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Dohany Street Synagogue


Budapest, Hungary

Going to the Dohany Street Synagogue was an experience on many levels.  On the surface the building's architecture is beautiful, and it is the first thing that captured my attention as we walked up.  The second thing that caught my attention was the security.  After purchasing your ticket, you walked behind a tall metal fence, and passed by a group of soldiers who not only checked your ticket, but seemed to visually inspect you as well.  Then you continued on to the main entrance of the synagogue where you went through a metal detector.  I understand the need for the security, but it saddens me that it is necessary.

The most poignant part of the tour was the sculpture the Memorial of the Hungarian Jewish Martyrs in the courtyard behind the synagogue.  Commissioned by Tony Curtis, who's father, Emanuel Schwartz, was a Hungarian Jew, the metal sculpture depicts a willow tree.  Also referred to as the Tree of Life, the names of 30,000 Holocaust victims are inscribed on each leaf.


  • Largest synagogue in Europe
  • Consecrated on September 6, 1859
  • It can hold 5000 people (3000 seated and 2000 standing)
  • During WWII, it was used as a base for German Radio, as well as a stable
  • Suffered severe damage from air raids during the Nazi Occupation
  • Was part of the Jewish Ghetto 1944-1945
  • While it is not customary to have a cemetery next to a synagogue, 2,000 of the Jews who died in the ghetto between 1944-1945 were buried in the courtyard
  • 8,000-10,000 people died in the ghetto before being liberated by the Russians on January 18, 1945
  • More than 400,000 Hungarian Jews were murdered by the Nazis

Process And Size Guidelines

I handcraft each piece in my home studio, located just outside of Kansas City, MO.

Most of the photos I use were taken by me on my travels near and far.    I review each photo, looking for striking colors and strong structural elements.    If you think of the entire design as a pie, I am looking for a perfect “slice” of pie within the picture.  Once I find it, the slice is mirrored and repeated in a circular fashion to create the whole pie, i.e. the kaleidoscopic design.


The design then is printed multiple times onto photo paper and I hand cut different elements from each copy of the design with scissors (yes, scissors!). After the cutting is done, I reassemble the pieces into tiered layers separated by foam core, creating the unique three-dimensional kaleidoscopic effect.  Finally, I mount the piece onto mat board and frame it in a shadow box, adding a small copy of the original photo to the piece.



Each design is available in multiple sizes.  The larger the piece, the more layers the design will have, which gives you even greater depth and dimension.  The larger size also allows for more intricate cutting, providing more texture and more "wow"!


Outside Dimensions Inside Dimensions Frame Color
9.75" x 9.75" x 2" 9" x 9" x 1.5" Black
13.5" x 13.5" x 2.75" 12" x 12" x 2.25" Black
18.5" x 18.5" x 4" 16" x 16" x 3" Custom made reclaimed cedar with museum quality plexiglass front