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Dreyfus and Zola: A Moment in the Conscience of the World

Comic-style strip titled

Dreyfus and Zola: A Moment in the Conscience of the World

An Exhibition from the Lorraine Beitler Collection

September 15-December 9, 2000

University of Toronto Art Centre

This exhibition of the infamous case of Captain Alfred Dreyfus, who was wrongly convicted of treason by a French military court in 1894, examines the anti-semitism that fuelled the “Dreyfus Affair,” notably the venom of the Anti-Dreyfusard press.

The Press was the most important forum for the debate between the Dreyfusard and Anti-Dreyfusards camps, a debate that went beyond French borders to become one of the first modern international media events.

Emile Zola, the art critic who galvanized Dreyfusard support with his letter J’Accuse, published in L’Aurore, figures prominently in the press commentaries and caricatures that have been brought together in this exhibition chronicling the “Affair.”

The documents in the exhibition – letters, books, photographs, broadsides, newspapers, posters and periodicals – belong to the Beitler Family Foundation. The Foundation aims, with its collections, to involve the public in an examination of human rights to forge a more informed society.

Opening Reception

Tuesday September 19, 2000
University of Toronto Art Centre

Colloquia organized with the McLuhan Centre

J’accuse!”: An analysis of Zola’s views of the army, justice and patronism.
Tuesday October 24, 2000, 5pm
Featuring Michel Drouin
University of Toronto Art Centre

The Dreyfus Affair is the medium and justice is the message
Thursday November 9, 2000, 6pm
Featuring Robert Logan
University of Toronto Art Centre

Dreyfus’s Shadow: The startling impact of L’Affaire on French political culture
Tuesday November 21, 2000, 6pm
Featuring Erna Paris
University of Toronto Art Centre

Exhibition Tour with Michel Drouin

Thursday October 26, 2000, 6pm
University of Toronto Art Centre


The Life of Emile Zola
Thursday October 26, 2000, 7:30pm
Innis College Town Hall Theatre


Our Supporters

We gratefully acknowledge the project support of The Abraham and Malka Green Foundation in the publication of the catalogue.

Title Image: Artist unknown, Vera de Noie’s Grand Scenic Production: Devil’s Island, nd. Lithographed coloured poster.

Upcoming Exhibitions