Friday, Nov. 9 at 7:15pm  Plaza Frontenac Cinema

In 1939, when the Nazis invaded Poland, Moshe Rynecki realized that his paintings and sculptures were at risk of being destroyed. In an effort to protect and preserve his life’s work, he bundled his collection of over 800 paintings and sculptures into a number of packages and distributed them to gentile friends in and around Warsaw. He told his family where the paintings were hidden so that after the war the family could collect the bundles and make the collection whole once again.

Unfortunately, Moshe perished in a Nazi concentration camp. When his surviving family went to retrieve the paintings, they were only able to find a single bundle. Today the Rynecki family has just over 100 of the original 800+ paintings; the rest of the collection is scattered or lost. Some paintings are known to be in museums and others with private collectors.

The Moshe Rynecki art project is a multi-layered, multi-media project, with a variety of content components, including museum exhibitions, an online virtual museum, and published books. The centerpiece of this new project is Chasing Portraits, a documentary film. The film will take audiences on an intimate journey with Moshe Rynecki’s great granddaughter as she meets one-on-one with museum curators and private collectors around the world who have her great-grandfather’s paintings in their collections. This very personal expedition will take the audience to the heart of the Rynecki family’s efforts to find Moshe’s scattered, lost, or plundered works, and to discover previously missing paintings in people’s private homes. Filming will take place in Poland, Israel, France, Canada, New York, Los Angeles, and the San Francisco Bay Area.