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University of Connecticut University Libraries

The Apple Does Not Fall Far From The Tree Recent work from three generations of the Ziner family

Zeke & Feenie

Zeke Ziner, a son of first-generation Americans, celebrated his 80th birthday in September 1999. Growing up in the Bronx, he identified himself early on as an artist--inspired and encouraged by high school classmates Paddy Chayefsky, James Baldwin and Ted Shearer. At 18, with a scholarship from the Art Students League, Zeke went to Mexico where he visited the studios of the great Mexican artists of the time. Returning to New York City, he worked as a textile designer and shared a studio building on 125th Street with Jacob Lawrence and Romare Bearden. Zeke went on to enjoy great success as both a commercial and a fine artist, working as an illustrator, painter, printmaker and sculptor in Chicago, New York and Montreal. His work has been shown in the Chicago Art Institute, the Museum of Modern Art and the Whitney Museum, among many other galleries and museums.

Feenie Ziner, born in Brooklyn, was also the child of aspiring, first-generation Americans. She was educated in the New York public schools, attended Brooklyn College, and earned her Master's degree from Columbia University's School of Social Work. Feenie met Zeke Ziner in the summer of 1937 and they married shortly before World War II. After the war they moved to Chicago, where their sons Joe and Marc were born, and where Feenie began her career as a writer of books, initially for children and young adults, and eventually for adults. Returning to New York, Feenie established herself as a book reviewer for The New York Times and as a teacher and scholar at the New School for Social Research, SUNY Purchase, and from the mid-1970s to the mid-1990s, at the University of Connecticut.

Zeke Ziner    Feenie Ziner    Evelyn