TREASURED: Honoring Precious and Vanishing Worlds

(to view in browser click here)

TREASURED: HONORING PRECIOUS AND VANISHING WORLDS is an exhibition at the Annmarie Sculpture Garden and Arts Center in Solomons, MD that features three prints from my fine art portfolios: Bet Hayyim (House of the Living) and Endangered Historic Houses.
The art exhibit opens on June 15 and continues to August 26 2012.

Title: Hands of the Kohan.  Medzhybizh, Ukraine, 2008, Edition: 3/10
12 x 18 inches, Fine Art Paper with Archival Pigmented Inks

Title: Kohans, Levites and the Star of David.  Chernivtsi, Ukraine, 2008, Edition:3/10
12 x 18 inches,  Fine Art Paper with Archival Pigmented Inks

In 2008 I crisscrossed the heartland of the Ukraine  to photograph historic Jewish cemeteries and hand-carved tombstones in cities, towns and shtetls. Every site had a story to tell and each stone was an artistic treasure filled with iconographic beauty and mystery. The headstones of the Kohanim, descendants of the Biblical priests, had hands joined in a gesture of blessing. The pitcher pouring water represented the tribe of Levites, the assistants to the priests. Some epitaphs were intricately carved, the stones decorated in an elaborate Jewish script covering the entire surface; others held only the most minimal outline of the Star of David. Other friezes depicted symbols of lineage and gender. These gravestones, some dating from the 1400’s, depict a visual history of the once vast community of Eastern European Jews, and serve as reminders of the people who lived in this place and died.

Title: Shattered Spaces. 2012
Edition: 3/10
12 x 18 inches, Fine Art Paper with Archival Pigmented Inks

Less than two years ago the Shoemaker-Houck Farm was in excellent condition, one of the premier structures located within the New Jersey Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area that is owned by the National Park Service. The front portion of the house was built in 1822 while the rear portion was built in the eighteenth century. This National Register Site has no protection and has now become vandalized. The back door is wide open and window glass is missing, sadly revealing the ruins of neglect. These scarred elements are key to understanding the rural development of northwestern New Jersey and the significant role that area played in American history.

I am drawn to the timeless nature of historic architecture because it is a repository of collective memories – a record of our heritage, the builders and the people who once inhabited these spaces. There is an urgency about what I photograph because each derelict site is a reminder of our inadequacy as cultural stewards. I look to the architectural details, to the deeply etched memories in the stones, the walls and the structures as a window to remembering our past.

Advertisements

‘The Song of the Land’

Opening January 20 2012 – May 31 2012
Reception –  February 23 2012  5-7pm
Hebrew Union College, Institute of Religion, John H. Skirball Campus
3077 University Avenue
Los Angeles, Ca 90007-3796

Included in the ‘The Song of the Land’  Exhibition is a framed print from my
Bet Hayyim – House of Life’ series:


Title: Hands of the Kohan, Medzhybizh, Ukraine 2008
Medium: Fine Art Digital Inkjet Paper with Archival Pigmented Inks
Size:  10 inches x 15 inches
Framed: $700.00 – 16 inches x 20 inches
Edition 4/10

I viewed the thousands of stones in the Jewish cemeteries throughout the Ukraine as artistic treasures of iconographic beauty and mystery. The headstones of the Kohanim, descendants of the Biblical priests, had hands joined in a gesture of blessing. The carved gravestones depict a visual history of the once vast community of Eastern European Jews, and serve as reminders of the people who lived in this place and died.

As a historic preservation photographer, I document sites being bulldozed or restored. As a fine art photographer, I choose my destinations to record the poetics of a place. There is an urgency about what I photograph because each is a painful reminder of our inadequacy as cultural stewards. I am drawn to the timeless nature of historic architecture because it is a repository of collective memories. From its ever-evolving essence one can understand the sites’ creative and passionate link to humanity.

%d bloggers like this: