Clued-In: Interpreting Real Photo Postcards from the Diaspora with Ava Sherlock Cohn (Programs)
As our ancestors moved throughout the world, they preserved their legacy with photographs sent or delivered to
relatives in many other countries. Older studio portraits gave the impression of stability and permanence while
newly introduced postcards often showed fleeting slices of life, perhaps en route from one place to another or from
our ancestors’ own home base. This talk, another in the “Clued-In” series from Sherlock Cohn, explores how Real
Photo Postcards (RPPCs) were used by our relatives in such diverse places as Israel, South America, Russia,
Romania, America, England, France and many other countries. We’ll learn what RPPCs are, how to date them, how
to determine the place they were sent from, and what clues to look for that give us a greater understanding of the
“new” technological invention that transformed how our families communicated, both in their formal and informal
portraits. Sherlock will present two of the cases she is working on to help identify individuals who are pictured on
postcards and how to reunite the image with the families’ descendants.
Who is Sherlock Cohn?
Ava Cohn, aka Sherlock Cohn, The Photo Genealogist, is an internationally-known professional genealogist who specializes in the dating, identification, and interpretation of family photographs and portraits. Working with professional genealogists as well as those interested in learning more about their family history, she uses a multidisciplinary approach that combines knowledge of immigrant and European cultures and traditions along with research-based fashion, family histories and vital records to tell the background stories within our heirloom photographs.
Ava has a degree from Brandeis University, Waltham, Massachusetts, with studies in decorative arts, art history, and costume history at the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, England. She is a popular speaker and writer whose articles have appeared in numerous genealogy publications. On her article in the Fall 2010 issue of Avotaynu, The International Journal of Jewish Genealogy, publisher Gary Mokotoff wrote, “ I had always been cool to the idea that this aspect of family history research had much significance, but after reading the article, I became a convert.” Editor Sallyann Amdur-Sack Pikus, called it “a stunning tour-de-force.”
Ava maintains an extensive library of primary and secondary-source fashion, furniture, military uniform and history references. Her personal family history locales include Belarus, Ukraine, Russia, Romania and the Austrian Empire.
This program is free for members and $10 for nonmembers. Nonmembers can buy a ticket using a credit card at https://squareup.com/store/jewish-genealogical-society-of-colorado (preferred), send a check to JGSCO, or pay at the door.
Please note DAT's policies allow you to bring in drinks such as water or coffee, etc., but outside food cannot be brought onto their premises.