Blanche & Sam

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Blanche & Sam by Isabel Carr

Artist Statement: This is a graphite drawing of my great-great aunt Blanche (my great grandmother’s sister) and her husband, Sam. This sketch is based on a real photograph, which I incorporated as cutouts over their eyes. Blanche was the youngest of 8 children, born in the United States, after her family fled from the pogroms in Eastern Europe. She loved to cook, and made the most delicious chicken soup. Blanche also loved dogs, and had four that she trained. One of them was a poodle named Lamby, whom she trained to sing, and another was named Tuffy, whom she trained to dance. The family would gather and clap their hands chanting “Tuffy, Tuffy Tantsalah” while Tuffy danced. (I’m not sure what Tantsalah means, but I looked it up and ‘Tantsa’ means to dance in Russian, so it’s probably a variation of that). This piece is part of an art project I’m creating, dedicated to the strong Jewish women in my family.