We chose Romanian-born Mira Kovács as our Portrait of the Month subject this month, because October 9th is Romania’s National Day of Commemorating the Holocaust. On October 9, 1942, mass deportations of Jews in Romania began. In 2004, Romania set aside this day to remember the Jews and Romani who were killed during the Holocaust and reflect on Romania’s role in the arresting and deporting its Jewish and Roma citizens.
This portrait was created at a workshop at the Hungarian Jewish Museum and Archives, which has an incredible history. Jewish artifacts were collected as part of an exhibition in 1896. In 1932, those artifacts found a permanent home in a new building next to the historic Dohány Street Synagogue. In 1942, two officials from the Hungarian National Museum hid all of the artifacts, saving them from destruction at the hands of the Nazis, and ensuring their survival for today’s viewers.
We are drawn to this portrait because of the contrast of the shadows and light, as well as the beautiful angles. A depth is created that emanates through Mira’s eyes. Read more about Mira below.