Art •  Biography •  History and Jewish Studies

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Through a Narrow Window: Friedl Dicker-Brandeis and Her Terezín Students

Linney Wix

Winner of the 2012 Zia Award from New Mexico Press Women

Not long after the end of World War II, two suitcases from Terezín, the so-called model ghetto designed by the Nazi propaganda machine to showcase creative endeavors, were delivered to members of what remained of the Jewish community of Prague. The contents of the suitcases included children's drawings, paintings, and collages made at Terezín thanks to the efforts of a teacher interned there. Rediscovered in the 1950s, the pictures, by then housed at the Jewish Museum in Prague, were exhibited, and over time some were published. Friedl Dicker-Brandeis was the remarkable woman who taught art to many of Terezín's children before she was killed at Auschwitz. While she has been valorized for her heroic efforts as a teacher, her approach to teaching art has remained unexamined.

This book and the accompanying exhibition, curated by Linney Wix at the University of New Mexico Art Museum, offer a closer look at the methods and philosophy of Dicker-Brandeis's teaching, the history behind her approach, and its possible psychological effects on the children she taught. The book includes biographical and art historical information on Dicker-Brandeis, and sheds light on her roles as an artist, teacher, and heroine behind Nazi lines in the Second World War.

Published in cooperation with the University of New Mexico Art Museum.


Linney Wix is associate professor in the art education program at the University of New Mexico.


" Through a Narrow Window stands as tribute to all (Friedl Dicker-Brandeis) stood for, a monument to someone who managed to communicate ideas about beauty and artistry to her young students despite the wretched circumstances that surrounded them."


The Jewish Exponent

"The glory of Through a Narrow Window is the generous presentation of color photographs and plates representative of Friedl Dicker-Brandeis's own work as well as those of the incarcerated children whom she taught. Through their art, they are alive."


Jewish Book World

10 x 8 in. 168 pages 58 color plates., 17 halftones