Meredith Stern

World of My Mothers

Meredith Stern

World of My Mothers

Date

2018

Edition Size

2

Media

Linocut

Binding

Loose pages

Dimensions

24 × 18 in

$ 2,200.00

2 in stock


View Collectors

Yale University, Beinecke Library

Who are we? Are we unique individuals who carve our own paths? How are we shaped or defined by our ancestors and their experiences? How do we carry, honor, relive, and understand the traumas and joys of their lives? How do we as individuals and as a society reckon with the injustices of the past and present and create a better future for ourselves and our future ancestors? In order to understand who we are and who we are capable of becoming we must learn our origin stories and the history of this land and people. The history of the human race is that of migration. Our current president is enacting racist anti-immigration laws which break apart families and ignore the history of people migrating to this continent. Learning our family histories and sharing our stories and culture with each other is part of the path we can take to understand our collective histories.

Over the past few years I have been exploring my mother’s side of our history through family interviews, translating Yiddish letters from Russian family members written in the 1940s, photos from the late 19th and early 20th century, and other documents our family collected. My great-great-grandparents on my mother’s side migrated to the US in the early 1900s fleeing the anti-Semitic pogroms of Ekaterinaslav, Russia and Galicia, Austria. Several Russian family members survived World War 2 living in the Ural Mountains in Russia.

I created a series of 8 prints of the women in my family – I call it “World of my Mothers” which is a play on the title of the book “World of my Fathers” which tells the history of the Jewish migration of the 19th and 20th century in to the United States. I drew portraits of each relative and my two year old son Fox collaborated by drawing lines around the portraits. I carved each portrait into linoleum. There are 8 prints hand printed in a limited edition of 11 prints. These portraits demonstrate the necessity of humanity to survive by migrating across borders to create better lives for themselves. In an era where our government is trying to criminalize the most basic human need to migrate so that we can have a safe home for our children, we must understand our own histories so that we do not repeat the traumas of the past.

World of My Mothers and Childhood Year One are paired together as a reflection on how the past informs the present. The history of each generation of our families influences the lives of our children. Displacement, trauma, and struggle as well as love and support affects our families and communities.

World of My Mothers is a series of 8 portraits of my ancestors. The portraits are of my mother, my grandmother, my two great grandmothers, my great aunt, my grandmother’s cousin, and my two great-great-grandmothers. This series celebrates the resilience of the women in my family who lived with trauma from migration, war, antisemitism, and in domestic life.

My son drew lines around each portrait which I carved and printed. Each print is 24.5” x 30.” They were created in 2018.

1.      Nechama Simonowsky. “World of My Mothers Series.” Linoleum block print portrait collaboration with my 3 year old kid. 24.5” x 30.” 2018.
2.      Rose Basmak. “World of My Mothers Series.” Linoleum block print portrait collaboration with my 3 year old kid. 24.5” x 30.” 2018.
3.      Rachel Leah Batashoff. “World of My Mothers Series.” Linoleum block print portrait collaboration with my 3 year old kid. 24.5” x 30.” 2018.
4.      Judith Kashoff. “World of My Mothers Series.” Linoleum block print portrait collaboration with my 3 year old kid. 24.5” x 30.” 2018.
5.      Fannie Black. “World of My Mothers Series.” Linoleum block print portrait collaboration with my 3 year old kid. 24.5” x 30.” 2018.
6.      Edith Halpern. “World of My Mothers Series.” Linoleum block print portrait collaboration with my 3 year old kid. 24.5” x 30.” 2018.
7.      Sadie Ehrlich. “World of My Mothers Series.” Linoleum block print portrait collaboration with my 3 year old kid. 24.5” x 30.” 2018.
8.      Dvora Ehrlich. “World of My Mothers Series.” Linoleum block print portrait collaboration with my 3 year old kid. 24.5” x 30.” B2018.