Resia Schor

Resia Schor
(1910-2006)

Chronology
1910: Resia Schor is born Resia Ajnsztajn (or Ainstein) in Lublin, Poland to Lejbe (Arie) Ajnsztajn and Fajga-Brucha (nee Weisman).

1928: Resia and her family move to Warsaw in part so that she can pursue art studies preparatory to applying to the Warsaw Academy of Fine Arts.

1930: Resia meets Ilya Schor when she applies to and is enrolled at the Warsaw Academy of Fine Arts.

1938: After the death of her father, Resia leaves her mother and two brothers, Solomon and Moses, in Warsaw and joins Ilya in Paris in August. Although unmarried, they live together in a top floor garret at 10 Rue Carlot in the Marais, a Jewish quarter of Paris. Resia enrolls in art history courses at the École du Louvre.

1938: As aliens in France, Resia and Ilya cannot get married in a civil ceremony but they marry in a religious ceremony, not legally recognized by French law. After Germany’s invasion of Poland in September, they are granted resident status and they marry in a civil ceremony in Paris.

1938: At Resia’s insistence, the couple flees to Paris in late May, just ahead of advancing German troops. They head towards Bordeaux to reunite with friends working for the Joint Distribution Committee who had evacuated Paris earlier. Resia and Ilya are the only survivors of the group of about eleven friends, all Polish Jews, who fled Paris together. They settle in Marseilles to wait for immigration visas to America.

1941: Resia and Ilya arrive in New York City via Lisbon, December 3. They settle on the Upper West Side of Manhattan.

1941-1943: Ilya works on jewelry and paintings.

1944: October 10, daughter Naomi is born in New York City.

1947: December 29, Resia and Ilya Schor become Naturalized Citizens of the United States.

1950: June 1, Daughter Mira is born in New York City.

1957: After summers spent in Sayville, NY, Rockport, MA, and Woodstock, NY, the Schors spend their first summer in Provincetown, MA.

1958: Resia Schor has a one-person exhibition, Painting, under the name Resia Ain at The Workshop Gallery, New York City. The Schors return to Europe for the first time since World War II and spend the summer with Mira and Naomi in Paris and travel to Italy.

1960: Resia’s husband, Ilya, dies in New York, June 7, at 57. She participates in a group benefit exhibition held in Provincetown in support of CORE Freedom Fighters.

1962: Resia begins to work with Ilya’s tools and materials.

1969: Resia Schor, Jewelry, The Benson Gallery, Bridgehampton, NY. Resia Schor, group exhibitions: National Jewelry Exhibition by Outstanding Contemporary American Artist-Craftsmen, Lawrence University, Appleton, WI; First Survey of Contemporary American Crafts, The University Art Museum, The University of Texas, Austin; Crafts Invitational, The Gallery of the Maryland Institute, Baltimore, MD. Resia purchases a summer home in Provincetown, MA.

1973: Resia Schor, Sculptured Jewelry, Arras Gallery, New York.

1976: Resia Schor, Sculptured Jewelry, Arras Gallery, New York.

1977: Resia Schor, group exhibitions: The Women’s Art Symposium, Turman Gallery, Indiana State University; Made in Metal, The Junior Art Gallery, Louisville, KY.

1988: Resia Schor, exhibition of sculpture and jewelry, East End Gallery, Provincetown, MA.

1989: Resia Schor, exhibition East End Gallery, Provincetown, MA.

1990: Resia Schor, exhibition East End Gallery, Provincetown, MA.

2000: One-person exhibition Mezuzot by Resia Schor opens at Yeshiva University Museum, New York, on December 5, Resia’s 90th birthday.

2001: Naomi Schor dies of a cerebral hemorrhage December 2, at 58, in New Haven, CT. Her funeral is held in Providence, RI on December 5, Resia’s 91st birthday.

2002: Family, group exhibition including work by Resia, Ilya, and Mira Schor, Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art, CT.

2003: Group exhibition with Mira Schor, My Mother Is and Artist, the educational Alliance, curated by Sheila Pepe. Mira Schor, The Tale of the Goldsmith’s Floor, is produced for the 2003 Brown University and differencesConfrence, “The Lure of the Detail,” in honor of Naomi Schor, and also shown at the Fine Arts Work Center and at the Provincetown Art Association and Museum, August 2003.

2006: Resia dies at her home in New York City, November 27. She is buried in Provincetown, December 4.

2008: Works by Resia, Ilya, and Mira Schor included in The Studio Show, Provincetown Art Association and Museum; Ilya Schor is reburied with Resia in Provincetown.

Selected Collections
The Jerusalem Great Synagogue, Jacob and Belle Rosenbaum Mezuzah Collection
Private Collections

Biography
Resia Schor was born in Lublin, Poland, December 5, 1910 and died in New York City, November 27, 2006. She was a Polish-born artist who lived and worked in New York City from 1941 until her death in 2006.

She studied painting at the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw. There she met the painter and sculptor Ilya Schor; they were married in Paris at the outbreak of the Second World War. In 1941 they came to the United States and settled in New York City. Both Schors’ extended families perished in the Holocaust. The Schors had two daughters born in New York City: artist and writer Mira Schor and scholar of French literature and feminist theory, Naomi Schor. Mrs. Schor exhibited her paintings in New York City in the 1950s under the name Resia Ain; she also studied silversmithing with her husband.

After Ilya Schor’s death in 1961, Resia Schor worked exclusively in metal, creating one of a kind jewelry and Judaica, as well as multi-media sculptures, all in a bold modernist abstract style with a painterly feel for color and texture.

The noted poet Richard Howard wrote of Schor’s work: “…the underlying signification … that Resia Schor has undertaken all along. If I had to find a single word for it, I should choose process, the continuous process of growth and change which we recognize in all plant forms and which we cannot dissect or paralyze to any purpose by “realism”.

She exhibited her works in solo exhibitions at the Arras Gallery in New York City, The East End Gallery in Provincetown, MA, and The Benson Gallery in Bridgehampton, New York. In the 1980s and 1990s, her work was included in group exhibitions at the Provincetown Art Association and Museum (PAAM) and in the exhibition Family, at The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museumin Connecticut. In the late 1960s and the 1970s, her work was included in exhibitions including “The Women’s Art Symposium,” Turman Gallery, Indiana State University,” Made in Metal,” The Junior Art Gallery, Louisville, KY, “National Jewelry Exhibition by Outstanding Contemporary American Artist–Craftsmen,” Lawrence University, Appleton, WI, “First Survey of Contemporary American Crafts,” The University Art Museum, The University of Texas, Austin, and “Crafts Invitational,” The Gallery of the Maryland Institute, Baltimore, MD.

In 1969, the musicians of the orchestra of the New York Philharmonic commissioned a mezuzah by Resia Schor as their farewell gift to Leonard Bernstein. An exhibition “Mezuzot by Resia Schor” was held at Yeshiva University Museum in New York City in 2000.