Charlotte Salomon


Who was Charlotte Salomon?

Charlotte Salomon (1917-1943) was a Jewish-German artist who, at the age of 26, completed an extensive artwork about herself consisting of eight hundred pieces (!): Life? or Theater? The hundreds of 'gouaches' (watercolor paintings), accompanied by texts and music, narrate her life in the form of an autobiographical graphic novel.

In 1943, she entrusted Life? or Theater? to Dr. George Moridis, a close friend. 'Keep it safe,' she urged him. 'It is my entire life.'

Shortly thereafter, she was arrested and murdered in Auschwitz.

About her work

In 1971, Charlotte Salomon's father and his second wife donated Life? or Theater? to the Jewish Museum. From that six rotating gouaches are permanently on display in the museum.

Due to the fragility of the material and the bonding of the paint layers, Life? or Theater? is not continuously exhibited. However, the entire work can be viewed online.