More About the Author
I was born and raised in Toronto's downtown immigrant neighborhood in the immediate postwar years. My mother came to Canada in 1929 and my father in 1934, both of them from Poland.
For the last forty years I have been interviewing my family and especially my father. After much pleading, my father finally agreed to paint what he could remember about his childhood in Poland. That was in 1990 and he was 73.
The result is a book and exhibition, They Called Me Mayer July: Painted Memories of a Jewish Childhood in Poland Before the Holocaust, which coincide with my father's 91rst birthday. This has been a family project and great blessing for all of us. The exhibition will open at the Magnes Museum (Berkeley) on September 9, 2007 and travel to The Jewish Museum (NYC) and Jewish Historical Museum (Amsterdam), among others.
This project grows out of my ongoing research and writing on East European Jewish culture. How gratifying to come full circle from Image Before My Eyes: A Photographic History of Jewish Life in Poland, 1864-1939, which I co-authored with the beloved Lucjan Dobroszycki in the 1970s. This book accompanied an exhibition and formed the basis for a film, which is now on DVD. I am also leading the core exhibition development team of the Museum of the History of Polish Jews, which will open in Warsaw in 2010.
Today, I am University Professor and Professor of Performance Studies at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts. My more recent books include Destination Culture: Tourism, Museums, and Heritage; The Art of Being Jewish in Modern Times (edited with Jonathan Karp); and the edited volume Writing a Modern Jewish History: Essays in Honor of Salo W. Baron, which won a National Jewish Book Award in 2006.
I have been living on the Bowery since 1974 with my husband, Max Gimblett, who is an artist (http://www.maxgimblett.com). When time permits, I bake sourdough rye bread and make barley soup that come as close as possible to the daily fare of my parents in pre-World War II Poland.
You'll find the recipe on my Amazon blog.