FINCHLEYSTRAßE German artists in exile in Great Britain and beyond 1933–45
FINCHLEYSTRAßE German artists in exile in Great Britain and beyond 1933–45
Max Heimann Hands of the Artistâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Wife with Bird
FINCHLEYSTRAßE German artists in exile in Great Britain and beyond 1933–45
Ben Uri Gallery and Museum wishes to extend sincere thanks to the German Embassy for supporting and hosting this exhibition and to all the artists and lenders who have made it possible. We also thank the artists' estates and copyright holders for permission to reproduce images. Edited by Sarah MacDougall Design Alan Slingsby Print The Magazine Printing Company, www.magprint.co.uk ISBN: 0-900157-67-4 February 2018
Contents Foreword: Tania Freiin von Uslar-Gleichen, Chargé d’Affaires a. i. of the German Embassy, London . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .6 Foreword: David J Glasser Chairman, Ben Uri Galley and Museum . . . . . . . . . .7 Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9
Oskar Kokoschka . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29 Heinz Koppel . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Rudolf Lehmann . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31 Max Liebermann . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Pamina Liebert-Mahrenholz . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33
Alfred Lomnitz . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34
Frank Auerbach . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14
Jona Mach . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35
Peter Baer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16
Eva Aldbrook . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Jack Bilbo . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Martin Bloch . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18
Margarete Marks . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Else Meidner . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37 Ludwig Meidner . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Dodo . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19
Klaus Meyer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39
Hermann Fechenbach . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20
Adèle Reifenberg . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Joe Rose . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Julius Rosenbaum . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Hans Schleger . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Hans Feibusch . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21 Paul Feiler . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22 Eva Frankfurther . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23 Lucian Freud . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24
Willy Tirr . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45
Hilde Goldschmidt . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26
Harry Weinberger . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46
Max Heimann . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Victor Weisz . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47
Erich Kahn . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28
Picture credits and copyright . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48
his year, we commemorate the events which unfolded 80 years ago on the night of 9th November 1938, when Germany’s Nazi regime unleashed pre-planned terror on the Jewish population of Germany and Austria. More than 1,400 synagogues and thousands of Jewish-owned businesses and homes were destroyed. The sound of smashed glass during this orgy of terror and destruction resonated in the name given to the events of that night and the following days: Kristallnacht – Night of the Broken Glass. Only a few days later, the British government decided to grant refuge to Jewish children from Germany and Austria, and later from (German) occupied Czechoslovakia. This enabled the rescue of approximately 10,000 children, who came to Britain between December 1938 and September 1939 by the so-called Kindertransport. Finchleystraße shows works by Jewish artists who had to flee Germany during the Third Reich – some of them on the Kindertransport – and whose lives
were traumatically uprooted due to Nazi persecution. The exhibition not only honours these artists, but commemorates the thousands of children who were separated from their families by the Nazis – and their heartbroken parents, most of whom were murdered during the Holocaust. The 80th anniversary of Kristallnacht serves as a reminder of our responsibility to uphold the principles that over the past seven decades have become fundamental for the Federal Republic of Germany: democracy, respect of human rights and fundamental freedoms, and the continuous battle against Anti-Semitism. The exhibition allows us to show our gratitude for the lives and creativity saved by coming to Britain – including on the Kindertransport – 80 years ago. We thank Ben Uri Gallery and their chairman David Glasser for the wonderful cooperation that has made this exhibition possible. Tania Freiin von Uslar-Gleichen, Chargé d’Affaires a. i. of the German Embassy London
en Uri is delighted to be working in partnership with the German Embassy London on this important exhibition “Finchleystraße”– as bus conductors used to call out at the local Finchley Road stop – recognising the influx of German-speaking émigrés to North London during the Nazi era and their profound enrichment of our own history and culture. Part of our wide exhibition programme exploring the contribution of refugee and migrant artists to the UK, it examines their ‘forced journeys’ and artistic legacies in this country. Ben Uri’s own history is one of migration: formed in London’s East End in 1915 by Jewish Easterneuropean émigré artisans working outside the cultural mainstream. Proudly reflecting its roots and cultural heritage, being named in the spirit of the Bezalel School of Art in Jerusalem founded in 1906, Ben Uri formed a collection of work by artists of British and European Jewish descent. Since 2000, the remit has widened to include works by émigré artists from a wide range of cultural, religious and geographical backgrounds and today the collection
