Artist Statement, The Artifacts Drawings

"For the 2014 issue of Yeshiva University's PRISM: An Interdisciplinary Journal for Holocaust Educators, I created these 125 or so drawings of authentic Holocaust artifacts. I used pen and ink, pencil, and watercolor.

I chose each artifact from among thousands in Holocaust museums in Jerusalem, Washington, Houston, and New York, as well as the Jewish Museum of Maryland.

I drew the artifacts as if they were portraits.

And I wondered who had used them: the wedding dress worn by brides in a Displaced Persons camp; the teddy-bear named "Refugee" by the child who carried it from camp to camp; the prayer book bought with a morsel of bread. To whom had these objects belonged?

Artifacts are remnants, things left behind. Sometimes, only fragments remain. But they all serve as testimony - to the depths of horror of which humanity is capable, and to the resiliency of the human spirit.

An artifact may tell us a fragment of the story.  Sometimes it takes later testimony and our continuing questioning to give us more of the story.

But if we do not treasure the artifacts... if we do not ask the questions... and if we do not study and wonder about the lives of those who owned, posed for, wrote, wore, ate with or played with these remnants, we will find no answers at all.

And no one will know the stories.

And no one will even remember."

                                                                                        Nancy Patz
                                                                                        April, 2014