By Grance Griggs Sloat
Ed Adams pulls into the Golden Nugget Flea Market in Lambertville, N.J., just across the Delaware River from his gallery in New Hope, Pa. Searching for a way to fill part of his weekend and maybe find some interesting art, he slides out of the car and walks past the large cadre of temporary dealers who have set up their wares on folding tables outside the main building. He steps into the indoor market, where the Golden Nugget becomes more of an upscale bazaar where dealers pay for permanent booths and stock valuable antiques and quality collectibles.
Adams strolls between counters cluttered with old relics and booths stocked with furniture, rocking horses and used red wagons. His eyes dart from table to table, pausing only temporarily at the visual cacophony until they catch a glimpse of something different. He stops.
Spread across a dealer’s counter are six pencil drawings slightly larger than letter size tucked into plastic sleeves. The drawings have a certain quality to them—the subjects’ hands are oversized, the brows furrowed, the eyes looking away. There’s nothing pretty about the people. They are tired and overwhelmed, as if carrying a heavy burden. They’re dressed in outdated clothing that appears in some cases ill-fitting. The paper they’re drawn on looks old—yellowed with ripped edges and odd markings. On the whole, the drawings appear to be true representations of a time long past. They pull at Adams’ soul.
“Where did these come from?” Adams asks the dealer.
“The Warsaw Ghetto,” the dealer says.
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