numbers more than 1,300 works by over 400 artists: 67% émigrés, 27% women, and 33% contemporary. Interpreted within the wider contexts of art history, politics and society, both the collection as a whole and this exhibition in particular show how migrant artists continually express feelings about removal from the homeland and resettlement in a new country. These artists repaid their debts of safe haven to Great Britain by contributing much to their new home country’s visual arts and cultural mosaic and making an indelible mark, whether by practice, teaching or scholarship on 20th century British art. I would like to thank Tania Freiin von UslarGleichen, Charlotte Schwarzer and Alexandra Wolfelsberger-Essig from the Germany Embassy London and Ben Uri curators Sarah MacDougall and Rachel Dickson, supported by Dessi Petrova and Rebecca Mitchell, our Learning Manager Alix Smith, and photographer Justin Piperger and designer Alan Slingsby, for realising this important exhibition. David J Glasser Chairman, Ben Uri Galley and Museum
Erich Kahn Composition 8 Finchleystraße
etween 1933 and 1945, whether for religious, political or artistic reasons, over 300 painters, sculptors and graphic artists fled into exile or immigrated to Great Britain from Nazi Germany. Following the appointment of Adolf Hitler as German Chancellor in January 1933, the introduction of anti-Semitic legislation and the foundation of the Reichskulturkammer (the Reich Chamber of Culture) – to which all professional artists and designers had to belong – Jews, Communists, Social Democrats and ‘avant-garde’ artists were effectively banned from working in Germany. This exhibition, ‘Finchleystraße’: German artists in exile in Great Britain and Beyond, 1933–45 brings together paintings, drawings and graphics by a number of primarily German-Jewish artists who made these ‘forced journeys’, mostly to Great Britain, but also further afield – to Australia, China, Palestine and the United States – during this era. There are two notable exceptions: Max Liebermann, the celebrated German Impressionist, who did not leave Germany but was forced to resign as Head of the Prussian Academy. His experience however shows the early consequences of the Nazi regime; and Oskar Kokoschka, Austria’s best-known Expressionist artist, who was neither German nor Jewish, but whose defence of Liebermann first brought him into opposition with the Nazi authorities. As a teacher,
Kokoschka had nurtured many other artists’ careers (including that of Hilde Goldschmidt), and was at the heart of the German-speaking émigré network in England during the Second World War. Other featured refugees include Frank Auerbach and Lucian Freud, among Britain’s most respected and best-known artists today, but the exhibition also includes many lesser-known figures, whose fractured careers and loss of reputation often resulted from their forced migrations, some travelling through more than one country of transit, often leaving art works and family behind. The exhibits have been drawn principally from the Ben Uri Collection – indeed, Ben Uri’s own exhibiting culture changed profoundly in this period, in response to what Chairman Israel Sieff termed the ‘Nazi philosophy’, with German names dominating exhibitions from the 1930s onwards, and often entering the collection both then and in subsequent decades. These works are supplemented by important external loans from private lenders, supported by archival material and oral testimonies from three generations of German migrants (available on iPads). The exhibition seeks to unfold a number of exile narratives, arising from both the artists’ own biographies and the work that they produced, mostly post-migration, although Ludwig Meidner’s Expressionistic Portrait of a Girl (1921), and Dodo’s Finchleystraße 9
powerful student graphic, Federn, both showing the freedoms of the Weimar Republic, are notable exceptions. Modernists Martin Bloch, Hans Feibusch, Grete Marks and Ludwig Meidner, are among those who were declared ‘degenerate’ and featured in the infamous Entartete Kunst (‘Degenerate Art’) exhibition, their work suffering derision, suppression and/or destruction. Stripped of their livelihoods in Germany, this forfeiture was compounded by the further loss of homeland, loved-ones, language and culture, endured by all these refugee artists who attempted to (re)establish their careers in a new host country. Yet, despite an exhibition of GermanJewish artists’ work at the Parsons Gallery, London in 1934, and the Twentieth-century German Art exhibition at the Burlington Galleries in 1938 – intended as a riposte to the ‘Degenerate Art’ show (and in which Bloch and Marks were both included) – the knowledge and appreciation of German art in England remained low among the largely Francophile public. Some women, including Dodo – entered the country on domestic visas, or like Else Meidner found work as domestics during the war. This provided them with an income but inevitably interrupted and impacted their ability to continue their artistic practice. Many future artists, including Eva Aldbrook, Frank Auerbach, Peter Baer, Eva Frankfurther, Lucian Freud, Heinz Koppel and Harry Weinberger, came as children or teenagers: Weinberger was a Kindertransportee rescued by World Jewish Relief; Aldbrook and Auerbach found refuge at Bunce Court school in Kent, itself relocated from Germany;
Frankfurther was sent initially to another school in Haslemere, Surrey, Stoatley Rough, set up by a group of refugee teachers for refugee children. All went on to establish their artistic careers postwar. Following the outbreak of war in September 1939 attitudes towards German-speaking émigrés in Britain hardened. Home Office tribunals re-categorised refugees, and in response to Churchill’s order to ‘collar the lot’, transit and internment camps were established on the mainland, the Isle of Man and across the Commonwealth. Artist internees included Jack Bilbo, Martin Bloch, Herman Fechenbach, Paul Feiler, Erich Kahn, Alfred Lomnitz (‘Lom’), Ludwig Meidner and Klaus Meyer; commonwealth internees included Paul Feiler and Willy Tirr. Their experiences varied – some refugees, among them Kahn and Joe Rose, had already experienced detention in concentration camps prior to migration; Kahn suffered from permanent trauma as a result. Hermann Fechenbach went on hunger strike in protest at his incarceration and conditions; Pamina Liebert-Mahrenholz sculpted in bread while in Holloway Prison. Yet at Hutchinson Camp on the Isle of Man, which held so many artist-internees that it was known as the ‘artists camp’, the internees were encouraged to make work by their enlightened and supportive camp commander and, ever-resourceful with materials, they created enough artwork to hold and document two exhibitions. Ludwig Meidner, finding himself closeted among this Germanspeaking intelligentsia, even petitioned to stay on. In Onchan Camp, Jack Bilbo acted as impresario, organising exhibitions visited by 1500 internees.
