My first stop on day two of the Richmond Trip (okay maybe Dunkin Doughnuts was the real first stop…anyway…continuing on…) is the Virginia Holocaust Museum. Current home of the Blank Family Papers, a collection that focuses on Margot Blank, wife of Allan, artist and Holocaust survivor.
The museum staff were extremely accommodating, allowing me to view the collection while in the midst of installing a new exhibition. (check it out, it looks amazing!)
Director of Collections, Tim Hensley, spoke to me as I was reviewing folders and taking notes. He remarked that “Allan was a very sweet man”. Mostly quiet and serious while Margot Blank was alive, however Mr. Blank was the main source regarding the biographical information of his wife for the collection. She on the other hand was more social, but still very private, never speaking of her experiences in the camps.
The core aspect of the collection is the many facets of Margot Blank, it is however, called the Blank Family Papers.
In the collection has a number of letters from both Hyman and Gusta Blank (Allan Blank’s parents) detailing everyday occurrences, tickets from European trips and poems.
While my initial plan for visiting the museum was to discover more about Allan Blank, I left with a better understanding of Margot Blank and her remarkable life. Mr. Blank married an incredibly talented, strong and creative woman that speaks volumes about both her and him.
I definitely encourage you to visit the museum if you happen to be in the Richmond area. It is a heart wrenching, sorrowful experience, yet it leaves you filled with awe at the power of the human spirit.