Please join us on Sunday May 10 at The Jewish Museum, when the exhibition They Called Me Mayer July: Painted Memories of a Jewish Childhood in Poland Before the Holocaust opens to the public at The Jewish Musem (Fifth Avenue at 92nd St, NYC), 11:00am-5:45pm. We hope you can also come on Thursday May 14 for a special public program with us at The Jewish Museum moderated by Dave Isay (StoryCorps and NPR). The members' opening is on May 5.
Mayer Kirshenblatt has made it his mission to remember the world of his childhood in living color, lest future generations know more about how Jews died than how they lived. This unique project is a blend of memoir, oral history, and visual interpretation, the culmination of a forty-year collaboration with Mayer's daughter Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett. Intimate, humorous, and refreshingly candid, the project is a remarkable record -- in both words and images -- of Jewish life in a Polish town before World War II, as seen through the eyes of an inquisitive boy. Further information can be found at www.mayerjuly.com
Mayer Kirshenblatt is 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, having completed the seven grades of Polish public school and kheyder. In 1990, at the age of 73, he began to paint everything he could remember about his hometown and his childhood, lest people know more about how Jews died than how they lived.
Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett is University Professor and Professor of Performance Studies at New York University. She is currently leading the Core Exhibition Development Team at the Museum of the History of Polish Jews in Warsaw. They Called Me Mayer July is the culmination of their collaboration, which began in 1967, when Barbara began interviewing her father about everything he could remember about his childhood in Poland.
They Called Me Mayer July: Painted Memories of a Jewish Childhood in Poland before the Holocaust has been organized by the Judah L. Magnes Museum. The exhibition has been made possible through a grant from the Taube Foundation for Jewish Life and Culture and thanks to the generosity of Jean and Sandy Colen, Varda and Irving Rabin, and Katie and Amnon Rodan.
The presentation at The Jewish Museum is generously supported by the Weiser Family Foundation in honor of Siegfried and Paula Weiser; The Atlantic Philanthropies; the Joseph Alexander Foundation; Goldie and David Blanksteen; the Robert I. Goldman Foundation; the Koret Foundation; the Winnick Family Foundation; Amy Rubenstein; and other donors.