Others like Freud, Tirr and Weinberger served in the army, particularly the Pioneer Corps. Others still, such as Julius Rosenbaum (because of his age) and Hans Schleger (naturalised in 1939), because of his important role in propagandist war work for the Ministry of Information, were excused active service but, like many, served as fire-watchers. In addition to the (non-émigré) Artists’ International Association (AIA), many joined émigré network organisations, which provided national solidarity and supported their creative endeavours. These included the Artists’ Refugee Committee (ARC), the Free German League of Culture (FGLC) and the Austrian Centre (AC), which all played important roles. After the war, fates diverged: many artists also became teachers – some setting up their own small schools, such as husband and wife Adèle Reifenberg and Julius Rosenbaum – or like Auerbach, Bloch, Baer, Feiler, Freud, Koppel, Tirr and Weinberger teaching at noted art schools. Designers Dodo and Schleger both went on to work for prestigious British firms including John Lewis. Schleger’s poster Hands at Your Service, which pays tribute to the London Transport workers, also signalled that for him uniforms in England implied service, not oppression; he also became celebrated as the designer of the iconic British bus-stop sign. Much design work was also influenced by personal exile narratives: for example, Lom and Meyer show contrasting images of incarceration and freedom. Following release from internment, many resumed their careers: the irrepressible Bilbo turned gallerist, founded the Modern Art Gallery (1941–48),
a haven for refugee artists including Kurt Schwitters. There were few commissions, but artists painted, drew and sculpted, often taking their subjects from their own émigré communities. A few made further journeys postwar beyond Britain – including Joe Rose (Australia), Lehman and Mach (Israel), Heimann (who spent the war in Shanghai, going on to the USA). Ludwig Meidner and Bilbo returned to Germany, the former renewing his reputation (while his wife Else remained behind); the latter opening a bar. Goldschmidt returned to Austria. Ever adaptable as refugees, some found it expedient to embrace new or alternative artistic practices. Most of the featured artworks were created in England, illustrating the artists’ interaction with the new culture of their adopted homeland, particularly via portraiture. Although many found it difficult to recapture former reputations, often exhibiting primarily within their own émigré circles, they also continued to exhibit with Ben Uri, whose exhibition programme and collection, like the wider British cultural landscape, was greatly enriched by their valuable and significant contribution, which is perhaps only today being fully recognised and acknowledged. Sarah MacDougall and Rachel Dickson, co‑curators
Eva Aldbrook (Urbach, née Mehl)
(b. 1925 Hamburg, Germany – immigrated to Great Britain 1938 – lives in Lincolnshire, England)
Portrait of Siegmund Nissel Pencil on paper 57 x 45.3 cm Ben Uri Collection Presented by the artist 2018
Austrian violinist Siegmund Nissel was a co-founder of the Amadeus Quartet, three of whose members met during internment on the Isle of Man. Born into an assimilated Jewish family in Hamburg, Eva Aldbrook fled to the UK with her family in 1938. After training as a classical dancer (taking the name Eva Melova), she studied fashion and costume design under Muriel Pemberton at St. Martin’s School of Art, becoming a highly successful fashion illustrator in the 1950s and 1960s, celebrated for her elegant designs commissioned by fashion house Dior and publications including British Vogue, The Evening Standard and The Sunday Times before turning to portraiture.
(b. 1931 Berlin, Germany – immigrated to Great Britain 1939 – lives in London, England)
Charcoal on paper 45.5 x 54.5 cm Signed and dated (top left): ‘Auerbach 1954’ Ben Uri Collection: Presented by members of Society c.1950s
One of two early art school life drawings in the Ben Uri Collection (very likely using the same model), Nude was probably observed in the RCA life room and shows the beginnings of Auerbach’s distinctive vigorous and heavily worked style. Born to Jewish parents in Berlin in 1931, Auerbach was sent to England in 1939; his parents remained behind and
subsequently perished in concentration camps. After attending Bunce Court – a progressive boarding school in Kent for Jewish refugee children – he studied at St Martin’s School of Art (1948–52) and the Royal College of Art, also taking evening classes at Borough Polytechnic under David Bomberg, going on to become one of Britain’s best-known contemporary artists.
(b. 1931 Berlin, Germany – immigrated to Great Britain 1939 – lives in London, England)
Etching 20 x 16.5 cm Signed and dated (lower right) ‘Auerbach 90’ Ben Uri Collection Presented by the artist 1994
The son of German-Jewish refugees, Michael Podro was Head of Art History at Camberwell School of Art (1961– 67), when he and Auerbach became friends. He went on to Cambridge, then the Slade School of Art, before embarking on a PhD under art historian Ernst Gombrich and philosopher Richard Wollheim. He has observed of Auerbach’s work that the artist ‘has a constantly self-revising dynamic which never allows the subject to disengage from the distinctive properties of the painter’s medium’.
(b. 1924 Berlin, Germany – immigrated to Great Britain 1936 – d. 1996 London, England)
Walking About, 1985 Lithograph 72.5 x 57 cm Signed and dated (lower right) ‘Peter Baer 85’ Ben Uri Collection
Walking About demonstrates Baer’s inventive transformation of the urban landscape through the medium of print. Peter Baer was born into a Jewish family in Berlin and fled to England with his family in 1936, studying at the Central School of Arts and Crafts (1948–50). In the 1950s he was associated with the ‘Kitchen Sink’ movement, exhibited at the Beaux Arts Gallery and made etchings at Birgit Skiöld’s Print Workshop in Charlotte Street. He went on to work for the Curwen Press and became an influential and inspirational teacher of printmaking at Hammersmith (later Chelsea) School of Art (1970–1989).
(né Hugo Baruch) (b. 1907 Berlin, Germany – immigrated to Great Britain 1936, returned to Germany 1956 – d. 1967 Berlin, Germany)
Gouache on paper 46.7 x 35 cm Signed (lower right) ‘J.B.’ Ben Uri Collection Presented by Merry Kerr-Woodeson (the artist’s daughter) 1987
Bilbo’s art, influenced by Surrealism, typically depicts bizarre, erotic or grot esque themes. Jack Bilbo (as he preferred to be known) was variously a sailor, tramp, stage designer, reporter, author, self-taught artist, and gallery owner. Arrested for anti-fascist activities in 1933, he escaped to France, then Spain, arriving in England in 1936. Interned in Onchan camp, Isle of Man, for six months, Bilbo organised art exhibitions visited by 1500 internees, afterwards founding the Modern Art Gallery (1941–48) in London as a platform ‘against Hitlerism’ – a vital meeting place for refugee artists including Kurt Schwitters. Postwar, he returned to Berlin, where he opened a bar.
