By artist, Andrea Stongwater
Temple Israel’s Goodman Family Judaic & Archival Museum is thrilled to feature our newist exhibit, Old European Synagogues by artist, Andrea Strongwater.
When Andrea Strongwater, New York artist, was sorting her deceased mother’s belongings a few years ago, she found a French book published in 1980 with hundreds of postcards picturing Jewish life before World War I.
Starting with four black-and-white photos from the book and then relying on other vintage postcards, Strongwater has now painted in vivid color, 85 synagogues destroyed during the Holocaust. Once the synagogues were burned or blown apart, the Jewish community was levied a fee for the removal of the debris. Sometimes they were forced to remove the debris themselves, by hand.
Her goal is to “inspire the imagination,” she says, by showing great cultural centers in their glory and providing a survey of what once existed.
She has been commissioned to paint two synagogues by people searching for their family’s European heritage. Strongwater sells the originals and prints of each painting accompanied by notes about the synagogue and its community in order to continue the work and publish it in book form.