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Chasing Portraits: A Great-Granddaughter's Quest for Her Lost Art Legacy
Chasing Portraits: A Great-Granddaughter's Quest for Her Lost Art Legacy | Elizabeth Rynecki
80 posts | 13 read | 91 to read
The memoir of one woman s emotional quest to find the art of her Polish-Jewish great-grandfather, lost during World War II. "Moshe Rynecki s body of work reached close to eight hundred paintings and sculptures before his life came to a tragic end. It was his great-granddaughter Elizabeth who sought to rediscover his legacy, setting upon a journey to seek out what had been lost but never forgotten " The everyday lives of the Polish-Jewish community depicted in Moshe Rynecki s paintings simply blended into the background of Elizabeth Rynecki s life when she was growing up. But the art transformed from familiar to extraordinary in her eyes after her grandfather, Moshe s son George, left behind journals detailing the loss her ancestors had endured during World War II, including Moshe s art. Knowing that her family had only found a small portion of Moshe s art, and that many more pieces remained to be found, Elizabeth set out to find them. Before Moshe was deported to the ghetto, he entrusted his work to friends who would keep it safe. After he was killed in the Majdanek concentration camp, the art was dispersedall over the world. With the help of historians, curators, and admirers of Moshe s work, Elizabeth began the incredible and difficult task of rebuilding his collection. Spanning three decades of Elizabeth s life and three generations of her family, this touching memoir is a compelling narrative of the richness of one man s art, the devastation of war, and one woman s unexpected path to healing."
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Erynecki
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You can now stream the Chasing Portraits documentary film on iTunes for just $2.99

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Erynecki
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If you have not yet had a chance to catch a screening of the Chasing Portraits documentary, I'm excited to share that you can now pre-order the documentary from Amazon! Of course don‘t forget to read the book before you catch the film. The two are companion pieces. https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07Y97FK4Y/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_i_WUHVDbV5BZB6Y

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Erynecki
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The Chasing Portraits docfilm screens for FREE at Bates College on 6 November. I will be there for a Q&A after the film. If you live near Lewiston (ME) come check out the festival. It‘s open to the general public and they‘re screening some amazing films! Event details: http://www.chasingportraits.org/events/

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Laura317
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Pickpick

Good book further telling about lost and looted artworks during WW2. This book focuses on the author‘s search for her great grandfather‘s art. Very detailed - I felt as if I was sitting with Ms. Rynecki and hearing the story.

Eggs Cover love 3mo
Laura317 I love the painting of the girl at the bottom! @Eggs 3mo
Eggs It is soulful 3mo
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Erynecki 😊Hope you get a chance to see the film! 3mo
Laura317 @Erynecki If it comes near Knoxville, TN, I will go! 3mo
Erynecki @Laura317 Sadly, it did, but over a year ago. We screened at Clayton Center for the Arts in Maryville in November last year as part of the Southern Circuit tour. But stay tuned, it should be available on DVD and Amazon later this year. 3mo
Laura317 I will look for it on Amazon. If you happen to see it before me, please let me know! @Erynecki 3mo
31 likes7 comments
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Laura317
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Looking forward to this book! I‘ve always been interested in the art and monuments that were destroyed or stolen by Nazis and opportunists. This book is written by a Litten, and tells how one determined woman works to get her great-great grandfather‘s art back.

Cinfhen I‘ve been wanting to read this book. I‘m also interested in the history of the looted art 4mo
Erynecki Happy reading! 📚😊 4mo
kspenmoll I really loved another memoir about trying to find & reclaim his family‘s looted art 4mo
Cinfhen I‘ve seen the film @Laura317 and loved it and I‘ve read The Orpheus Clock and thought it was really good. The personal family history was so interesting/ I would recommend as well. Good call @kspenmoll 4mo
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Erynecki
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It‘s true, Chasing Portraits screens at the Washington (DC) JCC in October and I will be there for some of the screenings! Running October 25-31. Full Schedule to be announced.

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Erynecki
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Chasing Portraits screens in St. Louis, MO next month! I am doing a Skype Q and A with the audience after the showing. https://jccstl.com/arts-ideas/st-louis-jewish-film-festival/events-film-schedule...

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Erynecki
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"This moving portrait of one woman's effort to connect with her family history and particularly with a man she never knew had me tearing up...magical." -Steve Kopian, Unseen Films

Elizabeth Rynecki's Chasing Portraits is NOW PLAYING in LA at Laemmle Music Hall!

