he Memorial Art Gallery (MAG) of the University of Rochester is pleased to announce Fabric of Survival
The Art of Esther Nisenthal Krinitz, an exhibition of 36 needlework and fabric collages that tell the life story of the artist, a Holocaust survivor. Each panel includes meticulously stitched captions beneath the image. In combination, word and image provide a chronological narrative of events leading up to and following Krinitz’s decision as a 15-year-old girl to go off on her own, with her younger sister, rather than join the rest of their family and neighbors on their forced journey to a death camp in Poland. The exhibit will be on view at MAG August 17–December 2, 2018.
According to McPherson Director of Academic Programs Marlene Hamann-Whitmore, the exhibition’s curator at MAG, the fabric collages “are a striking and moving story of one woman’s journey from a childhood impacted by the horror and trauma of war and discrimination to the hope of a new life in the United States.” Mary W. and Donald R. Clark Director Jonathan Binstock adds, “as powerful as the story is, it is the stunning craft and loving attention to detail that inspires one’s deeply felt response.”
In 1977, at the age of 50, Esther Nisenthal Krinitz began creating works of fabric art to depict her story of survival. Trained as a dressmaker but untrained in art, she created this collection of needlework and fabric collage pictures in strong, vivid colors and striking details with a sense of folk-like realism. While the pictures are visually pleasing, almost cheerful, a closer examination reveals the stark incongruity between the pastoral surroundings and the human violence, terror, and betrayal that are their subjects.
MAG is able to bring Esther Nisenthal Krinitz’ work to Rochester through a collaboration with Art and Remembrance, an organization founded in 2003 by Esther’s daughters Bernice Steinhardt and Helene McQuade. Art and Remembrance is a nonprofit educational organization dedicated to using the power of story and art to illuminate the effects of war, intolerance, and social injustice. Visit www.artandremembrance.org to learn more about the organization.
According to Bernice Steinhardt, “My sister Helene and I are honored to bring our mother’s art and story to Rochester and MAG. Esther never imagined that her work would be seen outside of her family—she created her art just for her daughters. But we always knew that her art needed to be out in the world and are deeply grateful to MAG and those in the Rochester community who helped to bring it here.”
Wednesday–Sunday 11 am to 5 pm, and until 9 pm on Thursdays and select Fridays. Closed Mondays and
$15; senior citizens, $12; college students with ID and children 6–18, $6. Always free to members, University of
Rochester faculty/staff and students, and children 5 and under. Half-price general admission Thursdays from 5–9
pm is made possible in part by Monroe County. For more information, call 585.276.8900 or visit
Exhibition Credit Line:
Underwritten by the William & Sheila Konar Foundation, with additional support from Joan Feinbloom, the Gallery
Council of the Memorial Art Gallery, Mona Friedman Kolko and Mark Kolko, Hillel Community Day School, Hillel at
the University of Rochester, the Jewish Federation of Greater Rochester, Jewish Senior Life, the Louis S. Wolk
Jewish Community Center of Greater Rochester, Pamela Miller Ness and Paul Marc Ness, and an anonymous donor
in honor of Hillel at the University of Rochester.
Funding was also provided by the Ames Amzalak Memorial Trust, Rina & Danny Chessin and family, Daphne
Futerman & Ira Jevotovsky and family, Peggy & Eli Futerman and family, Rubens Family Foundation, Marty and
Vanessa Friedman, Tracie and Abe Glazer, Jill Friedman Rosen and Brian Rosen, Simon & Josephine Braitman
Family Supporting Foundation, Essie Germanow, Robin and Michael Weintraub, Gradinger Family Fund, the
Families of Laurence and Karen Kessler and Dennis Kessler and Andrea Miller, Dr. Ronald and Trudie Kirshner,
Bud and Joan Rusitzky, Marcia Stern, Walsh Duffield, John and Jane August, Marianne & Herb Friedman, Jed Kolko
and Eric Rice, and Danielle Kolko Henshaw and Larry Henshaw.