Purdue University North Central Odyssey Arts and Cultural Events Series is presenting the exhibit, “FLIGHT,” a collection of lithographs compiled by the International Rescue Committee.
“FLIGHT” will be on display through May 31 in the PNC Library-Student-Faulty Building student lounge, Room 062. Building hours are Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. and Saturday, 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. The Library-Student-Faculty Building is closed on Sundays.
“FLIGHT” is a series of 12 lithographs, each produced by a modern master of art, representing the artist’s personal interpretation of the struggle to freedom that individuals faced under dire circumstances. Three hundred sets of the lithographs were produced, the originals destroyed.
The International Rescue Committee was created in 1933, the same year Adolph Hitler became chancellor of the German Reich. The International Rescue Committee was formed by Albert Einstein, educator John Dewey, Eleanor Roosevelt and others, with the mission of the group of helping those trying to escape the Nazis.
American journalist Varian Fry was asked to carry out a rescue operation to help those trying to flee Europe, among them artists, writers and other intellectuals in France, who faced certain death. With $3,000 strapped to the inside of his pant leg, Fry infiltrated Nazi-occupied France and made it possible for more than 2,000 refugees to come to America.
The International Rescue Committee exists to this day, and has aided millions of refugees.
In the 1960s, Fry was asked to assemble a collection of art the IRC commissioned to help raise money for its refugee aid. Some of the contributing artists had been brought to freedom through the IRC. The suite of works was completed in 1971 and included the works of Joan Miró, Marc Chagall, Robert Motherwell, Alexander Calder, Jacque Lipchitz and Adolph Gottlieb. Fry died in 1967 at age 59 before the collection was completed.
One of the “FLIGHT” collections was purchased in 1971 by Warren and Lynda Meeker, supporters of the International Rescue Committee and friends of Leo Cherne, chair of the IRC Board of Directors.
In 2014 Lydia Meeker donated the art to Sinai Temple in Michigan City, in memory of her husband. The works exhibited at PNC are on loan from the temple.
To obtain further information about this exhibit or the Odyssey Arts and Cultural Events Series, contact Judy Jacobi, PNC assistant vice chancellor of Marketing and Campus Relations, at 785-5200, ext. 5593. Persons with disabilities requiring accommodations should contact Jacobi.