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Times Will Tell

Podcast: Born in shadow of Holocaust, artist Mindy Weisel searches for beauty

Weisel discusses her latest memoir, ‘After: The Obligation of Beauty,’ drawing on her experience as a daughter to Auschwitz survivor parents

Welcome to Times Will Tell, the weekly podcast from The Times of Israel.

This week, we speak with artist Mindy Weisel about her lifelong search for beauty in her artwork and life, amid the turmoil, pain and love of her Holocaust survivor parents.

“After: The Obligation of Beauty,” is a hardbound, slim memoir that divides Weisel’s life into chapters of her artistic experience, with photos of her work — which include paintings, glassworks and sculpture — illustrating each section.

It’s a work that Weisel wrote over the course of 11 years, tracing her search for beauty in her life. She was born after the Holocaust, in the Bergen-Belsen Displaced Person’s Camp to parents who survived Auschwitz, and is a cousin to the late Elie Wiesel.

Yet despite those complicated beginnings, the book is Weisel’s own story, her struggles as the “second generation,” a child of survivors. The memoir traces her lifelong journey to understand her parents’ trauma into which she was born and her unshakable will to live with beauty.

By weaving a tapestry of her art, narrative, poetry and journals, Weisel offers moving insights into her life and work, especially her deep-seated conviction that beauty and love can overcome tragedy.

The cover of ‘After,’ artist Mindy Weisel’s memoir (Courtesy Mindy Weisel)

Weisel, her husband and children lived in Washington, DC, for 40 years before she moved with her husband to Jerusalem 10 years ago.

Her art is on permanent display at the National Museum of American Art, Oxford University and the Israel Museum, and in many public and private collections.

The book is available for purchase on Amazon; Weisel will also have a solo exhibit this November at the Rosenbach Gallery in Jerusalem.

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