News Release — June 6, 2005
Herzstein Charitable Foundation Makes $800,000 Gift to Ransom Center
The Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center at The University of Texas at Austin will name its art gallery for Albert and Ethel Herzstein in recognition of an $800,000 gift from the Albert and Ethel Herzstein Charitable Foundation.
In a series of rotating exhibitions the Albert and Ethel Herzstein Gallery will display thousands of items from the Ransom Center's permanent collections of more than 100,000 works of art and design.
The space is designed to enable the Center to install exhibitions of various sizes and styles-from the most intimate shows of the Center's smallest prints by Dürer and Rembrandt to displays of larger masterpieces, such as David Siquerios's portrait of George Gershwin in concert.
Running from May 10 through July 17 at the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center at The University of Texas at Austin, the exhibition commemorates the 60th anniversary of the end of World War II in Europe with photographs that span from Germany's invasion of the Soviet Union in June 1941 to the celebration of victory in Moscow on May 9, 1945.
While the American death toll from World War II was 400,000, more than 25 million Russians, Ukrainians and other peoples of the Soviet Empire died.
"The Albert and Ethel Herzstein Charitable Foundation feels privileged to have the opportunity to support such a great institution as the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center," said Nathan H. Topek, chairman of the board of the Foundation.
Since 2001 the Albert and Ethel Herzstein Charitable Foundation of Houston has been among the most important supporters of Ransom Center programs and initiatives.
"The Albert and Ethel Herzstein Charitable Foundation has generously assisted the Ransom Center with acquisitions, education and programming," said Ransom Center Director Thomas F. Staley. "With this gift the Foundation broadens its support of the Center and allows us to share our art collection with thousands of annual gallery visitors."
The Herzstein Foundation's Jewish Literature and Culture Fund at the Ransom Center provided support for the publication of Laura Wilson's "Avedon at Work: In the American West," the final book about Richard Avedon published in his lifetime.
Income from this endowed fund supported the acquisition of the historic archive of Stella Adler, founder of the famed Stella Adler Conservatory of Acting. The Foundation also provided the lead gift for the acquisition of the papers of Ferdinand Forzinetti, commandant of Cherche-Midi military prison. The Forzinetti archive is one of a seminal collection of materials pertaining to the Dreyfus Affair, the 1894 trial of Captain Alfred Dreyfus. One of the few Jewish artillery officers in the French army, Dreyfus was targeted as a scapegoat and wrongly convicted of treason. Forzinetti was convinced of Dreyfus's innocence from the beginning and is credited as the first Frenchman to protest Dreyfus's conviction.
The Foundation's gift for the Ransom Center's inaugural gala in 2003 helped establish an endowed fund for public education and programming.
The Ransom Center is grateful to the Foundation's board members Richard J. Loewenstern, David L. Nelson, George W. Strake Jr. and Nathan H. Topek as well as Foundation President L. Michael Hajtman and Grants Administrator Renee Masaryk.