Look no further than the nearest comfy couch or recliner for the future of Museums and Museum exhibitions.
I learned a little bit about the town of Opatów (Apt, in Yiddish) in Poland. During the 1930’s, about 10,000 people lived in Apt. Of that 10,000, more than 6,500 were Jews. The paintings, which in my opinion could be best described as Jewish Folk Art, were a study of Mayer’s experiences as a child growing up in this town in pre-WWII Poland. I was transfixed by the use of color and the sheer number of subjects in the works we looked at.
with delightful facial expressions. There is a holy ark with torah scrolls, a Rabbi, a Cantor and a host of men, women and children attending the service. The women were separated from the men (so as not to distract them from prayer) and some of the brightest colors in “Synagogue” are found in the clothing that the children are wearing.
Each work in this wonderful exhibition is a combination of experience, personal recollection and even a lesson in history. There were a number of times that an avatar in attendance said “wow, I had no idea…” and I feel so strongly that art like this has an important place in every group or culture.
The Second Life exhibition of Mayer’s work was actually a simultaneous presentation of the work. People in New York City and Warsaw had the opportunity to attend the opening in First Life (affectionately known by many as Real Life). The images have been shown already at the Judah L. Magnes Museum in Berkley, CA and in Mayer’s hometown in Apt. They are currently able to be seen in First Life at The Jewish Museum, New York and in the Galicia Jewish Museum in Krakow, Poland. Some of Mayer’s works will be soon traveling to Amsterdam for an exhibition there as well.
Of course, if you’re not a world traveler, you can see this exhibition from the comfort of your own home – just like I did - if you are ready to take the leap into a Second Life and join in the culturally rich environment waiting there for you.