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A production of Papers Please, Inc.

TWO PIANOS       

                               playing for life

EXHIBIT COMPONENTS:  Artifacts, Story Panels and Videos

The Two Pianos Exhibit documents the musical journeys of Anna and Halina before, under and after Nazi Germany. It displays sheet music, concert programs, reviews, photos and other mementos from Levin/Hoffman family collections, including period items from Anna and Halina's student days at the Leipzig Conservatory (1920s), Kulturbund performances (mid-1930s), and divergent refugee paths to their ultimate reunion and performance/teaching careers in the U.S.

The Exhibit Brochure deepens these stories.  It also can substitute for a full exhibit or supplement a smaller oneContinuous-loop or sequential videos can provide additional context for the display.
The Two Pianos exhibit concept took root in 2015 with the Levins' loan of select Anna artifacts for a curated exhibit on "Jewish Life in Leipzig until 1933" sponsored by the Leo Baeck Institute of New York at the German State Library in Leipzig (28 June-30 Sept. 2015)

Marquee items were Anna's Nazi-era national and local Kulturbund photo-ID cards, now held by the National Museum of American-Jewish History (Independence Mall Philadelphia).  Other exhibit items included a signed 1928 "performance" photo and Anna's 1929 Leipzig Conservatory diploma.

The Levins attended the Leipzig opening -- one step in their dream of reprising Anna and Halina's Kulturbund concerts at the Leipzig Conservatory.  In 2019 that dream came true.

DISPLAY CASE CONTENTS feature labeled artifacts, photos, documents and memorabilia:


Case 1. Anna's National Kulturbund Membership and Leipzig Kulturbund Ticket Cards

Case 2. Anna/Hirsch Leipzig Years 

Case 3. Anna/Hirsch post-1936

Case 4. Halina pre-and post-Holocaust photos, travel/identity documents, post-War duplicate Leipzig Conservatory diploma, and itinerant concert memorabilia. 


Individual items from Cases 1-4 are originals or expert reproductions.  Terms for loan of specific items are by agreement.


EXHIBIT PANELS provide timelines and historical background for Anna and Halina's journeys. Case labels match the Panels' color-coded Banners.  The 10 retractable 84"x36" free-standing mylar Panel screens (4 two-sided) come in their own zippered carry bags.  Exhibit cases are provided by hosts and will vary.  Hosts may select Panels with or without case contents, or (if space is limited) may use the Brochure in lieu of the Panels.


The first Panel sets the 1933 scene with creation of the Kulturbund and introductions of Two Pianos main characters.  Viewers then move from Leipzig's pre-1933 glamor ("Leipzig's Allure") with a flashback to musical Weimar student years ("Keeping Time"), follow Anna's 1936 departure to safety ("Just in Time"), and proceed to Halina's expulsion and perilous journey through darkness ("Out of Time") .  A final panel summarizes the Kulturbund's end, its legacy, and the characters' long friendship ("Legacies").


VIDEO selections from Jola's 1987 Holocaust Testimony and the Two Pianos YouTube Channel Play List can be displayed as continuous loops (4 to 60 minutes) on individual Notepads or in sequence on one screen. The 1-hour Rutgers concert DVD + Q & A (20 minutes) may be shown in lieu of a live performance. Selection and presentation depend on the particular venue, scope and exhibit size, as determined by the host.

The Two Pianos Exhibit was designed by Stephanie Reyer, with panel and case texts by the Levins.


9 June 2018 Exhibit Display
Settlement Music School, Mary Louise Curtis Branch
416 Queen Street, Philadelphia PA
Case 2:
Anna: Romanian Passport, Leipzig driver's license and miniature language dictionaries

Case 3: 

Anna: Leipzig Conservatory Diploma and  curriculum materials

Case 3:
Halina: post-War identity & travel documents

Free-Standing Framed Poster,
Halina Warsaw concert.
c. 1946