Artist's Statement


My paintings yearn to express the glaring dichotomy between the horror of the Holocaust and the fantasies of Hollywood, which for many years turned its eyes away from the greatest atrocity of the 20th century.


I began quite innocently with an exploration of a popular cartoon character, Betty Boop. I saw in her eyes, ever turned-up-and-away, the part of us that wants to deny what is actually taking place on a personal, social, and global level. It wasn’t until I painted her under a fiery red sky that I suddenly knew I was entering the world of the Holocaust—a horrific time personally—which I had previously found too terrifying to explore in my painting.


In 2013, with the publication of Ben Urwand’s The Collaboration, Hollywood’s Pact With Hitler, I read about how movies horrendously ignored the Holocaust, instead, captivating me and the recovering world with the glamour, fantasy and romance of blockbusters like Gone with the Wind and The Wizard of Oz. Even after General Eisenhower ordered filming of the death camps to document the machinery that systematically murdered millions, there was little response by the American film industry. The silence lasted decades, with only a trickle of films hinting at the reality of the savagery.


My work confronts the Hollywood of that time, when Europe and most of the world abandoned Jews, gays, and other victims of the camps. My visual exploration of the conflict between what was happening and what was portrayed culminated with the painting Denial, a triptych of an Auschwitz landscape. This painting opened the door to further expressions of the Holocaust through the juxtaposition of fantasy and reality using motifs and actors from popular films of that time.


By focusing attention on how the world turned away from the Holocaust, and how we continue to turn our eyes away from global suffering, I counter our collective indifference to inhumanity through my art. My greatest hope is to contribute to a dialogue that cultivates healing.



After receiving several scholarships to study art in New York City, Betty Palmer moved to Israel in 1950 where she painted and taught art. An exhibition of Moroccan, Egyptian, Yemenite, and Kurdistan children’s works from six Negev collectives was sent on tour throughout Israel and later exhibited at the Educational Alliance in NYC. During her time in Israel her work was exhibited in group shows in Tel Aviv, Haifa, and several kibbutzim. Recently, Betty completed a solo show at The Phatory Gallery in New York City, and has participated in a variety of group exhibitions.


Returning to the US in 1956, Ms. Palmer worked as an art director, graphic designer, and illustrator at Warren Kremer Advertising, and designed book jackets for Oxford University Press and Schocken Books. She completed her BFA and Independent Study at Empire State College–State University of New York.


Private collections containing her paintings and portraits include that of Belle Linsky, a major donor to the Metropolitan Museum of Art.



Parson’s School of Design

Full Scholarship award


Museum of Modern Art School

Scholarship award


Educational Alliance

Scholarship award


BFA, State University of New York
at Empire State College


School of Visual Arts


Pratt Institute


Art Students League



Group Shows


The Arts Students League

May 9, 2019 - May 26, 2019

215 W 57 St, NY, NY 10019


Repair The World Gallery

CONVIVIO: Jews, Hispanics & The Comics

Oct 20, 2018 - Dec 8, 2018

808 Nostrand Avenue

Brooklyn, NY 11216


Brooklyn Jewish Art Gallery

April 26, 2018 - May 27, 2018

603 St. Johns Place

Brooklyn, NY 11238


Maggi Peyton Gallery

Oct 10, 2017 - Nov 1, 2017

1 Centre Street
New York, NY 10007


Paxall Gallery, LIC Arts

July 7, 2017 - Aug 26, 2017

5-46 46th Avenue
Long Island City, NY, 11101



Solo Shows


The Phatory

May 11, 2017 - July 30, 2017

618 East 9th Street

New York, NY 10009