Inspired by the art and story of Holocaust survivor Esther Nisenthal Krinitz, Art and Remembrance uses art and personal narrative to recognize individual courage and resilience, and to foster understanding and compassion for those who experience injustice.
Art and Remembrance draws on the power and passion of Esther’s art and story–and other first-person narratives told through art–to educate about the Holocaust and other forms of social injustice; to open hearts and minds to the experiences of others; and to give voice to those who may yet share their stories through the healing power of art.
Art and Remembrance, an arts and educational non-profit based in Maryland, was founded in 2003 to bring the work and story of Holocaust survivor and fabric artist Esther Nisenthal Krinitz to a wider audience; to maximize the educational potential of her art and her unique story; and to promote the use of art and personal memoir as tools for promoting healing and awareness. As the daughters of Holocaust survivor Esther Nisenthal Krinitz, founders Bernice Steinhardt and Helene McQuade grew up with the stories of their mother’s courage and suffering as a child during the war. Years later, after Esther began to turn her stories into a narrated series of fabric art pictures, they realized the incredible power that their mother’s art, combined with her stitched narratives, had on people. Together, art and story could help people understand not only what war and intolerance are, but also how it feels to those who endure them.
The organization has managed an exhibit of Esther’s works that has toured nationally; published an award-winning book, Memories of Survival, that has been translated into Japanese and Korean; developed and disseminated curricula for students from elementary school through high school; and produced a multiple-award-winning 30-minute documentary, “Through the Eye of the Needle: The Art of Esther Nisenthal Krinitz,” completed in late 2011, that continues to be screened across the country and abroad, and has recently seen its television broadcast premier on Maryland Public Television. Among its other projects, Art and Remembrance is using the film as a prompt for reflection, discussion, and story sharing through art–primarily working with immigrants and others who have suffered injustice–through a new program called HeART and Story.
The organization is also working on a traveling exhibit of high-quality photo reproductions of Esther Krinitz’s artwork, to make the art and story more accessible. Over the years, Art and Remembrance has also helped bring to public attention the work of others who have shared their story through art–and particularly through fabric art.