(b. 1883 Neisse, Germany/Nysa, Poland – immigrated to Great Britain 1934 – d. 1954 London, England)
House in Varangéville, Normandy, 1939
Oil on canvas 63.5 x 79.7 cm Signed (lower right) ‘Bloch’ Ben Uri Collection Presented by Alexander Margulies 1987
Drawing on his Expressionist roots, Bloch’s work powerfully conveys emotion through colour. Originally trained as an architect, afterwards studying drawing under Lovis Corinth, Bloch exhibited at the Paul Cassirer Gallery and co-founded an art school in Berlin. Arriving in London via Denmark in 1934, he ran The School of Contemporary Painting (1936–39)
with Roy de Maistre; his pupils included cousins Heinz Koppel and Harry Weinberger. Bloch exhibited in the 1938 exhibition of Twentieth-century German Art in London, and held a solo London show in 1939. Following internment (1940–41) at Huyton Camp, Liverpool, and Sefton Camp on the Isle of Man, he became an influential teacher at Camberwell School of Art.
(Dörte Bürgner, née Wolff) (b. 1907 Berlin, Germany – immigrated to Great Britain 1936 – d. 1998 London, England)
Watercolour on paper 46.5 x 32 cm Ben Uri Collection Presented by the Dodo Estate, Athens 2013
Dodo’s bold poster design for a pen company, showing her strong sense of colour and composition, was carried out at Berlin’s prestigious Reimann Schule in the 1920s. Born into a middle-class Jewish family in Berlin, she drew from an early age. After graduating she enjoyed a successful freelance career as a fashion designer and illustrator, producing cover designs for the satirical weekly supplement Ulk. After her immigration to England, her career progressed more modestly with commissions for fashion, chocolates and greeting cards and illustrations for children’s books using the name ‘Dodo Adler’.
Hermann Fechenbach (b. 1897 Württemberg, Germany – immigrated to Great Britain 1939 – d. 1986 Denham, England)
Woodcut on paper 21.6 x 16 cm Signed and dated (lower right) ‘Hermann Fechenbach 1943’ Ben Uri Collection Presented by Alfred Wolmark 1948
Fechenbach specialised in wood engravings and was influenced by Die Neue Sachlichkeit (new objectivity). This woodcut was made in England after his release from internment. Born into a German-Jewish family, Fechenbach fought and was severely wounded in the First World War (losing a leg). Afterwards he studied in Stuttgart, Munich and Florence, then travelled widely before settling in Stuttgart, but was later forced to flee to England via Palestine. In 1940, following internment in Warth Mill, Bury, he went on hunger strike in protest; subsequently in Hutchinson Camp on the Isle of Man, he produced a series of linocuts entitled ‘My Impressions as Refugee’.
(b. 1898 Frankfurt, Germany – immigrated to Great Britain 1933 – d. 1998 London, England)
The Dance, c. 1950
Gouache on paper 48.5 x 75 cm Signed (verso) ‘Hans Feibusch’ On permanent loan to the Ben Uri Collection
This joyful painting is typical of Feib usch’s colourful, figurative work. After serving in the German army during the First World War, he studied medicine and then art, winning the Prussian State Prize for Painting, which aroused Nazi antagonism; his pictures were publicly burned, and he was forbidden to paint. After his departure, his work was included in the infamous
1937 ‘Degenerate Art’ exhibition. He exhibited in the 1951 Festival of Britain, becoming a prolific muralist, particularly for the Church of England including for Chichester Cathedral. In his last years he took up sculpture due to failing eyesight.
(b. 1918 Frankfurt, Germany – immigrated to England 1936 – d. 2013 Cornwall, England)
Coast Grey, Cornwall, 1958 Oil on canvas 90.2 x 80 cm Private Collection
Feiler’s lyrical abstract style is rooted in the natural world, particularly the Cornish landscape he so admired. Born into a German-Jewish family who relocated to England in 1936, Feiler studied at the Slade School of Fine Art (1936–39) alongside Patrick Heron and Bryan Wynter, among others. He was interned on the Isle of Man in 1940, then in Canada until 1941. On his return he taught art at Eastbourne College (evacuated to Radley College, Oxford) and later at the West of England College of Art in Bristol, where he became Head of Painting. He moved to Cornwall in 1975 and was associated with the St. Ives School.
(b. 1930 Berlin, Germany – immigrated to Great Britain 1939 – d. 1959 London, England)
Stateless Person, c. 1955 Oil on paper 76 x 55 cm Private Collection
Eva Frankfurther took as her subjects those on the margins of society, conveying their inner lives with dignity and compassion. The critic Mervyn Levy observed that she was ‘greatly perturbed [...] by the predicament of the modern refugee; the politically displaced ones, homeless and stateless, who comprise one of the most profoundly tragic phenomena of our time’. Born into an assimilated Jewish family in Berlin in 1930, Frankfurther fled to England with her family in 1939, then attended St Martin’s School of Art (1946–51). Afterwards she moved to London’s East End and working evenings as a counter-hand at Lyons Corner House, Piccadilly, leaving her free to paint during the day.
