Travelling exhibitions

Our exhibitions are presented around the world.

Exhibition ‘Charlotte Salomon in close-up: Cinema and its influence on Life? Or Theatre?’ in the Jewish Museum, Amsterdam, 2020

Two exhibitions

At present we have two exhibitions about artist Charlotte Salomon available for loan in their entirety.

  • Charlotte Salomon: Life? Or Theatre?
  • Charlotte Salomon in close-up

Charlotte Salomon

In 1939, Charlotte Salomon (1917-1943) fled Berlin and went to live with her grandparents who had been living in the south of France for some time.

When Germany invaded France a year later, her grandmother took her own life. It was only then that Charlotte learned that her mother had done exactly the same in 1926.

Charlotte felt that she faced a choice: end it all in the same way, or do something ridiculously extraordinary. She chose the latter. In an unbroken period of eighteen months she painted her life story Life? Or Theatre?

Read more about Charlotte Salomon

Life? Or Theatre?

Charlotte Salomon: Life? Or Theatre? is a multimedia show that draws you into Charlotte Salomon's turbulent life.

In over 200 gouaches, with music and commentary by Charlotte herself, you become part of the therapy she invented: painting to avoid going crazy.

Raised in the wealthy cultural atmosphere of Berlin and born into a family, five of whom succumbed to depression and took their own life, Charlotte became infatuated with her flamboyant stepmother's song therapist and lover, took piano lessons and became mixed up in a murder.

This is an astonishing tale of a life that was intensely sad, where there was always something going on, and which inevitably came to an abrupt end at Auschwitz.

View the complete work
Exhibition ‘Charlotte Salomon: Life? Or Theatre?’ in Museu Coleção Berardo, Lisbon, Portugal, 2019

Practical information

Charlotte Salomon: Life? Or Theatre? is available for loan in its entirely.

  • The exhibition comprises 235 gouaches, a slide and a facsimile in 83 frames of various dimensions.
  • The show includes introductory texts and subtexts in English and two films showing the historical context in which the artwork was made.
  • Photographic reproductions of biographical materials are included, as well as books and publicity material.
  • A maximum loan period of 3.5 months applies per venue.
  • The copyrights of the work are at the Charlotte Salomon Foundation; ownership of the gouaches is at Jewish Museum.
  • No direct daylight or sunlight. In the situation of direct illumination the light levels should be kept at a maximum of 75 lux for the drawings.
  • The room temperature should be constant between 18 and 22 degrees Celsius during daytime and night (+ or – 2 degrees per 24 hours).
  • The relative humidity in the rooms should be constant and between 45% and 55% RH (+ or – 2% during 24 hours).
  • Use of an art transport company is required.
  • A Jewish Museum courier will take care of condition reports at installation and gives directions to the staff involved with the installation.
  • Borrower will arrange insurance.
  • Accompanying costs are for the borrower.

This exhibition has previously been shown at:

Royal Academy, London, 1999; Boston Fine Arts Museum and Jewish Museum New York, 2000; Städel Museum Frankfurt 2006; Jewish Museum, Berlin 2007; Contemporary Jewish Museum San Francisco, 2011; Jüdisches Museum der Stadt Frankfurt am Main 2012; Documenta Kassel 2013; Mendel Art Gallery; Saskatoon 2014; The Illinois Holocaust Museum, Skokie 2014; Kunstmuseum Bochum 2015; Salzburg 2015; Nice, Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art 2016; Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris 2017, Jewish Museum Amsterdam 2017; Monastery of Santa Maria de Pedralbes, Barcelona, 2018; Museu Coleção Berardo, Lissabon, 2019; Jewish Museum, London, 2019 and Lenbachhaus, Munich, 2023.

Charlotte Salomon in close-up

Life? Or Theatre? comprises almost 800 gouaches, complete with texts and musical references in a series that resembles a storyboard for a film.

Charlotte Salomon presents herself, her family and friends as characters in a movie or (musical) play, in a composition that reflects the cultural climate in Berlin in the 1930s.

The influence of cinema, then still in its exciting, innovative infancy, is reflected in the way Charlotte introduces each character and zooms into particular scenes.

Charlotte Salomon in close-up emphasises this cinematic quality by using film extracts from the 1920s and 30s in a dialogue with around 130 of the gouaches inviting audeinces to take a fresh look at this astonishing artwork.

View the complete work

Practical information

Charlotte Salomon in close-up is available for loan in its entirely.

  • The travelling exhibition consists of c. 130 gouaches measuring approximately c. 32.5 x 25 cm, all framed, a brochure (the introductionary gouaches to the artwork) on a standard with perspex hood, 8 information columns and 16 film frames with led light showing stills of film clips printed on perspex in a wooden frame.
  • The exhibition includes an introduction text, captions and thematic texts in Dutch and English.
  • Not included: beamers, monitors, tablets and other hardware.
  • A catalogue including the entire work is available.
  • The copyrights of the work are at the Charlotte Salomon Foundation; ownership of the gouaches is at Jewish Museum.
  • No direct daylight or sunlight. In the situation of direct illumination the light levels should be kept at a maximum of 75 lux for the drawings.
  • The room temperature should be constant between 18 and 22 degrees Celsius during daytime and night (+ or – 2 degrees per 24 hours).
  • The relative humidity in the rooms should be constant and between 45% and 55% RH (+ or – 2% during 24 hours).
  • The use of an art transport company is required.
  • A Jewish Museum courier will take care of condition reports at installation and gives directions to the staff involved with the installation.
  • Borrower will arrange insurance.
  • Accompanying costs are for the borrower.

More information

Lisa de Goffau

Curator of collections