Jodee Harris Gallery to Host The Knights Collection Nov. 4 to 19
Seton Hill University’s Jodee Harris Gallery will host an exhibition of The Harry B. Knights Collection Presented by the National Catholic Center for Holocaust Education from November 4 to 19, 2021.
Curated by Seton Hill student Hannah Vincent, the exhibition features a selection of photographs from The Knights Collection taken by Harry B. Knights during his time with the 102nd Infantry division in World War II.
Please note, the exhibition contains graphic imagery of corpses, mass graves, charred remains, and genocide.
An opening reception for The Knights Collection will be held on Thursday, November 4 from 4 to 7 p.m. A gallery talk, featuring an introduction by James Knights and a presentation by Seton Hill Professor of History Emeritus Dr. John Spurlock, will be held on Thursday, November 11 at 7 p.m.
The Knights Collection is presented in conjunction with the triennial Ethel LeFrak Holocaust Education Conference, which is being held virtually from November 7 to 10, 2021.
The Harlan Gallery is located in the Seton Hill Arts Center, 205 West Otterman St., Greensburg, Pa. Due to COVID-19 protocols, guests must wear a mask to all events in the gallery, regardless of vaccination status.
About The Knights Collection
In the fall of 2019, retired FBI Special Agent James Knights approached the National Catholic Center for Holocaust Education at Seton Hill University with an intriguing proposal. In the years after his father Harry’s death, Mr. Knights had lovingly safeguarded an extensive collection of photographs taken by his father during his service in World War II, along with letters and other correspondence. He wondered if the NCCHE would be interested in the collection and suggested that we might want to preserve and share the material as part of our educational mission.
The Knights Collection contains more than 200 photographs and dozens of letters. The process of preserving, cataloguing and organizing the material has been a joint effort by our Center, the Seton Hill archives, and faculty and students from the Schools of Visual and Performing Arts and Humanities.
The heart of the collection is the series of photographs taken at Gardelegen, a German town that was the site of a terrible atrocity at the end of the war. As the Nazis were under pressure from the Allied invasion, they began to transfer prisoners from outlying regions into the heart of Germany. When a train carrying more than 1,000 prisoners broke down near the town of Gardelegen, prisoners were marched to a large barn and barricaded inside; the barn was then set on fire, killing nearly everyone.
One day later, Harry Knights, along with the rest of his troop (the 102nd Infantry Division) discovered the gruesome remains of this hideous crime. Harry was an avid amateur photographer and quickly set to work documenting what he found. His photographs offer powerful testimony to Nazi criminality and their cruel desecration of human life.