January 09, 2019
NEW YORK – On January 27th, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum will commemorate the seventy-fourth anniversary of the Soviet Army’s liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau marked by International Holocaust Remembrance Day, honoring the victims of the Holocaust and promoting global Holocaust education.
With antisemitism, Holocaust denial, hatred and extremism on the rise, and just as the World War II generation diminishes, understanding the lessons of the Holocaust is more urgent than ever in the U.S. and abroad.
This is one of the reasons why Barbaralee Diamonstein-Spielvogel and Ambassador Carl Spielvogel of New York City, longtime supporters of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, decided to enhance the Museum’s growing global presence and much needed work with a $2 million commitment. This gift to the Museum’s endowment will provide enduring support for programs in education, scholarship, genocide prevention, and ensure the permanence of Holocaust memory, understanding and relevance.
“As supporters of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum since it was founded a quarter of a century ago, Carl and I are privileged to further contribute to the Museum’s permanence as the leading global institution for Holocaust remembrance,” said Barbaralee Diamonstein-Spielvogel. “As the Museum continues to mark its twenty-fifth anniversary, we remain steadfast in our support for the Museum’s bold mission to rescue the evidence of the Holocaust and educate future generations of global citizens. We believe that the power of art will play an instrumental role in this process.”
In recognition of the gift, the Museum welcomes Barbaralee Diamonstein-Spielvogel and Ambassador Carl Spielvogel to its Founder Society as Pillars of Memory donors, and will name the gallery within its Permanent Exhibition that houses the artwork “Consequence,” by Sol LeWitt as the Barbaralee Diamonstein-Spielvogel and Ambassador Carl Spielvogel Gallery.
Barbaralee Diamonstein-Spielvogel was appointed by President Ronald Reagan as a Museum Council Member in 1987, and served as founding chair of the subcommittee that commissioned the original artwork created for the Museum. Carl Spielvogel is a former U.S. ambassador to the Slovak Republic, appointed by President William J. Clinton in 1995.
"We are very grateful to Barbaralee Diamonstein-Spielvogel and Ambassador Carl Spielvogel for their generous gift, which comes at a pivotal time for the Museum," said Museum Director Sara J. Bloomfield. "Just as we are losing our most effective teachers—the survivors and other eyewitnesses — the lessons of the Holocaust are more urgent than ever. Barbaralee played an important role as a member of our governing council during the creation of the Museum, and this wonderful gift signifies her desire to continue that involvement through a permanent legacy."
About Barbaralee Diamonstein-Spielvogel
Barbaralee Diamonstein-Spielvogel was the first Director of Cultural Affairs in New York City, is the author of 24 books on culture, arts, urban and preservation issues, and has served as the curator of eight international traveling museum exhibitions. She has been the chair of The Historic Landmarks Preservation Center since 1995. She was appointed by President Ronald Reagan to the Board of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, and served as Chair of the Sub-committee of the Museum that commissioned their Art for the Public Spaces. In 1996, she was appointed by President William J. Clinton to the U.S. Commission of Fine Arts (CFA); in 2002, she was the first woman to be elected as Vice Chair of the CFA in its century-long history. In 2009, President Barack Obama appointed her to the American Battle Monuments Commission, which oversees the design, construction, and maintenance of the U.S. military memorials throughout the world; she chaired the ABMC New Memorials Committee, and served on ABMC until 2018. On the New York State Council for the Arts for ten years, from 2013 to 2016, she served as vice chair, and, appointed by Governor Andrew Cuomo in 2016, served as Chair and CEO from 2016 to 2018. She was the longest serving member of the NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission, spanning four mayoral administrations, from 1972 to 1987. In addition to her extensive public service, Dr. Diamonstein-Spielvogel, the recipient of numerous honors and awards, is currently Chair of the NYC Landmarks50+ Alliance–a consortium of more than 189 organizations convened to commemorate and honor the anniversary of the passage of the NYC Landmarks law.
About Ambassador Carl Spielvogel
Ambassador Carl Spielvogel is a board member at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts and the Asia Society. In 1995, he was appointed by President William J. Clinton, and approved by the U.S. Senate, to the U.S. Broadcasting Board of Governors, which is responsible for Voice of America, Radio Free Europe, Voice of Asia, Radio Marti, Worldnet, and the other non-military “Voices” of the United States Government. In 1999 he was appointed by President Clinton as Ambassador to the Slovak Republic. For his outstanding service to Slovakia, President Rudolf Schuster presented him with the Presidential Medal of Honor of Slovakia. Ambassador Spielvogel is a member of the Council of American Ambassadors, the Council on Foreign Relations, and the executive committee and board of trustees of the State University of New York (SUNY), the nation’s largest state university system in the U.S., comprising 65 college campuses with approximately 600,000 students. Formerly, one of the nation’s leading global business executives, he has conducted trade and commerce in 55 countries. He is the chairman and chief executive of Carl Spielvogel Associates and serves on the board of Apollo Investment, Inc.
About the Museum
A living memorial to the Holocaust, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum inspires citizens and leaders worldwide to confront hatred, prevent genocide, and promote human dignity. Its far-reaching educational programs and global impact are made possible by generous donors. For more information, visit ushmm.org.
###View All Museum News Releases