**Filmmaker Q&As following the 7:30pm show Friday-Sunday and after the 3:10pm show on Sunday**

Tickets & showtimes available now: bit.ly/2VqTR0G

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Erynecki
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I‘m in Toronto for the Jewish Film Festival (that‘s me at the mic). One more screening tomorrow at 3:30. Next up...Los Angeles!
www.ChasingPortraits.org/events

DivineDiana Fantastic! (edited) 8mo
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Erynecki
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Pickpick

It‘s been so GREAT to connect with audiences at the Cinema Village (NYC) screenings of Chasing Portraits. I‘m headed back to California tomorrow, but you can still catch the documentary everyday at 1:15, 3, 5:15, 7, and 9:15 until 5/2. Next up...5/10 and 5/12 in Canada at the Toronto Jewish Film Festival and then for a week in Los Angeles at the Laemmle Music Hall opening the weekend of 5/17

BookishMarginalia So looking forward to seeing it! 9mo
Erynecki @BookishMarginalia where are you based? 9mo
BookishMarginalia Between St Pete and Sarasota in Florida. An hour away from Tampa. 9mo
12 likes3 comments
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Erynecki
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‪Do you love to plan ahead? Chasing Portraits opens in NY at Cinema Village on 4/26 and you can buy your tickets now! I‘ll be there opening weekend for QandA sessions after several of the screenings. Bring your copy of the book and I‘ll sign it! Visit https://www.cinemavillage.com/Now-Playing/chasing-portraits.html for ticket information.

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Erynecki
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Today is International Holocaust Memorial Day. Every time I share my great-grandfather's art with others I feel a measure of hope that his art legacy will not be forgotten. My great grandfather painted the Polish-Jewish community in the interwar years. This photo was taken at Majdanek, a Nazi concentration and extermination camp where we believe he perished. http://rynecki.org/majdanek-the-cruelty-of-it/

JazzFeathers 💔 12mo
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Erynecki
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Chasing Portraits screens in two locations in January...
NY Jewish Film festival at Lincoln Center 1/14 at 6pm and 1/16 at 1pm
Miami Jewish Film Festival 1/16 at 7pm
www.ChasingPortraits.org/events for details

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Erynecki
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I‘m in Jerusalem for two screenings of CHASING PORTRAITS at the Jerusalem Jewish Film Festival.

MayJasper Best wishes 😊 Your book has been on my TBR for ages. I simply must track down a copy. 13mo
Erynecki @MayJasper It‘s available for order from your favorite independent bookseller, Amazon, and most libraries. Happy reading 😊 13mo
tpixie @MayJasper yes you must!!! 13mo
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Erynecki
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There are now signed copies at the Athens, GA Barnes and Noble.

MayJasper Very pleased for you 👍 13mo
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Erynecki
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“Elizabeth Rynecki‘s bookshelves may be stacked with Holocaust memoirs but her father thinks there are two ways of dealing with what he and his parents survived: “You either reconcile or forget it.” He chose the latter. Yet his silence only enlarges his daughter‘s yearning to know more, especially about her artist great-grandfather Moshe Rynecki, who died at Majdanek concentration camp.” www.ChasingPortraits.org/events

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Erynecki
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The Chasing Portraits documentary film screens in TN, GA, and SC next month as part of the Southern Circuit. Bring your copy of the book to the screening and I‘ll sign it! 📚🎥📚🎥

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Erynecki
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Upcoming CHASING PORTRAITS docfilm screenings (that I‘m allowed to tell you about) include:
Oct 8 Buffalo Film Festival
Nov 5,6,7,8,11,12 Southern Circuit
Nov 9 St Louis InternationalFilm Festival
Nov 18 Boston Jewish Film Festival
Nov 27 Special screening w/Oregon Jewish Museum
Details: ChasingPortraits.org/Events

tpixie Congrats! 1y
Erynecki @tpixie thanks! 1y
tpixie 😊 1y
Graciouswarriorprincess Congratulations! 1y
13 likes4 comments
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Erynecki
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Chasing Portraits screens in Buffalo, NY next month and their International Film Festival.

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Kathrin
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Pickpick

The author recounts the life of her great-grandfather, how the family was separated in WWII and her dad along with his parents ended up in the USA. But really the book starts here by following the author's quest for her great-grandfathers pictures, not to claim them, but to experience them. The reader sees Rynecki following the rollercoaster of such a task. The book is written in an informal way and for me as a reader it made it more relatable.

