Noah Breuer, MFA, BFA
Assistant Professor of Art and Art History
I begin my process as a collector, unearthing and accumulating images and documents. Then, I act as a re-interpreter of this material, creating prints, drawings, sculptures, books and installations. My work often starts with an image archive, or record of correspondence. The resulting artworks reflect my personal thoughts, aesthetic associations, and research into a particular subject.
My current project investigates early twentieth-century domestic textile design in Europe and the Jewish-owned textile printing companies in Czech Bohemia and Moravia. My artwork responds to both their role within that economic and cultural landscape as well as their legacy. The case study for my research is “Carl Breuer and Sons” (CB&S), my family’s former textile printing business, founded 1897 in Bohemia. In 1939 the company was seized and sold to Nazi-approved owners along with all other Jewish-owned property in German-occupied areas. Most of my family members were murdered shortly thereafter, and the product of their work was lost. Through my research trips to the company’s archive of fabric samples and designs held at The Museum of Decorative Arts in Prague, I have amassed a rich collection of primary source material in the form of digital scans depicting designs, and printed fabric and letters of correspondence. This archive has been my springboard for creating an array of printed works which not only tell my family’s story of persecution and emigration, but also raise questions about labor, authorship, and appropriation.