EDUCATION & RESEARCH
Reflection of Jewish Memory in
Modern American Art
Link to Polish version
Max Weber (1881-1961) is one of America’s most
important twentieth century artists. The first
American cubist, Weber translated the modern
European aesthetic into a truly American style
that evolved during the roughly sixty years of
his career. He developed a personal
expressionism in his mature phase that was
influential for the development of Abstract
Although Weber is best known for his innovative
modernism, he is also acknowledged as one of the
leading American artists of Judaic themes.
This exhibition provides a
look into the mind of this modern American
artist, what and who some of his influences
were, and what might have motivated him to
create many works relating to Jewish culture and
Paint What You Remember
Shabbat and the Jewish Holidays
in Opatów, Poland
was a self-taught artist living and working in Toronto. Born in Apt (Opatów
in Polish) in 1916, he arrived in Canada in 1934 at the age of seventeen.
After apprenticing to an electrician and cobbler in Poland and working in
a sweatshop in Toronto, he painted houses and eventually opened his own
wallpaper and paint store. He retired in 1977.
In 1990, Mayer began to
paint everything he could remember about his hometown and his childhood
there. Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett, his
daughter, began interviewing him in 1967 and has continued to do
so until the present.
In this exhibition you will be able
to see forty of Mayer's works, as well as read, see and hear him talk
about Jewish life in his hometown of Apt.
The Works of Martin Kieselstein
Dr. Martin Kieselstein was born in Romania in 1925, during the
Second World War, the area belonging to Hungary.
In 1944 he was deported to Auschwitz, together with all the Jews
of his hometown.
Only his father and he survived. His mother and my
sister died while doing forced labor. He never learned
whether they perished during the cold winter,
hunger, or the beatings of the Nazis.
In 1959 he came to Israel and worked there as a geriatrician in
Jerusalem, because I saw it as my duty to help elderly people,
especially those who were Holocaust survivors. In recognition of
my activities I was awarded the "Yakir Yerushalyim," ("Worthy
Citizen of Jerusalem") award.
Esther Nisenthal Krinitz
Through the Eye of
Fabric of Survival
Nisenthal Krinitz, at the age of fifty,
created a series of thirty-six embroidered
pictures, illustrating the stories of her
childhood in a small village in Poland, and her
survival during the Second World War. She used
the skills she had--her powerful memory and eye,
and her remarkable sewing technique--to tell her
own story, in her own way. She decided that she
wanted her daughters to see what her childhood
had been like, by creating a picture of it. She
had no artistic training, but she was extremely
skilled in sewing and embroidery, which she had
started doing as a little girl. She knew she
could stitch the picture she wanted to create,
but she wasn't confident that she could draw it,
so she asked her daughter, Helene, to draw for
her the picture she wanted to make: of her
house, the neighbors' home, and her family.
"But, Mom," Helene said, "I don't know what your
house looked like! You'll have to do this
exhibition, you can see Esther's wonderful
embroidery, which is sure to impress you as you
revel in Esther's creativity and imagination.
The Wooden Synagogues of Eastern Europe
has produced many linocut representations of the
once-extant wooden synagogues of Eastern Europe.
"My wooden synagogue series has become a labor
of love. It brings together many aspects of
myself: my love of history and geography, my
love affair with Jewish genealogy, my love of
art, and the love that I have for my wife who
helps me research and write...."