Posted on May 10th, 2013 by Rachel
A blog post by Assistant Director Deborah Cardin.
In honor of Mother’s Day, I decided to take a trip through our collections to see what kinds of things I could find that related to the topic of mothers. I started by typing in the word “mother” into our collections database. 1,087 records appeared. And with that I was off and running as I pulled up record after record of objects, photographs, and archival documents that captured an array of fascinating stories.
So what wonderful treasurers did I unearth? Many letters written from family members (usually sons) documenting travels and other important news such as engagements and births. I found one letter from “Mosie” (Moses Rosenfeld) to his mother written in July 26, 1899 (1968.22.13) and postcards from artist Reuben Kramer sent to his mother while he was traveling in Greece (1994.84.224). Some letters document sadder occasions reflected in one (1963.43.3) sent to Jacob Moses in October 1921 from the Keren Hayosod Committee offering condolences on the loss of his mother.
Mothers also show up in our art collection as the artist’s subject including works by noted Baltimore artist, Herman Maril. One painting, “My Mother’s Bread” (1955) (1989.125.1) depicts a glass of wine and loaf of challah. Another work, an ink drawing “Mistress of the House,” (1992.279.1) is of his mother Cecilia Maril Baker. Clearly his mother was influential in his life!
[photo of lithograph – 1975.022.002 - My search also turned up a beautiful lithograph that was used as an advertisement for Vienna Yeast from around 1897 and shows a mother, father, and son gathered around the Shabbat table.]
Looking through the object records, I found many artifacts that paint a story of women’s domestic life in the early 20th century including sewing machines, dishes, and silver. They also reflect the importance of objects owned by mothers as family heirlooms such as the silver Kiddush cup brought to the US that belonged to her mother by Rose Goldberg after World War II (1988.77.1). One of the more poignant items in our collection is a tombstone from Russia and dates to around 1910 that has this inscription, “In memory of dear mother, Mrs. Yutta, daughter of Reb Pinchas Kashan, passed away on the 18th of Elul, 5667 (August 28, 1907). I’d love to learn more about the journey of this object from a western Russian cemetery to the JMM’s storage room!
Much of my time, of course, was spent looking through our photograph collection. Here are some of my favorites:
1985.046.003 – Two women standing in front of cherry blossoms in Druid Hill Park, 1953 with the inscription “mother and Irene”
1987.019.038 – Phil and Ralph Levin standing with their mother
1988.075.009 – the Katz Family – mother is on the far right
1988.12.9 – I love this photo – Miriam Rothschild her daughter Edith on a ship wearing pirate costumes
By the time I had finished (and I have to confess that I did not actually have the time to look through all 1,087 records), I felt as though I had come away with a crash course on the impact of women in the lives of Maryland Jews spanning a course of two centuries and running the gamut from birth to death. Plus a much better understanding of the breadth and variety of our collections!
To learn more about our collections, feel free to check out our free on-line database!
So to all the mothers out there, I hope you have a wonderful Mother’s Day!
Posted on May 6th, 2013 by Rachel
Tau Beta Sigma high school sorority, Baltimore Chapter, Mothers Day Affair. Gift of Dr. Virginia T. Pond, 1984.211.032
It’s true – we do! Check out some of these great Mom photos from our collections, and see the bottom of the post for a special Mother’s Day Gift.
Murray C. Lehman and his mother Saidie A. May, c. 1920. Courtesy of Amalie Adler Ascher, 1989.167.009d
JEA Mother’s Club English class with Dr. Linden at the JEA building on Baltimore Street, 1937. Gift of Jack Chandler, 1992.231.148a
Benjamin Levin and his grandmother Sophie Szold. Bachrach & Bros.; 1903. Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Jastrow Levin, 1993.044.007
H. Blaustein with mother Ida. Gift of Gilbert L. Barron, 1993.61.21
Making snacks at the JCC, April, 1981. Gift of the Jewish Community Center of Greater Baltimore.
Parent/Infant playgroup at Park Heights JCC, November, 1979. Gift of the Jewish Community Center of Greater Baltimore, 2006.013.2394
Image captions, clockwise from top left:
1. Jacob Beser as infant, held by mother Rose, 1921-1922. Gift of Sylvia Beser, 1993.173.050.
2. Zeesla Baile Katz Rifman (mother) and Avrum K. Rifman. Gift of Ruth Rifman, 1992.040.001
3. Herman Goldman saying goodbye to his mother before shipping to Italy. Gift of Herman Goldman, 2008.021.005
4. Lena Tulkoff and her mother, Sara, in Russia, c. 1917. 1990.041.001
5. Ilene Spivak Liberman holding her beloved pet goose, Candy Kisses, in front of Brotman Meat Market and Poultry, 1119 E. Lombard Street, with her mother, Sylvia Brotman Spivack. Gift of Ilene Liberman, 2011.047.003
6. Sophia Rose + Mother, 1986. Gift of Liz Moser, 2009.026.086