Ray Faust: A Life in Paintings
Opening April 16, 2023 at the Yiddish Book Center
A talented artist and writer, Ray Faust (1900–1993) was dedicated to Yiddish—the language and culture. She described her paintings, which included scenes of her hometown in Poland—the market, the house of study, and annual holidays and life-cycle celebrations—as “chapters of my life.” Her work honored her Yiddish roots as well as her adopted home of New York City, to which she immigrated in 1920. The shock of the Holocaust intensified her desire to paint what she remembered, and she said, “I am painting a life that is lost when I am painting Jewish life.”
Thanks to her grandson, Barry Faust, Ray’s legacy has found a home at the Yiddish Book Center.
About the artist
Ray Faust was born Rokhl Lehrer in Tomashov-Lubelsk (Tomaszów Lubelski), Poland, in 1900. She immigrated to the United States and lived in the Bronx, enjoying ready access to the Bronx Botanical Garden, a setting frequently immortalized in her work. Although it is likely she studied at the Art Students League, she was largely self-taught. While living in New York, she informed the Language and Culture Atlas of Ashkenazic Jewry (Columbia University and YIVO Institute for Jewish Research) about traditional Jewish life during the first two decades of the twentieth century. In addition to her paintings and sketches, Ray was an accomplished writer, whose work appeared in left-wing Yiddish newspapers and in a memorial book for her hometown. Ray died in 1993 in New York City.
Ray Faust: A Life in Paintings will open on Sunday, April 16 in the Yiddish Book Center’s Brechner Gallery.
Made possible with support from the Brechner Family.