As an art historian and curator for Yad Vashem, Ziva Amishai-Maisels became known for her insights into the impact of the Holocaust on modern art. Amishai-Maisels earned a BA in art history from Barnard in 1961 and her MA from Columbia in 1962. That year she made Aliyah and began teaching art history at Hebrew University, where she earned her PhD in 1970. In 1975 she became chair of the department. From 1976–1978 she served on the Ministry of Education and Culture’s art committee, and since 1974 she has been on the editorial board of the Journal of Jewish Art. She also helped create the Society for Jewish Art in 1979. While she wrote important books on Marc Chagall and Jacob Steinhardt, her writing has been heavily influenced by her work since the early 1980s as a member of the art committee of Yad Vashem, selecting work for the Holocaust memorial. After twenty years of research, Amishai-Maisels published The Influence of the Holocaust on the Visual Arts in 1993. She argued that while artists who were not survivors used metaphoric imagery to explore the emotional aspects of the Holocaust, survivors tended to use art to document their experiences more literally. She was awarded the Israel Prize in 2004.
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Jewish Women's Archive. "Ziva Amishai-Maisels." (Viewed on November 18, 2019) <https://jwa.org/people/amishai-maisels-ziva>.