March 28, - June 30 2004
FROM EMIGRANT TO IMMIGRANT: Reflections on Coming and Becoming
DESCRIPTION: This exhibition looked at the personal stories of immigrant families in an attempt to understand the ramifications of transplanting a family and a way of life from the “Old World” to the “New World”. What is brought with – what is left behind?
Certain families are rich in the physical aspect of their histories. There is a bounty of goods: letters, linens, silver, photographs etc. For some very little survived the long voyages and the packing and unpacking. In that regard, genealogical studies have become more important than ever. Much of the information in this exhibition exists only because younger generations, confronted with the discontinuity of the migration experience, and, in an attempt to hold onto family history – in order to be able to transmit it to succeeding generations – are researching, translating, framing, photocopying and sharing their family’s histories. We are all the richer for their sincere efforts.
The second section of this exhibition consisted of original artwork. The work of Jordan Cassway, Lori Mukai, Ben Langsfeld, and Marlene Adler was created specifically for this exhibition and was funded by the Five County Arts Fund of the Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance. Additionally, artists Joan Myerson Shrager, Judy Langsfeld, and Rhea Dennis have been working with themes of family and heritage for quite some time. These artists are muses of history. By integrating experiences of immigration into their artwork they have each created a highly personal way of looking at the commonality of the American story, one that is unique, and uniquely touching. It is one small part of the totality of 350 years of Jewish life in America.
Rita Rosen Poley, Curator