From Andrea Stern's Inheritance
|I saw the cover of this book I didn’t
the very alluring cover girl in pink was someone I knew. That and the
title, “Inheritance” intrigued. “Inheritance.” You
think…money, don’t you? And pretty in pink, right? I wondered.
I didn’t connect the author’s name with the Andrea Stern
that I’ve met. And then last week we ran a series of party pictures
from reception for the book and the photojournalist. I’d met Andrea
Stern before. She is the daughter of Leonard Stern, the New York businessman
who’s been on these pages many times.
Still, I didn’t know what the book was about. What that meant, “Inheritance.” And
the lady with the pink fanny. And then I looked.
|Click cover to order Inheritance.
This is the photographer’s tribute to her family. Her father and
mother’s family, her brothers’ families, her own family.
Family photos, snapshots, portraits are the personal chronicles of all
of us, however disorganized, makeshift or even corny. They always tell
about the individuals, even if you don’t know them. Even if what
the photographs are telling you isn’t so. You think it’s
so because you can relate. Family photographs have their own category.
Ms. Stern’s family photographs are very relatable and they draw
you into your own consciousness of those moments in the experience of
Andrea Stern’s family is not just any family, although ... Her
grandfather, so goes the legend which is evidently true despite all
of the apocryphal, came to this country in the early
20th century from Germany with some canaries, some birdseed and a dream
of a better life. And he made a better life: those canaries and that
birdseed were the genesis of a household-name business that Mr. Stern
created and built: Hartz Mountain, the petfood (and birdseed) company.
Mr. Stern died a very wealthy and very successful American businessman.
His son, Leonard, took his father’s legacy and turned it into a
The Sterns are a dynamic family and very prominent businessmen in the
world. Leonard Stern and his wife Allison (stepmother of the book’s
author), have also been a driving force for the Wildlife Conservation
Society and the Bronx Zoo, as well as other philanthropic interests,
and they are a very popular couple on the New York social scene. Leonard’s
first wife, Judy Peck and the mother of his children, is also a very
active and popular New Yorker.
JH raising the
mother of the bride at the wedding of Ariel Lindenbaum and Albert Sebag.
|That said, Ms. Stern invites into that family providing
an intimate perspective on family events – weddings, bar mitzvahs,
funerals; we go to the visit to the grandmother, to the Shabbos lunch
and weekend trips. There’s even a picture four years ago of NYSD’s
JH, one of the participants in a horah (raising of the mother of the
groom in this case) at the wedding of Ariel Lindenbaum and Albert
We included just a few of Andrea Stern’s photographs although the entire
composition takes you in completely to a world that’s not yours but is.
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