Sunday, May 9, 2010



The Center for Languages and International Collaboration is proud to announce the arrival of the painting "Die Mama" by Ceija Stojka (pronounced Chaya Stoika).
Stojka is an Austrian Romani artist and holocaust survivor whose work was displayed in the Kathrin Cawein Gallery last spring. The work “Mama” is a colorful display of Romani life and depicts Ceija Stojka’s mother in the foreground carrying a bouquet of sunflowers and wearing a red dress glistening with specks of gold. The sunflower, which appears in many of Ceija’s paintings, is her favorite flower because when she was eight years old her father made her a skirt out of five actual sunflowers so that she could go to a Romani dance festival. In the background is a Romani caravan of wagons paused to celebrate a wedding. Ceija pays a tribute to her mother in this painting, as in many others, for her mother’s fortitude in saving five of the six children from death in the camps. Her mother always insisted that the children eat anything they could find, including leather from shoes and belts, dirt, and grass. Ceija claims that the bark and sap from trees saved them. For that reason, she paints a tree branch in almost all of her works. In “Mama,” the tree branch is visible in the lower right-hand corner next to her signature.

Professor Lorely French's scholarship, advocacy and fundraising efforts were instrumental in bringing Stojka's work to Pacific University's permanent art collection. French, as a Berglund Center for Internet Studies Research Fellow in 2009/10, was able to develop a website on Romani Arts, which features Ceija Stojka’s work and life. While on sabbatical next year she will be working on finishing a book on Romani writers in the German-speaking countries. French will also be working with Michaela Grobbel at Sonoma State University on a comprehensive catalogue of Ceija Stojka’s life and works.

The public is welcome to attend the unveiling of "Die Mama" at 10:00 on Thursday, May 13th, in the Center for Languages and International Collaboration, Scott Hall.

Posted by Erica Andree (


Lorely said...

Dear Morgan Ahern, Thank you so much for posting this blog entry on the purchase of the Ceija Stojka painting at Pacific University. I really love your blog! I've just recently come across it. I hope that we can meet someday. Now and again I make it to Seattle. Is your museum on Vashon Island open regularly? How might I be able to visit it? Also, please check out my website on Romani Arts: It's a work in progress, but I hope to add a link to your blog soon. Keep up the good work! All my best, Lorely French

Morgan said...

Lorely, Thanks so much for this supportive and wonderful comment. I love the art of Ceija,and her brother Karl.

The museum is open by appointment, which is only to be sure that someone is there at the time of a visit. Please just email me to tell me when you'll be in town and I'll be at the museum to let you in.
I'm going to check out your website and thank you in advance for the info and for the work you do.
Please come visit us whenever you can.

Morgan said...

Lorely, I can't seem to find your website.
Could you send the address again.
Thanks. I'd really like to visit it but just can't seem to get there.