Remarks by Tad Taube, Chairman, Taube Foundation for Jewish Life & Culture, at the opening of the exhibition of "They Called Me Mayer July: Painted Memories of a Jewish Childhood in Poland Before the Holocaust" at the Judah L. Magnes Museum in Berkeley, California, September 9, 2007:
"The Taube Foundation for Jewish Life & Culture is pleased to sponsor the Judah Magnes Museum's exhibition of They Called Me Mayer July: Painted Memories of a Jewish Childhood in Poland Before the Holocaust.
"Part of our Mission as a Jewish philanthropy is to honor and celebrate the remarkable Jewish culture which existed in Poland for many centuries prior to the fascist horrors of the 1930s and 1940s.
"In so doing we acknowledge and express gratitude to the artist Mayer Kirshenblatt, whose vivid and memorable paintings document in detail the vibrant Jewish life in a small Polish city before the Holocaust. These colorful pictures bring to life the characters, streets, and domestic scenes of the town of Apt, from which Mayer emigrated in 1934.
"We especially admire two central features of this exhibition: first, the fact that Mayer taught himself to paint at age 74 in order to illustrate the stories of his childhood. Second, the 40-year collaboration of conversations and interviews with Mayer's daughter, New York University Professor Barbara Kirschenblatt-Gimblett.
"The Taube Foundation was already working with Barbara, in her role as chief curriculum consultant to the new Museum of the History of Polish Jews, a project in which the Taube Foundation is joined with other American and European philanthropies to construct a world-class museum on the site of the Warsaw Ghetto Resistance.
"Now we have the pleasure of supporting Barbara's father's important work as well. We congratulate Mayer, and his daughter, and the Judah Magnes Museum for a compelling exhibition and story."
Purim Play: "The Krakow Wedding," one of the many evocative and beautiful paintings by Mayer Kirshenblatt of memories of his life in Apt, Poland, prior to 1934.
Click here for a link to the showing of this art exhibition