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Erynecki
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I will be in St. George (Utah) next week for three CHASING PORTRAITS events:

Sept. 4: NOON for a talk and book reading at the Affogato Love Cafe
Sept. 4: 5 pm at The Electric Theater
Sept. 6: 10 am at Red Cliffs 4

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litsybookclub
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Link for podcast: https//deerfieldlibrary.org/2017/11/elizabeth-Rynecki-chasing-portraits-author-sits-down-with-us-in-the-podcast-studio

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litsybookclub
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Discussion Question Number Four.

Theresa I'm looking forward to seeing more of the art in the documentary. I listened to the audiobook which was wonderful but not so much when it comes to showing the art that was the subject of the story. 1y
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litsybookclub
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Discussion Question Number Three.

tpixie I loved his work!! I love the children looking in the window! And I love the one where there‘s a carnival in the background. And I thought it was very enlightening looking at all the Jewish men reading and studying together. ( I don‘t have the titles in front of me right now) 1y
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litsybookclub
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Discussion Question Number Two.

tpixie My sister worked on our family tree and I have it in boxes down in the basement. Maybe someday I‘ll get to it! No family made heirlooms. My great aunt had a lovely vase that I would love to know the story of. We ended up selling it to an auction house though. It was large- over 2 feet, breakable & I had no place safe to put it. (edited) 1y
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Erynecki
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Thank you @litsybookclub for such a great CHASING PORTRAITS book club discussion. I really enjoyed meeting you and answering your kind and thoughtful questions!

tpixie We had a great time!! Thanks for joining us! (edited) 1y
Graciouswarriorprincess I agree! Thank you for sharing your time and book with us! We had a wonderful time! 1y
Libby1 I‘m so sorry I missed it! I‘m glad you all had a good time, @Erynecki , @tpixie , and @Graciouswarriorprincess . 1y
Graciouswarriorprincess @Libby1 We missed you! @Erynecki was fabulous. 1y
tpixie @Libby1 yes, we would have loved you! Check out chasingportraits.com 1y
13 likes5 comments
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MayJasper
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Many museums were involved in this epic search to track down her special heirlooms.
#augustisatrip photo challenge #museum
Thanks @vkois88 and @Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks 😊

vkois88 That cover is gorgeous! ❤ The book sounds really good 1y
BooksTeasAndBookishThings @litsybookclub just had a good discussion with @Erynecki about it ❤️ 1y
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litsybookclub
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Discussion Question Number One.

tpixie I really didn‘t know anything- except from the movie, The Monuments Men. Becoming an historian instead of a claimant seemed to be an important decision to make to get access to more paintings. I also didn‘t realize or think about how hard/ necessary it would be to establish/ prove provenance. 1y
49 likes2 stack adds1 comment
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litsybookclub
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Thank you to Elizabeth Rynecki for joining us today to discuss Chasing Portraits. A huge thank you to Sonia, Daisy, Teri, Theresa and Kathryn for joining us. You make this book club wonderful and we enjoy learning more each month with you on our reading journey!

tpixie This is such a moving story! Thanks for taking the time to visit with us @Erynecki !! ♥️📚♥️ 1y
Erynecki My pleasure! You‘re a lovely group and asked such thoughtful questions. 😊 1y
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litsybookclub
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Our discussion of Chasing Portraits by Elizabeth Rynecki will begin in 30 minutes. Here is the link to join in 👇🏻

https://zoom.us/j/983665268

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litsybookclub
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We hope to see you tomorrow at 2pm ET for our live discussion of Chasing Portraits! Author @Erynecki will be joining us to discuss her book. A link to the discussion will be posted 15 minutes before.

https://zoom.us

Laura317 Ooo! Thanks for the tag @tpixie 1y
tpixie @Laura317 ❤️❤️❤️ 1y
Laura317 @Booksnchill As an art lover, you might be interested in this today. 1y
Booksnchill @Laura317 thanks for letting me know! 1y
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Daisey
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Pickpick

This story tells a different side of the Holocaust in that it focuses on the after instead of events during WWII. It asks questions while sharing the story of 1 family. What happened to the art hidden and who does it belong now? How does a family reclaim their heritage but still respect the journey of each painting when it cannot be proven how it arrived where it did? Looking forward to Sunday's discussion!

