They Called Me Mayer July: Painted Memories of a Jewish Childhood in Poland Before the Holocaust
They Called Me Mayer July presents over 80 paintings and drawings by Mayer Kirshenblatt vividly chronicling life in Opatów, Poland (Apt in Yiddish) in the 1920s and early 30s. Kirshenblatt left for Canada in 1934 and taught himself to paint at age 73 so he could share his memories of the vibrant Jewish world found in the Poland of his youth.
Mayer Kirshenblatt has made it his mission to remember the world of his childhood in living color, lest future generations know more about how Jews died than how they lived. This unique project is a blend of memoir, oral history, and visual interpretation. Intimate, humorous, and refreshingly candid, the project is a remarkable record -- in both words and images -- of Jewish life in a Polish town before World War II, as seen through the eyes of an inquisitive boy.
For more information, including visiting Apt, Poland with Mayer July, seeing visitor stories and viewing the exhibition catalogue and gallery guide for families visit http://www.thejewishmuseum.org/exhibitions/MayerJuly.