Edith Basmak Halpern

I’ve been going through the archival documents and photos of our family and trying to find out all I can about the Russian origins of my family.

This is a collage portrait of my grandmother. She married my grandfather Lou in 1947 and they lived in Pennsylvania where my grandfather started a slacks business: Slacks By Halpern. Lou had grown up learning to sew from my grandmother, Sadie, who worked in the garment sweatshops of New York.

This piece is part of a collection of pieces called “World Of My Mothers.” I began by making linocuts collage portraits of family members, and Fox scribbled around the people, and both of our lines were used to create collage portraits of my family members. Each portrait also contains photocopies of original family documents. In this portrait, there are copies of some of the Yiddish letters in my family collection, as well as a translation of one of the letters.