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A cover and five individual pages, with titles, publishing information, and a dedication, prefacing a collection of prints.

A bound cover of a portfolio of prints and five horizontal rectangular sheets that introduce them are shown in six individual images. The cover is a muted purple-gray board with a typeset title and a long rectangular detail of a drawing of skeletal bodies. The first page is entirely black, with the embossed title,”THE HOLOCAUST” at center. The second page is a typeset title “OATH OF THE PRISONERS OF BUCHENWALD” followed by a block of text. The text on the next page details publishing information. The fourth page is a list of the titles of each print, and a swastika at right center. The fifth page is a dedication, with a drawing of skeletal corpses at lower right.

Gallery Text

Zimiles’s portfolio Holocaust shows the horrors of the genocide carried out by the Nazis against Jewish people and other minorities between 1941 and 1945. In #6: Roundup at Zamosc (dis-played in the case), Zimiles draws on artistic precedents in his depiction of violence and death. The rearing horse, the fallen man at left, and the contorted expressions of the figures echo the composition of Pablo Picasso’s Guernica, a monumental black and white painting that testifies to the devastation of the Spanish Civil War in the 1930s. The prints’ color palette only strengthens this allusion, while also under-scoring the somber gravity of the events portrayed.

An experienced printmaker, Zimiles mimics the techniques of traditional stone lithography and adapts them to the offset process. By brushing ink onto transparent sheets of Mylar, he reproduces the distinctive washy effect of lithographic tusche (a greasy pigmented liquid). This gives the images a patchy and distorted quality, as if such tragedies cannot be faced head on, or like a memory that has already gone fuzzy around the edges—emphasizing the need to remember.

Identification and Creation

Object Number
Murray Zimiles, American (New York City, NY born 1941)
The Holocaust
Work Type
Persistent Link

Physical Descriptions

Portfolio of ten offset lithographs on white wove paper
Offset print
each: 55.9 × 76.2 cm (22 × 30 in.)


Recorded Ownership History
Murray Zimiles, created 1987; [Brandywine Workshop, Philadelphia, PA], sold; to the Harvard Art Museums, 2018.

State, Edition, Standard Reference Number


Acquisition and Rights

Credit Line
Harvard Art Museums/Fogg Museum, Margaret Fisher Fund
© Murray Zimiles
Accession Year
Object Number
Modern and Contemporary Art

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