Caged History
1995 / Mixed media / 13.5 × 7.75 × 2.25 in.
Collection of The Jewish Museum

I feel that much of my work has evolved from my personal experiences as a Jewish woman born during World War II. Caged History is the most overt comment on Jewish history in my body of work... The flag was captured by my uncle, Paul Davis, in the fall of 1944 during the battle and fall of Metz, France. His Battalion, the 95th Infantry, was under the direction of General Patton. After the battle of Metz, this group of men became known as the Iron Men of Metz.

The flag found its was to Duluth, Minnesota where my mother and I were living with my grandmother because my father had been drafted into the war. I was not aware of the existence of this flag until a few years ago. I asked for it and was keenly aware of my responsibility to make a statement with it as a work of art. Because I often use the format of the book as a culture signifier or sculptural object, I created this book/cage without locks or openers, a "container" for this cultural signifier of a very hateful chapter in 20th century history.

- Harriet Bart, 1996

On view in: CULTURE AND CONTINUITY: THE JEWISH JOURNEY / 06.16.1996 - 08.18.1997 / The Jewish Museum