(b. 1922 Berlin, Germany – immigrated to Great Britain 1933 – d. 2011 London, England)
Lord Goodman in His Yellow Pyjamas, 1987 Etching with hand-colouring in yellow watercolour on Rives BFK paper Signed with initials and numbered ‘A.P. VIII/X’ in pencil Private Collection
Freud’s etchings form a unique and distinct body of work within his oeuvre. Baron Arnold Goodman (1915–1995) was a lawyer and political advisor and Freud’s ‘fixer’. The pyjamas suggest an easy intimacy between the artist and his sitter. After completing the etching, Freud coloured them with a yellow wash in each of the 50 impressions.
escaped to England in 1933. He studied at the Central School of Art, London, Cedric Morris’ East Anglian School, and Goldsmith’s College prior to enlisting in the Merchant Navy during the Second World War. He is celebrated for his psychologically penetrating, realistic portraiture, usually of members of his close circle and family.
Grandson of Sigmund Freud, Lucian was born into a Jewish family, with whom he
(b. 1922 Berlin, Germany – immigrated to Great Britain 1933 – d. 2011 London, England)
Before the Fourth, 2004
Etching on Somerset textured paper Sheet 57.3 x 66.0 cm Plate 34.5 x 42.9 cm Artist’s Proof 1/12 Private Collection
Before the Fourth portrays the society figure and actress Annabel Mullion, pregnant with her fourth child, William Ajax Baring; the composition echoes Gauguin’s Nevermore. Freud had painted Mullion previously with her dog Rattler in 1998, and a year after this etching made the related painting Expecting the Fourth.
(b.1897 Leipzig, Germany – immigrated to Great Britain 1939, returned to Kitzbühel, Austria 1950 – d. 1980 Kitzbühel, Austria)
Frau Trautz Schranz, 1951 Pastel on paper 50 x 37.4 cm Ben Uri Collection Presented by Brian and Brigitta Appleby 1996
This bold portrait of Frau Trautz Schranz draws on Goldschmidt’s training under Austrian expressionist Oskar Kokoschka in Dresden (1920–23). Afterwards, Goldschmidt travelled widely in New York, France and Italy, before returning to Munich and holding her first major exhibition in 1932. In 1933, she settled in Kitzbühel, but was forced to flee to London in 1939. She moved to the Lake District in 1942, part of the Langdale Group which included fellow refugee artist Kurt Schwitters, but returned to her house and studio in Kitzbühel, Austria in 1950.
(b. 1909 Berlin, Germany – immigrated to China 1939, then USA c. 1945 – d. c. 1994 California, USA)
Hands of the Artist’s Wife with Bird
Oil on board 34.5 x 29.3 cm Signed (lower right) ‘Heimann’ Ben Uri Collection Presented by the artist’s widow, Ellen Benger
Here the artist focuses on a tender moment between human and bird, playing on notions of restraint versus freedom, where the bird, which at first glance appears tethered – though in fact it remains free – chooses to remain. Heimann studied under Emil Orlik and Arthur Segal in Germany, before fleeing to Shanghai in China in 1939, where he remained throughout the Second World War. Afterwards he settled in California, illustrating a different trajectory from that of the majority of artists in this exhibition, who settled in Great Britain. Heimann’s oeuvre includes portraiture, street scenes and many still-lifes, often with a sense of heightened realism.
(b. 1904 Stuttgart, Germany – immigrated to Great Britain 1939 – d. 1979 London, England)
Composition Oil on canvas 126.5 x 101.5 cm Ben Uri Collection Gift
This vibrant abstract is from the artist’s postwar period. Kahn fled Germany in 1939 after his release from the Welzheim concentration camp, immigrating to England with the help of relatives. He was subsequently interned in the so-called ‘Artists’ Camp’ at Hutchinson on the Isle of Man with Kurt Schwitters, among others. After release, although an isolated figure, he continued painting, attending life classes held by former fellow-internee Paul Hamann and was greatly respected by his peers. He was supported by the eminent Czech émigré art historian J. P. Hodin (1905–1995).
(b. 1886 Pöchlarn, Austria – immigrated to Great Britain 1938, then Switzerland 1953 – d. Montreux, Switzerland 1980)
Coloured chalks on paper 20.5 x 30 cm Inscribed to Pamela Hodin – ‘the beautiful one’ Private Collection
This playful sketch from late in the artist’s career is one of several made for the eminent Czech émigré art historian J. P. Hodin (1905–1995), author of a Kokoschka monograph (1966) and dedicated to his wife Pamela. Kokoschka studied at the Vienna Kunstgewerbeschule (school of applied arts) and in 1907 became an associate of the Wiener Werkstätte design workshops, going on to become Austria’s
most celebrated Expressionist painter. His defence of Max Liebermann first brought him into opposition to the Nazi regime; he fled to Czechoslovakia in 1934 and arrived in England in 1939, where he was active among the émigré network. He moved to Switzerland in his last years.
(b. 1919 Berlin, Germany – immigrated to Great Britain 1938 – d. 1980 Cwmerfyn, Wales)
Oil on canvas 61 x 91 cm Signed (upper left) ‘Koppel’ Ben Uri Collection Presented by Frank Auerbach 1994
Ko p p el ’s n a ï v e , a l m o s t s u r re a l style is highly personal, but his distinctive palette also draws on German Expressionism. Born into a Jewish family in 1919 in Berlin, he immigrated to England in 1938, studying under Martin Bloch. He moved to South Wales in 1944 to teach miners and their families in
the newly-established Educational Settlements, also exhibiting at Jack Bilbo’s Modern Art Gallery, and later at the Beaux Art Gallery. Koppel returned to London in 1956, teaching at Camberwell and Hornsey Schools of Art and lecturing at Liverpool College. He spent his final years in Aberystwyth.
