Catherine Bancroft

Ellis Island Revisited

The migrant is the defining figure of the 20th century --Salmon Rushdie, 1996.

More than 65 million people were displaced from their homes in 2015, the greatest humanitarian crisis since World War II.

Can it be that we’re all exiles? Is it possible that all of us are wandering strange lands? – Roberto Bolano

The United States themselves are essentially the greatest poem…Here is not merely a nation but a teeming nation of nations. –Walt Whitman

24 people were displaced from their homes every minute of every day last year – or 34,000 people a day. --United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees

The largeness of nature of the nation were monstrous without a corresponding largeness and generosity of the spirit of the citizen. – Walt Whitman

Canadian law allows Canadians to band together in small groups and personally resettle – essentially adopt – a refugee family. – NY Times July 1, 2016

The door itself makes no promises
It is only a door --Adrienne Rich

From the intelligence test given to immigrants at Ellis Island: Would you wash stairs from the top down or from the bottom up? One woman’s answer: I didn’t come to America to wash stairs.

                About the Artist

Catherine Bancroft, artist and writer, has shown at Muse Gallery, Third Street Gallery, Off the Wall Gallery, The Plastic Club, The Sketch Club, and The Main Line Art Center. She works in collage, altered books, acrylic, and mixed media. Her current Ellis Island Series in conte crayon and acrylic was inspired by photographs of early 20th century immigrants. She has written book reviews for the Philadelphia Inquirer, co-written two children’s books – Felix’s Hat and That’s Philomena (Simon & Schuster) – and has read her poetry at Green Line Café, the 2011 Philadelphia Poetry Festival, the Last Word Bookshop, and other venues. You can reach her at

                Key to Paintings

Girl from Finland              Chinese Woman              Algerian Man     
Romanian Man with Dark Moustache and Hat              Greek Woman              Guadaloupe Woman II     
Girl from Alsace              Romanian Shepherd in Wooly Vest              Serbian Gypsy Woman     
Romanian Gypsy              Greek Orthodox Priest              Boy from Syria     
German Family from Eastern Europe              Man from Ethiopia              Albanian Soldier     
Swedish Girl              Danish Man              Mother Holding Two Babies     
Mother from the Netherlands and her Daughters              Three Boys              Sister and Brother from Eastern Europe     
Rabbi              Syrian Mother and Child              Two Men in the Waiting Room     

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Copyright © Catherine Bancroft 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011