A Great-Granddaughter's Legacy

Chasing Portraits Hits the Road!

Today the Chasing Portraits team packs up in the States and hits the road. We will spend a long weekend in Warsaw (we arrive Thursday night and leave Monday night) where we will film interviews and see original Moshe Rynecki self-portraitMoshe Rynecki paintings in a private collection. There’s also a slim chance I may find a photograph of my great-grandfather in a photo album I’ve been promised I can look at this weekend. I’m keeping my fingers crossed. I’ve never seen a photograph of my great-grandfather. If I am to spot him in a photo, it will be based solely upon my knowledge of his self-portraits!

The schedule is a busy one (first Warsaw then Tel Aviv and Jerusalem), but I am confident that my fabulous team will help me do it all and do it all well! I am very much looking forward to working again with Slawomir Grunberg and Catherine Greenblatt.

Slawomir has his own busy schedule while we are in Warsaw. His new film, “Karski & The Lords of Humanity” has had great showings and press coverage in Poland. Poland’s Foreign minister, Grzegorz Schetyna, has said of the film, “It is in our national interest, i do not hesitate to use these words, that this film reach as far as possible on the the international scale.” I’ve seen an earlier version of the film, but am looking forward to seeing the final cut at Jewish Motifs, the International Film Festival this weekend.

Lost and Found – Chasing Portraits in Hadassah magazine

The newest issue of Hadassah magazine, their April/May publication, features an article, “Lost and Found,” about Chasing Portraits. You can now read it online.

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We did it!

We have reached our Kickstarter campaign goal of $20,000! This is fantastic news as it means we will now receive all the funds that have been pledged to date and that we can match the Claims Conference grant!

There are still 7 days left in the Kickstarter campaign. Any funds raised between now and the time the campaign closes next week will go towards post-production (editor, original score, sound engineering, etc) expenses.

Thank you all who have pledged and shared the project with others.


It’s the last push…

So far the Chasing Portraits Kickstarter campaign has raised $17,747 from 151 backers. In 7 days the campaign is over. We need to reach $20,000 to be fully funded. Kickstarter is an all-or-nothing deal. All amounts really do help! If 10 people give $10, then that’s $100. It definitely all adds up.

Recently I’ve received some really nice comments about the project on different social media platforms. I thought it would be fun to share the two latest and greatest here.

LinkedIn comment

Alli's appeal

Hadassah Magazine!

IMG_1495 (1)Do you get Hadassah magazine? Turn to page 10 in the April/May 2015 issue [Leonard Cohen is on the cover] to read “Lost and Found: Elizabeth Rynecki has dedicated her life to tracking down her great-grandfather’s scattered works of art,” by Cathryn J. Prince. The article is not yet available online. When it is, I’ll add a link!


Kickstarter update! We are now 82% funded with 129 backers pledging $16,512. There are 13 days left for us to reach the $20,000 campaign goal. Check out the new trailer and please consider supporting the film.


Kickstarter Campaign 81% Funded!

Chasing Portraits on Kickstarter has almost reached its $20,000 goal! We’re at $16,266 which means we are just short by $3,734. All pledge amounts help us to reach our goal. $5 puts your name in the credits, $25 gets you a digital download of the film… check it out and help us out by pledging and/or spreading the word!

Thank you!


Chasing Portraits – Kickstarter Staff Pick!


Check out our new 3 minute trailer and Kickstarter campaign to raise $20,000! We’re close, but we definitely need your help. There are all sorts of funding levels and rewards if you give: a Moshe Rynecki postcard thank you note, blank greeting cards, a poster and more!


Chasing Portraits Kickstarter Campaign Update

17 April update

The Kickstarter fundraising campaign to match the $20,000 grant from the Claims Conference is going really well! So far we’ve raised 72% of the goal amount. Kickstarter is an all-or-nothing deal, so unless we get to $20,000, we don’t get any of the pledges made to date. There are 17 days left in the campaign, and all funds pledged help. That’s the great thing about crowdsourcing…If 100 people each give $10, then you’ve got $1,000.

Please consider making a pledge to our Kickstarter campaign. You can do so by clicking on this green, “Support us on Kickstarter” button.


Thank you!

Elizabeth Rynecki

Chasing Portraits and the Woman in Gold

Yesterday I went to see the Woman in Gold. The film about Maria Altmann’s battle with the Austrian government for the return of her family’s painting: Gustav Klimt’s, The Lady in Gold. I loved the movie because I am so deeply entrenched in the issue of Holocaust era art looting and restitution issues!

One moment that particularly stood out for me in the film is when Altmann (played by Helen Mirren) enters the room at the Belvedere museum to see the Lady in Gold hanging on the wall. It’s a moment of reunion, but also of sweet sorrow because of course she doesn’t leave with the painting. I had my own moment like that when I visited the Jewish Historical Institute in Warsaw and saw 52 of my great-grandfather’s paintings in their possession.

I love these three photos. The first is from the Woman in Gold film. The other two are of me! In the first one I am standing in front of a Rynecki painting in the exhibit at the museum. The other is standing in front of the painting and giving an impromptu presentation to visiting Americans about my great-grandfather’s painting and my documentary film project, Chasing Portraits.

If you haven’t already had a chance to view my new trailer and Kickstarter campaign, please check it out, and help fund it if you can.


Woman in Gold















Chasing Portraits New 3 Minute Trailer on Kickstarter

The Chasing Portraits documentary film project recently received a $20,000 matching grant from the Claims Conference.


To access all the funds from the grant, I need to come up with matching funds. To match the funds, I have launched a campaign on Kickstarter to raise at least $20,000. Any funds raised beyond the $20,000 will go towards post-production (editing) costs.

Kickstarter is an all-or-nothing deal. As of this morning, Chasing Portraits is 50% funded with a total of $10,107 pledged to the documentary. But we will see none of this money if we don’t get to at least $20,000. Please help in anyway that you can. You can pledge $1, $10, $100, $1,000, $10,000…. the choice is yours! Please know that when you pledge funds to the Chasing Portraits campaign, your credit card is not charged until two things happen: (1) the goal is met and (2) the campaign closes.

If you cannot give, please simply share the project with friends and family who you think will find the project interesting. Perhaps someone you know can help fund it.

About the Trailer

This is a new trailer. The footage is from the trip taken to Poland in October 2014. It was shot by cinematographer Slawomir Grunberg. It was professionally edited by Veronica Duport Deliz. Matthias Zimmerman composed and produced the original score.

The first few minutes of the trailer is my direct appeal to those watching the campaign on Kickstarter. The last three minutes is the brand new 3 minute trailer.

To contribute, click on this big green “Back This Project” button. It will take you to the Chasing Portraits Kickstarter page.  Thank you!