Noted painter Maria “Marika” Frank Abrams died at her Mercer Island home on March 29.
More of her compelling story, from the Abrams family: “Born in Debrecen, Hungary, in 1924, Maria was 20 when she and 32 members of her family were deported to Auschwitz in Poland. She was later transported to Bergen-Belsen and Buchenwald. Only she and one cousin survived. When the death camp at Magdeburg was liberated by the Allies, Marika weighed only 68 pounds. Three years after being liberated she earned an Hillel scholarship to the University of Washington School of Art, from which she graduated summa cum laude with a bachelor of fine arts. She met Mark Tobey, who bought a woodcut of hers and invited her to show her work alongside the most prestigious Northwest artists of the day at the Otto Seligman Gallery in Seattle. In 1963 she designed the sets for the first Seattle Opera production, ‘La Traviata,’ and both the sets and costumes for the world premiere of the opera, ‘The Dybbuk.’ Maria’s artwork has been exhibited in more than 150 shows and is in 29 permanent collections internationally.
“She is survived by her husband of 64 years, Sydney; son, Edward (Eliahu) Frank Abrams, a human-rights lawyer in Israel; daughter-in-law Tali Bdolah Abrams; grandchildren Omri and Noga Vilma; and cousins, Vera Federman, of Mercer Island, Agnes Jacobson of Santa Barbara, and Lewis Rose of Sydney, Australia.”
Her funeral will take place at 2 p.m. April 3 at the Jewish Chapel at Bikur Cholim Cemetery, 1340 N. 115th St., Seattle.