Posted on January 26th, 2011 by Rachel
18 Stones is hot off the press. Illustrated by local artist Nancy Patz and written by Susan L. Roth, this beautiful book imagines the story of a Jewish family living in Holland before the Holocaust.
Patz and Roth were inspired by a series of photographs belonging to Chaja Verveer, who was born in the Netherlands and who lost many relatives in the Shoah. Originally, Chaja’s photos were to serve as visual reference for a children’s book about Dutch Jews.
But as Nancy and Susan studied the images, they became intrigued by the people in the photographs. The images inspired Susan to conjure an imaginary constellation of family relationships and dramas that, in fact, bear no resemblance to the Verveers’ pre-war experiences. Nancy used big, bold strokes to render these mysterious characters in oil pastel. Like Susan’s poems, Nancy’s lush drawings reflect her own very personal, visceral, and emotional response to the Verveer photos and to the characters Susan had evoked.
The result is a series of 18 prose poems and accompanying oil pastels that, in Nancy’s and Susan’s words “honor, respect, and remember Chaja’s family and all families whose histories were lost in the Holocaust.”
We’re honored that Nancy and Susan—both of whom have published widely elsewhere, and have earned awards for their work—chose the Jewish Museum of Maryland to publish 18 Stones. The book grows out of Nancy’s exhibition, Her Inward Eye, which opened at the JMM in April 2010. The 18 Stones drawings and poems were part of that show. Response to Her Inward Eye was so positive that Barbara Katz—a former JMM president—urged us to create a publication to extend its reach. She and others generously funded the publication.
Susan & Nancy
18 Stones is available in the Museum Shop or by visiting our website:
And please plan to join us on Thursday February 24, from 5-7 p.m. for a book signing and reception, as we honor Nancy’s and Susan’s wonderful achievement. For more information, visit: http:///www.jewishmuseummd.org/event/upcoming-events