Stitching History From The HolocaustArt Exhibitions
Stitching History From The Holocaust, an original exhibit created by and on loan from Jewish Museum Milwaukee, will be on view through March 19 at Jewish Museum of Florida – FIU. See a captivating story unfold through dresses with a family divided between two continents and two destinies. In 1939 Paul Strnad, who was living in Prague, wrote to his cousin Alvin in Milwaukee to obtain an affidavit to help him and his wife Hedwig escape the onslaught of Nazi Germany. Paul sent Alvin sketches of Hedwig’s clothing designs with the hope that these examples of her work would provide evidence of their financial independence. Despite Alvin’s best efforts to obtain visas for the couple, Paul and Hedy perished in the Holocaust. Years later, the sketches were discovered by Alvin’s family and, thanks to the the Milwaukee Repertory Theater, Hedy’s drawings were brought to life. Her designs were the height of fashion for 1939, but the clothing also provides a small, yet telling window into the lives of Jews in Prague on the eve of World War II. They also attest to the dynamism of the Prague fashion industry before the Holocaust and reflect the styles of designers in the fashion centers of Europe in the 1930s and 40s.