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World War II veteran's creativity on display About a dozen pieces by Nathan Schneider exhibited at Natick library

The MetroWest Daily News - 9/18/2017

NATICK - To some, Nathan Schneider's "Remembrance" may look like a random collection of black lines and red splotches.

But, the design has meaning to Schneider.

"I chose to work deliberately with black and red because they are representative of the nature of the Holocaust," said Schneider, a 92-year-old Natick artist whose wife, Henny, fled with her parents from the Holocaust.

The red symbolizes injury and blood and the black represents the Holocaust's confining structure and destruction, he said.

The work has a strong flow toward the upper left hand corner.

"In the present context, it could be considered a representation of migration from an area that is caught in the throws of war and destruction," he said.

The abstract piece is one of about a dozen works by Schneider on display this month and next month at Natick'sMorse Institute Library. The versatile artist is also showing a variety of oil paintings of young women, including models in dresses on simple backgrounds.

Schneider said his creations are unique compared to what is typically shown locally. He hopes to persuade an institution such as a museum to accept his artwork as a gift. His alma mater, Drew University in New Jersey, plans to house two of Schneider's many works. His artistic creations stretch beyond what is on display at the library.

He has also created oil pastel drawings of symbolic letters on fire, which he said represents the destruction of cultural heritage. The world has seen this happen repeatedly during conflict, he said.

Schneider grew up in New Jersey and traces his interest in visual arts back to his formative years. He served in the Army in World War II and earned a doctorate in chemistry from Harvard University. Schneider worked as a research scientist and spent some time employed at the Army's Natick Soldier Systems Center.

He is an avid photographer who enjoys snapping images of cityscapes, local landscapes and townscapes. He has also taken pictures during train travel to Washington, D.C.

The works on display at the library are about 30 or more years old, and most have never been exhibited and sat in Schneider's Natick home.

"It was a period of very intense artistic activity," he recalled.

Schneider's work is on display on the 14 East Central St. library's first floor.

Brian Benson can be reached at 508-626-3964 or bbenson@wickedlocal.com. Follow him on Twitter @bbensonmwdn.

 
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