Young Julie Mauskop first heard stories from “Bobbie” and “Zaide” about their wartime experiences in the Holocaust when she was about 10.
Mostly, Toba and Marton Mauskop, who survived Auschwitz, moved to the Ukraine after World War II and immigrated to the United States in 1979, talked about growing up before the Nazis came.
“It was really hard for them to talk about” what happened to them during the Shoah, says Mauskop, now 23, living and teaching in Tel Aviv. “They got very upset.”
Those early stories stayed with her; she started making paintings about her grandparents during college. The result is 15 large drawings — 14 acrylic in color, one charcoal in black and white — that will go on display Sunday, April 11 at Columbia/Barnard Hillel – Kraft Center.
The “Survivors” exhibit, co-sponsored by the 3GNY organization of grandchildren of Holocaust survivors, runs till April 21, and includes a video of Mauskop speaking with her grandparents.
An opening reception will be held at the Kraft Center April 11, Yom HaShoah, from 1 to 3 p.m.
Mauskop, who grew up in Larchmont, N.Y., says she tried to capture on canvas the message of “the little stories here and there” she heard from her grandparents, who live in Brooklyn. Stories of optimism, of rebuilding lives. “Instead of rejecting their belief in God, they developed a stronger faith that helped them treasure the family they built together.”
“It’s part of my history because it’s part of theirs,” says Mauskop, who has studied at Hebrew University and the Bezalel Academy of Art and Design in Jerusalem.
Her part-abstract, part-figurative paintings show her grandparents, no death camp numbers visible on their arms, in prosaic images — praying, drinking a cup of coffee, slicing a bagel. “It brings their experience to the present,” she says.
Signup for our weekly email newsletter here.