The film tells the story of the renowned artist whose childhood spent in

wartime Germany informed her emotionally powerful work 

Film still from Ursula Von Rydingsvard: Into Her Own.


Parrish Art Museum presents a screening of Ursula von Rydingsvard: Into Her Own (2019, 78 minutes), a documentary following the New York-based contemporary artist as she completes recent commissions for MIT and Princeton University, on Friday, February 14, at 6pm. Director Daniel Traub explores von Rydingsvard’s early struggles, passion, and profound drive to become an artist. Told mostly through the artist’s own voice, Into Her Own includes interviews with colleagues, family members, and close friends who offer additional perspective on her life and art. Ursula von Rydingsvard will attend the event and join a conversation with Museum DirectorTerrie Sultan following the screening, co-presented with Hamptons Doc Fest as part of The Artist’s Lens series at the Museum.

“I’m delighted to welcome Ursula von Rydingsvard in person to talk about her life and art, and to present this visually stunning film that tells the deeply moving story of an extraordinary woman artist who has overcome so many obstacles—a perfect tribute to Valentine’s Day and to celebrate passion, love, and persistence,” said Corinne Erni, Senior Curator of ArtsReach and Special Projects.

Von Rydingsvard was born in Nazi Germany in 1942 to a Polish mother and Ukrainian father who was conscripted into forced labor, working the land during World War II. After the war, the family was compelled to move from one refugee camp for displaced Poles to another before emigrating to the U.S. in 1950. These early experiences and persistent memories created in the artist a respect for the dignity of labor and for organic materials—particularly wood—the sole building element of the barracks where she, her six siblings, and her parents lived. It also engendered in the artist the deep sense of loss and pain that informs her work and infuses it with emotional potency. Von Rydingsvard’s work is largely focused on towering cedar structures with intricate networks of individual beams, shaped by sharp and lyrical cuts and glued together to form sensuous, puzzle-like surfaces. While abstract at its core, the work takes visual cues from the landscape, the human body, and utilitarian objects, and demonstrates an interest in the point where the man-made meets nature.


Ursula von Rydingsvard (German, born 1942) earned a BA and an MFA from the University of Miami, Coral Gables, an MFA from Columbia University (1975), and an honorary doctorate from the Maryland Institute College of Art, Baltimore (1991). She has had major exhibitions at venues including Madison Square Park, New York (2006); Neuberger Museum, Purchase College, State University of New York (2002); and Storm King Art Center (1992). She received a Joan Mitchell Award (1997); an Academy Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters (1994); fellowships from the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation (1983) and the National Endowment for the Arts (1979, 1986); and exhibition prizes from the International Association of Art Critics (1992, 2000). Von Rydingsvard lives and works in New York.



Daniel Traub is a New York City-based photographer and filmmaker whose work focuses primarily on border regions and marginalized communities. He has directed documentaries including the feature length Barefoot Artist about  Lily Yeh and her collaborative artworks in war-torn communities; and Xu Bing: Phoenix, which highlights the condition of Chinese migrant laborers. In 2011, Traub founded the film production company Itinerant Pictures and in 2019, he completed Ursula von Rydingsvard: Into Her Own.


Friday, February 14, 6pm

Ursula von Rydingsvard: Into Her Own 

Film Screening and Conversation with the artist and Museum Director Terrie Sultan

2019, Documentary, 78 minutes

Directed by Daniel Traub

$15 | $5 for Members and Students


Friday Nights are made possible, in part, by Presenting Sponsor, Bank of America. Additional support provided by The Corcoran Group and Sandy and Stephen Perlbinder.



Inspired by the natural setting and artistic life of Long Island’s East End, the Parrish Art Museum illuminates the creative process and how art and artists transform our experiences and understanding of the world and how we live in it. The Museum fosters connections among individuals, art, and artists through care and interpretation of the collection, presentation of exhibitions, publications, educational initiatives, programs, and artists-in residence. The Parrish is a center for cultural engagement, an inspiration and destination for the region, the nation, and the world.



Parrish Art Museum construction photographs © Jeff Heatley.


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