Loading Events

« All Events

  • This event has passed.

Paula Birnbaum in Conversation at Boston Athenaeum

January 11 @ 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm

Cover Image of Sculpting a Life: Chana Orloff between Paris and Tel Aviv

Join Paula J. Birnbaum, author of Sculpting a Life: Chana Orloff Between Paris and Tel Aviv, in conversation with Bill Kuhn at the Boston Athenaeum.

In Sculpting a Life, the first book-length biography of sculptor Chana Orloff (1888-1968), author Paula J. Birnbaum tells the story of a fiercely determined and ambitious woman who fled antisemitism in Ukraine, emigrated to Palestine with her family, then traveled to Paris to work in haute couture before becoming an internationally recognized artist. Against the backdrop of revolution, world wars, a global pandemic, and forced migrations, her sculptures embody themes of gender, displacement, exile, and belonging. A major figure in the School of Paris, Orloff contributed to the canon of modern art alongside Picasso, Modigliani, and Chagall.

Stories from her unpublished memoir enrich this life story of courage, perseverance, and extraordinary artistic accomplishments that take us through the aftermath of the Holocaust when Orloff lived between Paris and Tel Aviv. This biography brings new perspectives and understandings to Orloff’s multiple identities as a cosmopolitan émigré, woman, and Jew, and is a much-needed intervention into the narrative of modern art.

The Boston Athenaeum welcomes people of all abilities. If you have questions regarding accessibility, reach out to

*This page is for the In-Person event. If you would prefer to attend virtually, please register here.*


Cover Image of Sculpting a Life: Chana Orloff between Paris and Tel Aviv


January 11
6:00 pm - 7:00 pm


Boston Athenæum
View Organizer Website


Boston Athenaeum
10 1/2 Beacon St
Boston, 02108 United States
+ Google Map