#LitsyBookClub #nonfiction #audiobook

tpixie ❤️❤️❤️ 1y
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Graciouswarriorprincess
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This popped up in my Facebook memories today. I can‘t believe it‘s been two years! A huge thank you to my cohost, Erin along with all the wonderful readers who join us faithfully every month! You make me smile, help me grow as a reader and person and I love you all dearly!

mabell Congrats on your Litsy-book club-anniversary! 🎉🎉 Wow, two years!! 1y
tpixie WOot! Thanks so much for all you do to make this happen @Graciouswarriorprincess & @Bookworm83 ❤️🎉📚🎉❤️ 1y
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Bookworm83 So glad this book club brought us together...love you lots! ❤️❤️❤️ 1y
Chrissyreadit @Graciouswarriorprincess will you be at the national book festival this year? 1y
Graciouswarriorprincess @tpixie Thank you for being a member! @Bookworm83 love you too and love this book club! @Chrissyreadit unfortunately no but I wish that I could attend.😭 1y
75 likes6 comments
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Graciouswarriorprincess
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Starting this today for the @litsybookclub next Sunday. Who‘s joining us next week to discuss this fabulous story!

Daisey I‘m listening to the audiobook and plan to join in next weekend! 1y
Graciouswarriorprincess @Daisey Fabulous! Can‘t wait for you to join us next Sunday! 1y
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Daisey
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I‘m switching up my audiobook for this week to listen to this nonfiction book for #LitsyBookClub.

#nonfiction #audiobook

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tpixie
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Moshe & his family‘s struggles during WWII are heart wrenching. His paintings are so moving, depicting everyday life. His great granddaughter‘s search for his artwork is just amazing! @litsybookclub

Daisey Thanks for sharing a few of the paintings. I plan to look up the website today too. 1y
tpixie @Daisey lol can you tell I‘m obsessed? I bought this book about 1 year ago. After I saw the author on Litsy. I‘ve been wanting to read it, but with 3 bookclubs, I couldn‘t. Glad I got 1 Bookclub to read it!! 1y
SoniaC I found the story riveting. I read it so fast. I loved the artwork. Her struggle to have her great grandfathers artwork preserved and to tell his story is just amazing. Really glad you recommended this one. 1y
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Kathrin I was planning to do this book on audio, but now that I have seen your picture... 1y
tpixie @SoniaC I‘m so glad you were moved by it too! 1y
tpixie @Kathrin the audio is great!! She reads it and you get the right pronunciations. I‘m going back and forth, depending on if I can sit & read or not. 1y
Graciouswarriorprincess I am starting this tomorrow and can‘t wait to read it now. 1y
tpixie @Daisey I‘m obsessed!!
The audio is great!! I just looked and the ebook I have has even more photos of paintings and papers that the hard back! I‘m using axix360 app from Johnson County library
1y
tpixie @Graciouswarriorprincess ❤️❤️❤️ 1y
MellieAntoinette Just gorgeous! Stacking now! 💕 1y
tpixie @MellieAntoinete awesome! The author is a Litten, too! 1y
Daisey @tpixie Did you say your audio is read by the author? Mine has a different narrator, but I‘m enjoying the narration. @Kathrin There are also several paintings on the website if you go with audio. 1y
tpixie @Daisey oops your right! The narrator is NOT the author! I read it wrong. I thought her voice was different than what I had heard on YouTube! Goofy me! 1y
71 likes3 stack adds13 comments
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tpixie
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Reading this engrossing account of @Erynecki ‘s search for her great grandfather‘s paintings that he hid in Poland during WWII. What an inspiring memoir. Join our discussion 8/19 on Zoom! @litsybookclub

Erynecki I look forward to joining you all next week! 1y
tpixie @Erynecki we‘re excited also! Thx! 🇵🇱 1y
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SoniaC
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Pickpick

What an incredible book. I learned so much and fell in love with the art work. I really admire the strength and sport that brought this book into being. Great pick!

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SoniaC
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Enjoying an incredible lunch and reading the @litsybookclub pick. So far I‘m really enjoying it. Great pick!

ephemeralwaltz Yummy! 1y
BookishTrish That looks delish 1y
68 likes2 comments
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Erynecki
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Hey, did you hear...? @litsybookclub is reading CHASING PORTRAITS this month and I‘ll be at their online discussion on 8/19. Join us for a chat about my great grandfather‘s art, Holocaust era art restitution, family legacies, memoirs, and docfilm behind the scenes details. Plus, all your questions!!!

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Butterfinger
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Pickpick

Beautiful example of how far one will go to ensure a family legacy. The writer triumphs in her battle to bring Moshe's work to the world so we can know him. Losing her mother during the journey was just one hardship of many Rynecki overcame. Can't wait for the discussion. @litsybookclub

tpixie I‘m hoping you can still make it tomorrow for our @litsybookclub discussion! 1y
Butterfinger @tpixie I can't wait. 1y
tpixie @Butterfinger ❤️❤️❤️ 1y
4 likes3 comments
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litsybookclub
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New month, new book! We hope that you will join us in reading “Chasing Potraits” this month. Questions? Ask @Bookworm83 or @Graciouswarriorprincess .

