As you may recall from my previous blog post “Drawing from History” on June 27th (check it out here: http://jewishmuseummd.org/blog/2012/06/drawing-from-history/) as part of my internship with the education department I have been creating a series of paper dolls celebrating famous Jews of Maryland to be used as educational resources. One of my favorite elements about creating paper dolls that represent real people is the process of learning about their lives and legacies. It gives me a unique opportunity to connect with a person from history, and try to understand what they might have worn or what objects they would have owned and used. To do this I need to do some research on the era as well as explore the individual from a personal perspective.
For example I am currently working on a paper doll of Henrietta Szold. She is an inspiring woman who took on the great endeavor of attempting to cultivate a Jewish homeland. I wanted to depict a strong but tender woman before her time. Szold was born in 1860 in Baltimore, the daughter of a Rabbi and lived until 1945 when she died in Jerusalem. I looked at many photographs of her and created a likeness based on the iconic image of her as an older woman with deep, thoughtful eyes and graying hair. For her accessories I drew a cloche hat, shawl, Israeli flag, letter, book, and olive branch. I felt that these objects represented her as an individual, but also as a leader and innovator.
Henrietta Szold held many prestigious posts and accomplishments. She founded the Hadassah Women’s Organization and co-founded Ihud. She lived to help and serve others. I wanted to create a paper doll that commemorates this bold woman and Zionist. I hope people of all ages and backgrounds are reminded of her accomplishments with this paper doll and find themselves as inspired as I am.