EDMONDS, Wash. — A new exhibition at Cascadia Art Museum in Edmonds showcases the work of holocaust survivor and artist Maria Frank Abrams.
She had a celebrated career including an array of group and solo shows. But like all the artists featured at Cascadia, Abrams’ work eventually disappeared from the mainstream art world.
The museum focuses on neglected or forgotten artists whose work spans the years 1860-1970. Many of them are women and people of color.
"Maria Frank Abrams is a great example of what we do here,” said Sally Ralston, Executive Director of Cascadia. "We are honored to showcase these artists again and bring their art here, and give them the respect their art deserves."
Abrams was born into a large Jewish family in Hungary. She was 20 years old and studying art when the Nazis invaded and forced her and her family into a ghetto, and eventually the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp. Her parents and other relatives were murdered, but Abrams survived. When she was liberated in 1945, she weighed only 68 pounds.
Two years later, she was offered a scholarship to attend the University of Washington School of Art. After graduating, she stayed in Seattle and launched her successful career. In addition to painting and sketching, she also designed sets and costumes for local opera productions.
More than 40 of her original works are on display at Cascadia.
“(The exhibition) is filled with light and hope and inspiration,” Ralston said. “Very different from what you would expect from someone who went through horrific challenges in her life."
The museum partnered with The Holocaust Center for Humanity for the exhibition. It runs through July 10, and Ralston recommends visiting on Thursday, April 28 — Holocaust Remembrance Day.
Cascadia Art Museum is open Wednesday through Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is $12 for adults, $9 for seniors, teachers and active military members, and free for students and kids. It’s located at 190 Sunset Avenue in Edmonds.
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