Erynecki I look forward to chatting with your group on the 19th! If anyone wants to check out the documentary film trailer, visit www.ChasingPortraits.org Happy reading! 1y
litsybookclub @Erynecki We are so excited to host you and thank you for sharing the trailer! 1y
Butterfinger I can't wait. I started reading it today. 1y
See All 6 Comments
tpixie @Daisey read the book and this thread! 1y
Daisey @tpixie Thanks for the tag and reminder. I found the audiobook on Hoopla so I‘ll add it to the list for this week. 1y
tpixie @Daisey yay! Check the website for the paintings. 1y
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Erynecki
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Do you live in the SF Bay Area? You can catch CHASING PORTRAITS at one of two screenings as part of the SF Jewish Film Festival. Once on 7/25 in Palo Alto@or 8/1 in Albany (the town next to Berkeley). I will be at both screenings. Details and tickets: https://sfjff.org/sfjff-2018/film-guide/chasing-portraits

Bookchipmunk So bummed to miss it! (I have to be at work) Congratulations on the movie 🤓 2y
Erynecki @bookchimp bummer! But I totally get it. 2y
12 likes2 comments
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Erynecki
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My book was published in 2016. The documentary just recently started out on its festival tour (the world premiere was in Poland in May). Are you in the SF Bay Area? We play in the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival 7/25 in Palo Alto and 8/1 in Albany. I will be at both for the screening and a Q&A. Details and tickets: https://jfi.org/sfjff-2018/film-guide/chasing-portraits #memoir #nonfiction #documentary

Samplergal Come to Miami! 2y
Erynecki @Samplergal I‘m working on it! 2y
Samplergal @Erynecki oh good! Let us know! I‘ll be there. Your book is right up my alley. 2y
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Erynecki
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CHASING PORTRAITS will play at DocUtah in September. “DOCUTAH celebrates the art of documentary filmmaking, connecting Dixie State University and the community to the world. DOCUTAH offers a unique, entertaining International Documentary Film Festival and year-round programs providing creative, cultural, and educational engagement.” Hope to see you there! Read the book before you see the film! https://docutah.com/about/

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Erynecki
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I love this mermaid on a book, in neon! She was made for the Warsaw library. The mermaid protects the city. And they‘ve got this cool neon museum! CHASING PORTRAITS has its world premiere tonight here in Warsaw at the Jewish Motifs International Film Festival.

LeahBergen How wonderful! And congratulations on the world premiere. 👏🏻👏🏻 2y
Libby1 Yippee! I‘m looking forward to hearing more about the event. I hope it goes well! I‘m going to Poland later this year, and when I was booking I checked to see if it would coincide with the festival so I could come see the film. It doesn‘t. And I‘ll be going to Gdańsk, not Warsaw. 😊 2y
Erynecki @Libby1 you‘re following on FB, right? Safe travels to Gdańsk! 2y
18 likes4 comments
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Erynecki
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CHASING PORTRAITS will be screened at the Rhode Island International Film Festival in August. Read the book before you see the movie. Stay tuned for more festival screening information as it rolls into my email inbox.

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Erynecki
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Is your #bookclub reading CHASING PORTRAITS? Let me know and I can join in for part of the meeting via Skype or FaceTime.
#bookdiscussion #memoir #arthistory

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Erynecki
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I like to think that the Chasing Portraits book and film complement each other. I hope no one feels compelled to choose one over the other. The film is not yet out in the world, but it does have a movie poster, at left. Bottom right is the book cover.
Top right...latest radio interview: http://www.capradio.org/events/capradio-reads/2017/chasing-portraits/elizabeth-r...
#booktoscreen I guess, but not really.

LeahBergen I like the movie poster. 👍🏻 2y
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Erynecki
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Last month I shared the Chasing Portraits story at the Deerfield Public Library (IL). While I was there I was also interviewed for their podcast. That episode is now available wherever you listen! This interview was a lot of fun! For one, it was in a library and who doesn‘t love aisles and aisles of books?!
Podcast: http://deerfieldlibrary.org/2017/11/elizabeth-rynecki-chasing-portraits-author-s...

LeahBergen Ooo! I‘ll give this a listen later today. 2y
9 likes1 comment