Elizabeth Rynecki’s talk, Chasing Portraits: a Great-Granddaughter’s Search for her Lost Art Legacy, chronicles stories of the missing paintings and follows her efforts to rediscover the collection. Perhaps the most intriguing part of her journey is the dual role she assumes as both historian and claimant.
Rynecki’s tells the story about her great-grandfather, Moshe Rynecki, an artist living in Poland at the outbreak of WWII. Moshe’s concerns about preserving his paintings and sculptures led him to hide work in and around Warsaw. He died in Majdanek, a concentration camp. After the war, Moshe’s family recovered approximately 100 paintings, believing that just this single bundle survived. In recent years she has tracked and discovered more of her great grandfather’s previously lost works.