In 1939, Paul Strnad sent a desperate letter to his cousin in Milwaukee in hopes the relative could help them emigrate from Prague after the Nazi invasion. The letter contained eight dress designs created by Hedy Strnad (Paul’s wife). They hoped their cousin could find a manufacturer for the dresses. Seventy-five years later, with the help of the Milwaukee Repertory Theater Costume Shop, Hedy’s dresses are on display at the Jewish Museum Milwaukee in the “Stitching History” exhibit.
Take a closer look with museum director Kathie Bernstein on a walk through the exhibit design concept and content.
Read this New York Times article for more on the Strnad family’s story and the research that has gone in to the exhibit.
And be sure to check out the Wisconsin Humanities Council’s reflection on the museum’s effort to preserve the work of Hedy Strnad at the Working Lives Project page.