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|Catalog No.||15204||Similar Items|
|Brief Description||Janusz Korczak and the children - a statue by Shmuel Nussenbaum.||Similar Items|
|Registry No.||29304p||Similar Items|
|Period||After World War II||Similar Items|
|databank||Photo Archive||Similar Items|
Janusz Korczak and the children - a statue by Shmuel Nussenbaum.
Shmuel Nissenbaum was born in 1924 to a poor family in Warsaw, Poland. His father died when he was a small child and his mother could not support her four children, who lived in boarding schools. Nissenbaum moved from one institution to another, and in between lived as a petty thief in the Warsaw marketplace. At the age of ten, he was taken to Janusz Korczak's orphanage, suffering from pneumonia and other illnesses. He recovered after six months in quarantine, but was expelled and returned to the street. A painter and sign maker took him in and exposed him to painting.
On 16 September 1939, on the eve of Rosh HaShanah, during the German shelling of Warsaw, his mother and sisters were killed. He and his brother carried their bodies in a cart for three kilometers, all the way to a mass grave in the Jewish cemetery. Nissenbaum began his long journey to the eastern part of Poland, which was occupied by the Soviet Union. He survived the war in the forests, at the farm of a Polish partisan, a monastery and even in the Red Army. He was wounded and, after recovering, he travelled to look for his brother in Russia. He was caught stealing food and was sentenced to one year in prison. During his internment, he focused on painting. His paintings impressed his wardens and they helped him write an appeal that led to his release.
In 1946, after the war, he returned to Warsaw, where he was reunited with his brother. He entered a boarding school for young survivors of the Holocaust. He was admitted to an art school and later studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Wroclaw, where he graduated with excellence in 1956. During his studies, he met his future wife, Yehudit. In 1957, they immigrated to Israel in 1957 with their son.
Nissenbaum's diverse body of work includes oil and watercolor paintings, drawings, bronze and clay sculptures, woodcuts and mosaics. In 1959, he began to teach arts and crafts in elementary and high schools. He often painted Israel's landscapes as well as the atrocities of the Holocaust, out of an urge to cope with the pain through his art. For him, an artist should be vibrant and innovative, and never become fixated on one genre, hence his diverse oeuvre. Nissenbaum's great love for Janusz Korczak, who welcomed him to his orphanage, was expressed in many of his works. Close