Culture and Holocaust Studies with a strong focus on visual ethics and the relationship between aesthetics and politics. Her articles have appeared in edited books and in international peer reviewed journals such as History and Memory, Art Bulletin, Les Cahiers du Musée nationale d’art moderne, October and most recently in French Cultural Studies. Her writing attends to exhibition design, atrocity photography, histories of collecting, advice literature, print media and facsimiles and questions of cultural diplomacy and nationalism. An article on reenactment and performative practices in liberation era photographs will be published next year in Holocaust Studies: a Journal of Culture and History. In the spring, she curated the exhibition “Arrivals, Departures: The Oscar Ghez Collection” at the Hecht Museum and authored the catalogue A Memorial to Jewish Artists, Victims of Nazism.

The recipient of a Getty Postdoctoral Fellowship and a Chateaubriand Fellowship, in 2016 Dr. Perry was the Ailsa Mellon Bruce Visiting Senior Fellowship at Center for Advanced Studies in Visual Culture at the National Gallery in Washington DC. She recently completed a manuscript entitled Making Painting Matter: Jean Dubuffet, Jean Fautrier and Art in the 1940s with the support of the Dedalus Foundation Senior Fellowship.

During her EHRI fellowship at the Mémorial de la Shoah in Paris, Dr. Perry will research “Crimes Hitlériens,” an exhibition held at the Grand Palais in Paris in the summer of 1945. Drawing on the archives of the Centre de Documentation Juive Contemporaine and the Archives nationales, Dr. Perry will study the motivation, curation, installation, and reception of this groundbreaking exhibition. Organized and financed by the French government, Crimes hitlériens was the first major exhibition after the fall of Nazi Germany to focus on the crimes and abuses committed by the Nazis. How were objects, images and technologies deployed within the exhibition (films, dioramas and photographs) and in promotional material and ephemera (posters and articles). How was its reception shaped by national needs during the transitional period of the Reconstruction? How did it help to construct and bind national identity after the traumatic and divisive years of the Occupation? Dr. Perry’s research on this project is also supported by the Sharon Abramson Research Grant from Northwestern University and International Institute for Holocaust Research at Yad Vashem where she will be a postdoctoral fellow in the fall of 2018.