Rudolf (Rudi) Lehmann (b. 1903 Berlin, Germany – immigrated to Jerusalem 1933 – d. 1977 Givatayim, Israel)
Woodcut on paper 15.5 x 10 cm Signed and dated (lower right in Hebrew) 1965 Ben Uri Collection Presented by Ya’akov Boussidan 1974
Lehmann’s work , predominantly sculpture and woodcuts, focuses on animal subjects frequently observed during lengthy visits to the Tel Aviv Zoo. Influenced by the painter and sculptor Ewald Mataré, his simple forms also draw attention to his raw materials. Born in Berlin in 1903, he studied animal sculpture and ceramics at the city’s School of Arts and Crafts (1925–28), afterwards becoming a sculpture teacher. In 1933 he moved to Jerusalem, teaching briefly at the Bezalel School, then establishing a sculpture studio with his sculptor-wife Hedwig Grossmann (1902–1955).
Max Liebermann (b. 1847 Berlin, Germany – d. 1935 Berlin, Germany)
Oil on board 48 x 38 cm Signed and dated (upper right) ‘Liebermann 27’ On long term loan to the Ben Uri Collection from the Zondeck Legacy through the good offices of the Board of Belsize Synagogue 2002
This moving self-portrait was painted when the artist was in his eighties; the earthy palette testifying to the influence of the French Barbizon school. Germany’s best-known Impressionist, Max Liebermann lived in Paris from 1873–78, then Munich, returning to Berlin in 1898. He was a co-founder of the Berlin Secession, of which he was also the first President. After the Nazis came to power in 1933, Liebermann was forced to resign as President of the Prussian Academy and died two years later. His villa and studio in Wannsee were located next door to the site of the notorious 1942 Nazi Conference to organise the ‘Final Solution’.
(b. 1904 Berlin, Germany – immigrated to Great Britain 1939 – d. 2004 London, England)
Two Female Nudes Oil on board 60.5 x 60.5 cm Signed (verso) ‘Pamina’ Ben Uri Collection Presented by the artist
Two Female Nudes is from the artist’s later career. Pamina Liebert studied at the Berlin Academy of Art, where she was awarded the Prix de Rome, although Nazi opposition prevented her from collecting her prize. She married photographer Rolf Mahrenholz in 1929; he immigrated to England in 1938, and she followed in 1939. Initially held at Holloway Women’s Prison, Liebert-Mahrenholz sculpted in bread, before being moved to an internment camp on the Isle of Man (Rolf was interned in a separate camp). After her release, Liebert-Mahrenholz earned a living restoring china before returning to sculpture and embracing painting.
Alfred Lomnitz (Lom) (b. 1892 Hessen, Germany – immigrated to Great Britain 1933 – d. 1953 London, England)
Girl Behind Barbed Wire Watercolour on paper 36.5 x 27 cm Ben Uri Collection Presented by Cyril J. Ross
The undated Girl Behind Barbed Wire references the artist’s internment in Huyton Camp on the Isle of Man, which he described as a place where ‘every corner of the camp is a potential picture’. He also published an autobiographical account of internment entitled Never Mind, Mr. Lom (1941) – apparently the cheery goodbye of his landlady as he was led away. ‘Lom’ worked as a painter and commercial artist in Germany, a career he continued in London with support from Ben Uri’s treasurer Cyril J. Ross. Little is known of Lom’s later career which was curtailed by the onset of Parkinson’s disease.
(b. 1917 Breslau, Germany – immigrated to Jerusalem 1935 – lives in Israel)
Lithograph 9.5 x 34.7 cm Signed (lower left) ‘Jona Mach’ Ben Uri Collection
Townscape is both expressionistic and realistic, foregrounding Jerusalem’s urban landscape. Born in Breslau, Germany in 1917, Mach studied painting in Italy and France, immigrating to Israel in 1935 with the refugee organisation Youth Aliyah and settling on the kibbutz Maoz Haim. Mach also studied in Jerusalem under Jacob Steinhardt in 1940, before moving to the city in 1951. A celebrated teacher, he has held posts at the Hebrew University and the Ministry of Education. He is also a founder of the Jerusalem Artists’ House and co-founder of the Kibbutz Artists’ Association.
Margarete (Grete) Marks
(née Margarete Heymann, then Margarete Heymann-Löbenstein) (b. 1899 Cologne, Germany – immigrated to Great Britain 1936 – d. 1990 London, England)
Dr. Barnett Stross MP, 1936 Lithograph 42.5 x 31 cm Ben Uri Collection Presented by Harold Marks 1989
The sitter Sir Barnett Stross (1899–1967) was a Polish-born Jewish doctor, raised in Leeds and a member of the émigré network in Stoke. A Labour Member of Parliament for 20 years, he led the humanitarian campaign, ‘Lidice Shall Live’ to rebuild the Czech village Lidice destroyed by the Nazis in 1942. Bauhaus-trained ceramicist Grete Marks established a highly successful pottery factory until anti-Semitic legislation forced her to sell it in 1934; she left for England in 1936. She continued to produce her own avant-garde designs for Minton Pottery, but was unable to recapture her earlier success. Her subsequent career also embraced painting and printmaking.
Else Meidner (née Meyer)
(b. 1901 Berlin, Germany – immigrated to Great Britain 1939 – d. 1987 London, England)
Woman with a Hat
Oil on canvas 82 x 67 cm Ben Uri Collection Acquired with the assistance of Ethel Solomon 1950
Woman with a Hat captures the aust erity of postwar Britain, while the artist’s brushwork and palette also recall her German Expressionist roots. Else Meidner studied at the Berlin Academy under Ludwig Meidner, whom she married in 1927. After immigrating to England, she worked as a domestic during his internment. Afterwards, they endured great poverty and grew apart personally and stylistically, despite a joint exhibition at Ben Uri in 1949. Else remained in England, again exhibiting with Ben Uri (1974 and 1972), but after her husband returned to Germany, she worked in increasing isolation.
