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SHALOM YEFET, Born 1947, Talabi Yemen, Arrived in USA, 1973

The Forgotten Exodus: An American Refuge

The University of Miami Departments of Art and Art History and the Department of Religious Studies present THE FORGOTTEN EXODUS – AN AMERICAN REFUGE, a portrait exhibition of the last generation of Sephardi Jews born in North Africa, the Middle East, and Iran. The exhibition will be on display from February 3, 2020 to February 28, 2020. The opening, taking place on Saturday February 8, 2020, is free and open to the public.

In the years following the founding of the State of Israel, close to a million Jews fled their native Arab lands. Hostility and expulsion brought an abrupt end to these once vibrant communities, scattering its members to the four corners of the earth. Until recently, little has been formally documented, leaving a significant part of Jewish history largely untold.

The photographer of THE FORGOTTEN EXODUS – AN AMERICAN REFUGE is J Tomas Lopez, an artist with a lifelong passion for portraying the vulnerability of the passage of time through his stunning portrait photography. As a young Cuban boy who emigrated to America in the 1950’s, Lopez felt out of place. The stories of the Jews from North Africa and the Middle East that truly ignited his interest. “I realized that the story of the Sephardi Jews is the story of every immigrant. You’re in a place—you think you’re home—and then something happens. There is the displacement, the sense of otherness. I identified very much with everyone I photographed.”

J Tomas Lopez is the Chair of Art and Art History at the University of Miami. He has been showcased in over 350 group exhibitions and 35 solo exhibitions. His work is included in many permanent collections including the Library of Congress, the Smithsonian Institution, the National Gallery of American Art, La Biblioteque Nationale de France, The International Museum of Photography, and the Museum of Modern Art. His work has been exhibited across the United States, Europe, China, Japan and in numerous publications.

THE FORGOTTEN EXODUS – AN AMERICAN REFUGE was photographed entirely in South Florida and curated by University of Miami’s Department of Religious Studies professor, Dr. Henry Green and produced by Media Director David Langer.

THE FORGOTTEN EXODUS – AN AMERICAN REFUGE will be on view at the University of Miami Gallery, 2750 NW 3rd Avenue, Suite 4, Miami, FL 33127. Gallery hours are Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, 10:00 am to 6:00 pm. *Hours may be subject to change, please call (305) 284-3161 to confirm times. Appointments and Private Tours available. For more information contact Milly Cardoso, Gallery Director at [email protected]. Be sure to follow us on Instagram and Twitter: @umartgalleries.

Image: SHALOM YEFET, Born 1947, Talabi Yemen, Arrived in USA, 1973


Feb 5, 2020
10:00 am - 6:00 pm
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University of Miami Gallery
2750 Northwest 3 Avenue, Suite 4
Miami, FL 33127 United States