Eva A. Schonfield, glass artist, dies

Holocaust survivor

  • Eva Schonfield
Eva Schonfield
February 27, 2011|By Frederick N. Rasmussen, The Baltimore Sun | Baltimore Sun reporter

Eva Adele Schonfield, an artist who worked in glass and was an early Harborplace merchant, died Feb. 12 of a blood clot of the brain at Sinai Hospital. The longtime Mount Washington resident was 76.

Eva Adele Preisach, whose parents owned and operated a shoe repair business, was born and raised in Budapest, where she attended high school.

Her father and many relatives perished in the Holocaust.

"She survived by hiding in a safe house with her mother, sister, aunt and cousins. The house was created and sponsored by Swedish diplomat Raoul Wallenberg, who saved many Hungarian Jews through this and other houses," said her daughter, Anne M. Schonfield of Berkeley, Calif.

After high school, she worked for a chemist until 1956, when she fled across the border to Austria during the Hungarian Revolution to escape the invading Russian army.

"She tells the story of a farmer who helped them find the Austrian border but then stole all the money her mother had given her," Ms. Schonfield said.

Mrs. Schonfield worked in a chemistry laboratory in Basel, Switzerland, before immigrating to New York City in 1959, when she continued working for another chemist.

While living in New York City, she met and married her husband, Dr. Jacob Schonfield, a psychologist, in 1960. They moved to Briarwood Road in Mount Washington in 1962, when her husband joined the staff of the Johns Hopkins University.

In the early 1970s, Mrs. Schonfield, who had learned glass blowing while working in chemical laboratories, began making glass mezuzahs, Shabbat candleholders, glass bowls and other glass artwork.

She established Eva Schonfield Designs at Harborplace in the early 1980s, where she sold her artwork. Her work was also sold through Nordstrom's and stores in New York City.

She also made beaded jewelry and was an avid photographer.

"One of her pieces was on display at the White House during the Carter administration," her daughter said.

Mrs. Schonfield attended services at Chizuk Amuno Congregation.

"She was an ardent supporter of Israel and the Jewish Community Center," Ms. Schonfield said.

Plans for a memorial service were incomplete.

Also surviving are a son, Alexander B. Schonfield of Oakland, Calif.; and two grandchildren. Her marriage ended in divorce.

fred.rasmussen@baltsun.com

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