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Museum at Eldridge Debuts New Art Gallery With Mark Podwal Exhibit

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Guests at the opening of "Kaddish for Dabrowa Bialostocka." Photo by Kate Milford.
Guests at the opening of “Kaddish for Dabrowa Bialostocka.” Photo by Kate Milford.

The Museum at Eldridge debuted their brand new gallery space, the Michael Weinstein Gallery, with an inaugural exhibition by artist Mark Podwal last night. Podwal became known for his New York Times Op Ed illustrations and went on to write and illustrate numerous books. His art is represented in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Victoria and Albert Museum, the Fogg Art Museum and the Library of Congress.

Podwal’s cycle, All this has come upon us…forty-two paintings and drawings, disturbing reminders of how Europe’s extensive history of “Jew-hatred” laid the groundwork for the Holocaust, was featured at the Terezin Ghetto Museum in 2014. They have been published as archival pigment print portfolios.

Yiddish Dąbrowa by Mark Podwal
Yiddish Dąbrowa by Mark Podwal

The show, “Kaddish for Dabrowa Bialostocka,” features eighteen new works in acrylic and colored pencil.  They were inspired by Podwal’s recent visit to Dąbrowa Białostocka, the town in Poland where his mother was born; he describes the works as a “visual diary of my journey to Dabrowa.”

The museum writes:

Though at one time Jews made up 78% of the town’s population, today none remain…The drawings are based on what he saw in town and what he heard from elderly residents as they reminisced about their former Jewish neighbors. Along with the exhibition, a documentary film about Dabrowa by Tomasz Wisniewski will be screened every day at 2 pm. The September 18 opening also celebrates the publication of Podwal’s new book, Reimagined: 45 Years of Jewish Art.

Illustration by Mark Podwal.
Illustration by Mark Podwal.

The show is on exhibit through Thursday, Dec. 1st, 2016. The gallery hours and admission are in conjunction with the Museum Hours & Admission (be sure to check holiday closures): Sunday – Thursday from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Friday from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., closed every Saturday.

Other shows slated for the space include: “The Jewish Ghetto in Postcards: From Eastern Europe to the Lower East Side,” an exhibition of postcards from the Blavatnik Archive (December 15-February 23); postcards of Eastern European synagogues from a private collector (March/April), and artwork inspired by student visitors to the Museum (May/June).

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