CapRadio Reads

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Chasing Portraits

November 2017 book selection

Chasing Portraits

by Elizabeth Rynecki

November 8, 2017 | Vicki Lorini

Author Elizabeth Rynecki In Conversation With Donna Apidone Next Tuesday

We've saved the best for last. Please join us at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, November 14 in our Community Room for the last event of the CapRadio Reads season. With us will be Elizabeth Rynecki, author of Chasing Portraits: A Great-Granddaughter's Quest for Her Lost Art Legacy.

We have read mostly fiction in this book club, with a few delicious cookbooks thrown in for good measure, but this is our first memoir, and it's a wonderful one to start us in this genre.

Elizabeth Rynecki's great grandfather Moshe was an artist born in the late 19th Century. An observant Jew, he painted what he saw, which was religious life in early 20th Century Poland. Moshe, along with all other Jews in the region, had reason to worry about his safety when Hitler rose to power. He was concerned about what would happen to the more than 700 pictures he had painted, and friends began to help him hide them. Moshe died in a concentration camp during the war. His son—Elizabeth's grandfather—survived and was able to tell Elizabeth stories of her great grandfather the artist.

As an adult, Elizabeth set off to find out what had happened to the lost paintings by Moshe Rynecki. With this book, and a soon-to-be-finished documentary, we too will find some of the answers. But some may only be told in her conversation with Donna Apidone next Tuesday evening. We hope you'll join us for the rest of the story.

November 1, 2017 | Vicki Lorini

Obstacles Linger In The Search For Art Lost To The Holocaust

Recovering artworks stolen and lost during the Holocaust is a daunting task for survivors and their families. It is unbelievably difficult, both mentally and legally.

Elizabeth Rynecki, author of our November book selection, Chasing Portraits, traveled the world—from Poland to Israel—in search of the paintings her great grandfather created before the war. Along the way, she came across a wide variety of people and personalities. Our Morning Edition host, Donna Apidone, will try to uncover some of these anecdotes when she interviews Elizabeth for our last "In Conversation" event of 2017.

Among the characters you will encounter—both by reading the book and by listening to this interview—will be people desperate to help Elizabeth find artworks Moshe Rynecki painted before he perished in the Holocaust.

You will also meet people who are obviously worried that the provenance of the painting they have is dodgy at best and fraudulent at worst. Some will, no matter what, refuse to let this woman trying to rediscover her own heritage even view the art. It's an emotional, heartbreaking but sometimes joyous story. Don't miss it.

Get your tickets for this one-time-only event and join us Tuesday, November 14 at 6 p.m. in our Community Room. Arrive early for wine and appetizers and stay for the autographing.

October 25, 2017 | Vicki Lorini

Recovering A Legacy, One Piece At A Time

In recent years, we have seen many films and books documenting the lost and stolen art of the Holocaust. Survivors and their families search for what is rightfully theirs, hoping to unearth a legacy and to help ease the anguish of not knowing what has happened to these treasures.

In the book Chasing Portraits, Elizabeth Rynecki takes readers along on one such search with another layer of personal significance: The stolen art not only belonged to her family, but was created by her family. Elizabeth's great grandfather Moshe was an artist in Poland during the early 20th Century. Both he and much of his artwork disappeared during the Holocaust. His death was confirmed, but what happened to hundreds of his paintings was a mystery.

Donna Apidone, in conversation with Elizabeth Rynecki, will give us a glimpse into the journey to find these lost artworks.

Please join us at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, November 14 in our Community Room to hear this interesting and heartbreaking story.

October 18, 2017 | Vicki Lorini

Forthcoming Documentary Traces Author Elizabeth Rynecki's Search For Lost Artwork
Elizabeth Rynecki, author of Chasing Portraits: A Great-Granddaughter's Quest for Her Lost Art Legacy, will be the final selection for the CapRadio Reads "In Conversation" series for 2017.

We know that Rynecki's conversation with Donna Apidone will include a lot about her great grandfather's life, which was cut short by the Nazis in World War II, and also some about his art. But I'm also hoping they have a chance to talk about the documentary film Ms. Rynecki is making.

Moshe Rynecki, Elizabeth's great grandfather, was born in the late 19th century. He was a religious Jew, with traditional Jewish roots, but he lived in contemporary Warsaw, Poland. His art, to me reminiscent of Marc Chagall's work, was a documentary itself—of the world he left behind.

Elizabeth's long journey in search of the lost work of Moshe Rynecki is an amazing story.

Please join us for this look into the past on Tuesday, November 14, at 6 p.m. in our Community Room. Prepare for an emotional and fascinating evening.

October 11, 2017 | Vicki Lorini

Inside A Story Of Hope, Suffering And Rediscovering A Family's History

For our final event of the year, CapRadio Reads "In Conversation", presents Elizabeth Rynecki, who will discuss her book Chasing Portraits with Morning Edition Host Donna Apidone.

Chasing Portraits is Rynecki's quest for the lost artworks of her great grandfather, Moshe Rynecki. She realized that this quest would be her life's work after reading journals her grandfather had kept, which detailed the suffering her ancestors endured during World War II.

Rynecki is the daughter and the granddaughter of Holocaust survivors. Her story, and the story she tells about her grandfather who perished in the Majdanek concentration camp, will both haunt you and give you hope for the future.

Please join us for what is certain to be an emotional and fascinating discussion in our Community Room at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, November 14.

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