(b. 1884 Bernstadt, Germany – immigrated to Great Britain 1939, returned to Germany 1953 – d. 1966 Darmstadt, Germany)
Portrait of a Girl, 1921
Charcoal on paper 68 x 50.5 cm Signed and dated (lower right) ‘LM 1921’ Ben Uri Collection Presented by Cyril J. Ross 1950
This drawing from Meidner’s Weimar period typifies his powerful graphic, expressionist style. In Berlin, his series of apocalyptic landscapes anticipated the First World War, and he exhibited with fellow expressionists in Hewarth Walden’s Galerie Der Sturm. Following his inclusion in the 1937 Entartete Kunst (Degenerate Art) exhibition, the Meidners fled to England in 1939. Interned in Liverpool, and then Hutchinson Camp, Isle of Man, amid religiously tolerant, intellectually stimulating company, Meidner petitioned to stay on. His sole exhibition in Britain was a joint show with Else at Ben Uri in 1949; he returned alone to Germany in 1953 to renewed acclaim.
(b. 1918 Berlin, Germany – immigrated to Great Britain 1938 – d. 2002 Cambridgeshire, England)
Girl in Red, 1990
Woodcut on paper 45 x 36.5 cm Signed and dated (lower right) ‘Klaus Meyer ‘90’ Ben Uri Collection Presented by the artist 1996
Meyer’s printmaking is distinguished by its bold formal characteristics. Girl in Red is based on an earlier portrait of his daughter Rachel, set in their Hampstead garden. Born into an assimilated German-Jewish family in 1918, Klaus Meyer immigrated to England in 1938. He studied graphics at the Central School of Arts and Crafts before being interned in Shropshire, then Onchan Camp on the Isle of Man (1940–42). After release, he studied painting and then printmaking at the Slade School of Fine Art, taking up woodcutsin his mid-30s.
(b. 1893 Berlin, Germany – immigrated to Great Britain 1939 – d. 1986 London, England)
Portrait of the Artist’s Sisterin-Law Elise Reifenberg (Gabriele Tergit) Oil on canvas 46 x 36 cm Ben Uri Collection Presented by Leinster Fine Art 1991
The portrait depicts the artist’s sisterin-law, Gabriele Tergit (Dr. Elise Reifenberg, 1894–1982), a pioneering female court reporter in Berlin, celebrated for her socially critical novel about the late Weimar Republic, Käsebier erobert den Kurfürstendamm (1931). After migration, Tergit became secretary of the London PEN centre of German-language Authors Abroad. Her husband Heinz Reifenberg, was the structural engineer on the Power and Production Pavilion at the Festival of Britain and architect of Otto Schiff house. Adèle Reifenberg studied in Weimar (1911–15) under Lovis Corinth, fleeing to London with her artist husband Julius Rosenbaum in 1939, and later establishing a painting school. A joint exhibition of their work was held at Ben Uri in 1950.
(b. 1915 Waldenburg, Germany – immigrated to Great Britain 1939, Australia 1957, returned to England in 1972 – d. Tasmania, Australia 1999)
The Frailty of All Things, 1976 Oil on canvas 99.7 x 74.1 cm Signed and dated (lower right) ‘Joe Rose 76’ Ben Uri Collection Presented by the artist 1979
The Australian art critic W E Pidgeon observed of Joe Rose that, ‘Working from his own experiences of European troubles, he reminds us that there is no escape from the human condition and that we all share responsibility for the way it is’. Rose was imprisoned in Sonnenburg concentration camp for anti-Nazi activities in 1933, then in Buchenwald in 1938. In 1939 he escaped to England with his wife and served in the British army throughout the war. Afterwards he studied art in London, relocating to Australia in 1957 and returning to England in 1972, where he was awarded the British Empire Medal for Services to Art.
(b. 1879 Neuenbürg, Germany – immigrated to Great Britain 1939 – d. 1956 The Hague, Netherlands)
Boy with a Basket, 1904
Drypoint etching on paper 16.5 x 11.5 cm Signed (lower right) ‘Julius Rosenbaum’ Ben Uri Collection Presented by the Artist
Born in West Prussia, Rosenbaum studied in Paris at the Académie Julien. In 1905 he went to Italy, then Breslau, eventually moving to Berlin where he studied under Lovis Corinth. After immigration, Rosenbaum repaired Blitz-damaged houses, and worked as a china restorer, before he established an art school with his wife Adèle Reifenberg (their students exhibiting as “The Belsize Group”). He died in Holland, on a visit to see a Rembrandt exhibition, and was buried in England.
(b. 1879 Neuenbürg, Germany – immigrated to Great Britain 1939 – d. 1956 The Hague, Netherlands)
Portrait of Charlotte, 1945 80 x 52 cm Signed (lower left) ‘Julius Rosenbaum’ Ben Uri Collection Presented by Dr. Alec Lerner and Lord Marks 1950
The sitter, Charlotte Melnikov (née Nissen), wife of Russian-born sculptor Avram Melnikov, was also a painter and exhibited with Ben Uri in 1948.
(né Schlesinger, aka ‘Zéró’) (b. 1898 Kempen, Germany – immigrated to USA 1924, then Great Britain 1932 – d. 1976 London England)
Hands at your Service (Ticket Collector), 1946
Lithograph 101.6 x 63.5 cm Signed (upper left) ‘Zéró’ Ben Uri Collection Presented by Mrs Helen Draper 2016
During the Second World War, Schleger was commissioned by London Passenger Transport Board, the Ministry of Food and the General Post Office to produce information posters. Hands at your Service pays tribute to his view that in Britain uniforms denoted service rather than oppression. Schleger served in the German Army in the First World War and was awarded the Iron Cross. In 1924, as “Zéró”, in New York, his advertising posters portrayed the quintessential Englishman prior to his immigration in 1932. Schleger went on to design advertising and corporate visual identity for British companies, including John Lewis and Penguin Books.
