Stitching Together Memories of War | WYPR

Stitching Together Memories of War

Feb 22, 2019

Janiszew Prison Camp by Esther Krinitz. 1994. Embroidery and fabric collage.
Credit Collection of Bernice Steinhardt and Helene McQuade.

Decades after Esther Nisenthal Krinitz lost her family in the Holocaust, she began stitching together childhood memories, using thread and fabric to detail life in their Polish village, and trauma of World War II. It was an avocation she took up while running a clothing store in downtown Frederick.

Now dozens of her embroidered panels are coming to the American Visionary Art Museum, part of an exhibit about genocide and human injustice.

Esther’s daughter, Bernice Steinhardt, describes the message of her mother’s art, "I would love for them to understand the beauty of the world that she lived in, and that she never lost that sense of beauty, and how quickly it was taken from her." Steinhardt co-founded the nonprofit Art and Remembrance to spread her mother's story.

The AVAM exhibition, "Esther and the Dream of One Loving Human Family" opens tomorrow. On Sunday, there is a free panel discussion about the exihibit. Information here.