|Exhibition opens on July 27th at The Florida Holocaust Museum
|July 11, 2019 [St. Petersburg, FL] — The Florida Holocaust Museum (The FHM) is pleased to present Loss and Affirmation: Illustrations and Drawings by William Pachner. This collection was donated to the Museum in 2016 by Pachner’s children, Anne and Charles Pachner. The works were painted during World War II and in the years immediately following.
William Pachner was born in Moravia, Austro-Hungarian Empire (later Czechoslovakia) in 1915. He left his home and family to pursue a career in commercial illustration in the United States in 1939 only a few days before the Nazis occupied Czechoslovakia.
Pachner moved to Chicago and became the art director at Esquire Magazine. When America entered World War II, he felt compelled to take a more active part in the war effort and left his position to enlist in the army but was rejected. Instead of returning to the magazine, Pachner devoted himself to free-lance antifascist illustrations for Colliers, Cosmopolitan and other popular magazines of the day.
When the war ended in 1945 and he received confirmation that his parents and brother were murdered, Pachner said: “Never again will my hand be hired. From now on, I shall use whatever gifts I have to bear witness to my experience.”
With a family to support, he left the well-paid world of commercial art and became a studio artist. Turning to his work, Pachner used pen and paper, paint and canvas to communicate his grief and his reaction to man’s inhumanity to man. The artworks made during the period directly following the war convey feelings of despair, anger and bitterness. Following these, his work focused on human connection, comfort, and affirmation.
Loss and Affirmation: Illustrations and Drawings by William Pachner opens to the public on Saturday, July 27, 2019 at The Florida Holocaust Museum.
The Florida Holocaust Museum is located at 55 5th Street S, St. Petersburg, FL 33701.
About The Florida Holocaust MuseumOne of the largest Holocaust museums in the country, and one of three nationally accredited Holocaust museums, The Florida Holocaust Museum (The FHM) honors the memory of millions of men, women, and children who suffered or died in the Holocaust. The FHM is dedicated to teaching members of all races and cultures the inherent worth and dignity of human life in order to prevent future genocides. For additional information, please visit www.TheFHM.org.