(b. 1915 Stettin, Germany – immigrated to Great Britain 1938 – d. 1991 Leeds, England)
Flight III, 1983
Watercolour on paper 75.8 x 55.7 cm Ben Uri Collection Presented by Mrs Erika Tirr (the artist’s widow) 1993
Self-taught painter Willy Tirr’s bold abstracts draw on both German Expressionism and the American Abstract Expressionist movement. Raised in Berlin, he fled to England in 1938, where he was interned, before being sent to Australia. In 1941 he joined the army, eventually serving in the Intelligence Corps. In 1960 he began teaching at the Leeds College of Art and became Head of Fine Art in 1968 until his retirement in 1980. He painted in a self-built studio adjoining his house, moving among an artistic circle which included Terry Frost. In 1984 he was artist-in-residence at the University of Wollongong, Australia.
(b. 1924 Berlin, Germany – immigrated to Czechoslovakia 1933, then Great Britain 1939 – d. 2009 Leamington Spa, England)
In Winter (Manchester) Acrylic on paper 60 x 90 cm Signed (upper left) ‘HW’ Ben Uri Collection
Weinberger’s signature style and subject matter largely developed under the tutelage of Martin Bloch in London. He left his native Berlin for Czecho slovakia in 1933, later fleeing to England with his sister on the final Kindertransport in 1939. He briefly shared lodgings with his cousin Heinz Koppel in Pontypridd, Wales, before
entering the army and serving in Italy. Afterwards, he studied at Chelsea College of Art under the artist Ceri Richards, then at Goldsmiths College, before becoming a highly-respected teacher himself.
(b. 1913 Berlin, Germany – immigrated to Great Britain 1935 – d. 1966 London, England)
Berlin: Crisis? What Crisis?, 1961
Pen, ink, and wash on paper 21 x 24 cm Signed (lower right) ‘Vicky’ Ben Uri Collection Presented by Mr and Mrs Barry Fealdman
This cartoon was created in the context of The Berlin Crisis of 1961, when the USSR demanded the withdrawal of troops from West Berlin leading to the erection of the East German section of the Berlin Wall, dividing the city in two. Here, customers gathered at the famous Café Kranzler in the Charlottenburg district, are oblivious to the unfolding political crisis.
Victor ‘Vicky’ Weisz, was a Berlinborn political cartoonist of HungarianJewish descent. After fleeing to England in 1935, he pursued a high-profile career as a cartoonist at The News Chronicle, The Evening Standard, and the New Statesman, among others. He committed suicide in 1966.
Picture credits and copyright Picture credits
Hilde Goldschmidt © The Estate of Hilde Goldschmidt
Ben Uri Collection: cat. 1, photography © The Artist
Max Heimann © The Estate of Max Heiman
Ben Uri Collection: cats. 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 14, 15, 16, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, photography © Justin Piperger
Eric Kahn © The Estate of Eric Kahn Oskar Kokoschka © Fondation Oskar Kokoschka/ DACS 2018
Private Collections: cats. 10, 12, 13, 17, photography © Justin Piperger
Rudolf Lehmann © The Estate of Rudolf Lehmann
Private Collection: cat. 11, photography © Miki Slingsby
Heinz Koppel © Heinz Koppel Picture Trust Pamina Liebert-Mahrenholz © The Estate of Pamina Liebert-Mahrenholz Alfred Lomnitz (Lom) © The Lansdale Family Jona Mach © Jona Mach
Eva Aldbrook © Mrs. Eva Aldbrook
Margarete Marks © Frances Marks
Frank Auerbach © Frank Auerbach, courtesy Marlborough Fine Art
Else Meidner © Ludwig Meidner-Archiv, Jüdisches Museum der Stadt Frankfurt am Main
Peter Baer © The Estate of Peter Baer
Ludwig Meidner ©Ludwig Meidner-Archiv, Jüdisches Museum der Stadt Frankfurt am Main
Jack Bilbo © Merry Kerr Woodeson Martin Bloch © Martin Bloch Trust Dodo © The Dodo Estate Hermann Fechenbach © http://www.hermannfechenbach.com Hans Feibusch © Paul Werth and the Werthwhile Foundation Paul Feiler © The Estate of Paul Feiler
Klaus Meyer © Klaus Meyer Estate Adèle Reifenberg © The Estate of Adèle Reifenberg Joe Rose © The Estate of Joe Rose Julius Rosenbaum © The Estate of Julius Rosenbaum Hans Schleger © The Estate of Hans Schleger
Eva Frankfurther © The Estate of Eva Frankfurther
Willy Tirr © The Estate of Willy Tirr
Lucian Freud © The Lucian Freud Archive / Bridgeman Images
Victor Weisz © Associated Newspapers Ltd.
Harry Weinberger © The Estate of Harry Weinberger
Ongoing efforts are being made to seek formal permissions from the artists or estates of the artists currently untraced. The museum offers its appreciation to all those who have granted permission and its apologies to those where we have been unsuccessful in making contact.
‘Finchleystraße’: German artists in exile in Great Britain and Beyond, 1933–45 brings together paintings, drawings and graphics by a number of primarily German-Jewish artists who made ‘forced journeys’, mostly to Great Britain, but also further afield – to Australia, China, Palestine and the United States – during the era of National Socialism