I was twelve when legendary Little Golden Books illustrator Tibor Gergely (Scuffy the Tugboat, Tootle the Engine, etc.) drew me, in his studio on Lexington Avenue in NYC, lost in my favorite activity. Now, decades later, today, I got to stand next to my likeness in the Platt/Bornstein Gallery at American Jewish University. Only this time I’m only pretending to read. smile emoticonThese days, all my extra time is spent on rewriting my family story (which many of you know as The Goldsmith’s Daughter.) As I excavate the past I’m struck by the extraordinary artists who peopled my life as a child. Tibor Gergely, my surrogate uncle (whom we called ‘Geri’) was my very favorite person. Thank you for then and now, Geri. Then and now. So very grateful
Big news this week.
I finally found a home for my mother’s Burning Wooden Synagogue paintings. (Burned in Eastern Europe on Kristallnacht.) Some of you may recall that at the end of her life my mother, artist Greta Schreyer painted a series of 6 of these burning synagogues. She said she had to live long enough to find the courage to paint them. They were exhibited in a museum in NY before they came tome when my mother died 10 years ago last October. And here they’ve been, in the studio, all these years.
This week the first shipment of these paintings went to the Skirball Museum – Cincinnati.
I’m incredibly grateful and a bit overwhelmed.
It’s been my decade-long goal to get these to the right museum. I’ve tried again and again. Now that they’re packed and ready, my tears are falling. Not exactly for my mother. I’m so grateful to have found a good home for these. But just before we closed the shipping boxes I began to sob. For the suffering of Jews in these small towns in Poland where these synagogues were set on fire. I said a prayer over them.
And now, off they go.
My blue-eyed boy is at it again. This time he’s creating lamps of iron and giant crystals lit from within. I can’t believe the flow of his creativity. And I can’t wait to see him and his lamps in the design show in Soho. Go, boy, go!!!
At the end of her life, my mother, Austrian emigre artist Greta Schreyer (1917-2005), painted a series of 6 burning wooden synagogues. These synagogues burned on Kristallnacht, six months after my mother said goodbye to her parents at a train station in Vienna, never to see them again.
Yesterday morning the LA Museum of the Holocaust came to see them, along with some of the other works of art I inherited when my mother died. Fingers crossed that these paintings find the right home!