Welcome, Will, Steph, and Amber

This spring, we’ve had the pleasure of working with three new College of Charleston interns, William Baltz, Stephanie Burns, and Amber Coutsos.  We’ve asked each of them to share with us their favorite items from the Rosenthall collection.

IMG_3843-300x225William Baltz, an Art History and Historic Preservation major, chose a postcard of a synagogue from his hometown. “I chose the Lake Placid Synagogue as one of my favorite images because I was born in Lake Placid, New York and vividly remember driving by the building all the time while I was growing up. I was really surprised when I recognized the building before discovering what and where it was. I never thought I would come across a postcard in Rosenthall’s collection depicting my hometown.” William also liked a piece from the Biblical Illustrations portfolio. “I also chose ‘Moses and the Burning Bush’ because I greatly appreciate the artistic value of this painting. The artistic quality is remarkable and I thoroughly enjoy the formalistic treatment of the composition. The painting is well balanced, features good proportions and has a harmonious vibe while being artistically successful.”

IMG_3842-300x225Stephanie Burns, an Art History major, selected a print from a portfolio about cemeteries. “Out of all the prints I scanned for this portfolio, this was my favorite. I liked it because it was the most colorful, it was a break from all the black and white prints.” Her second choice is a 1906 postcard of the Wilson Avenue Temple in Cleveland, Ohio. “I liked this postcard because the building was outlined in glitter, it felt more personal. It had a personal touch that all the other postcards did not.”

IMG_3841-300x225Amber Coutsos, a History, Art History, and Women’s and Gender Studies major, chose a print from a portfolio entitled Ceremonies: Calendrical and Special. “My favorite image in the portfolio I have completed is the ‘Day of Atonement’ print. It was so interesting researching and learning about the ritual depicted in this image. I discovered that in the Jewish tradition, on the Day of Atonement, they would swing a rooster over their head and that would transfer their sins to the bird. I love the amount of detail and skill in the image, especially considering it is an engraving. This image illustrates family life and traditions that I was not previously familiar with. I also enjoy the detail of the inside of their home, including all the books on the bookshelves.”

Hellos and Goodbyes

January brought three more fantastic College of Charleston interns to the Rosenthall project: William Baltz (Art History and Historic Preservation), Stephanie Burns (Art History), and Amber Coutsos (History, Art History, and Women’s and Gender Studies). We will be posting more about their work on the project soon.


Project Archivist Sarah Dorpinghaus

Additionally, staff changes have led us to make the difficult decision to postpone further work on the project. Sarah Dorpinghaus, Project Archivist for the Jewish Heritage Collection and main coordinator of the Rosenthall project, accepted a position at the University of Kentucky and left Charleston at the end of February. Due to an already strained staff and budget, we will not be able to continue our rigorous pace of digitizing images. What has been completed so far (a minor percentage of the total collection) will be uploaded to the new Lowcountry Digital Library this spring. Meanwhile, Dale Rosengarten, Curator of the Jewish Heritage Collection, will seek further funding to make this internationally important collection of Judaica accessible.