‘DRIFTWOOD CAST UPON A FOREIGN SHORE’: JANKEL ADLER IN BRITAIN 1940-49 SARAH MACDOUGALL AND RACHEL DICKSON
EXTRACT FROM Originally unpublished English text, translated to German for exhibition catalogue. DATE 2018. SOURCE Von Der Heyft-Museum, Wuppertal German catalogue published – Editors: Antje Birthalmer, Gerhard Finckh, Jankel Adler und die Avantgarde (Wuppertal: von der Heydt-Museum, 2018). For further information see collection, exhibitions and research on Benuri.org.
‘Driftwood Cast Upon a Foreign Shore’: Jankel Adler in Britain, 1940–49 Sarah MacDougall and Rachel Dickson ‘Adler died last summer in exile without a passport; driftwood cast upon a foreign shore by the European hurricane. Yet he was, I believe, one of the twenty or so contemporary painters who have stamped their mark upon posterity: one of the most important of his generation at work in this country during the last decade; the most influential expatriate in British painting since Whistler.’1 Michael Middleton, “Jankel Adler”, 16 March 1950
‘When a painter comes to a foreign country, the first thing he does is lift his eyes to the sky.’2 Jankel Adler, cited Michael Middleton
On 22nd June 1940, evacuated with the Polish army from Dunkirk as part of Operation Ariel, 3 Adler arrived in Scotland. 4 Initially, he was sent to a camp in Sanquhar in Dumfries and Galloway, 80 km south of Glasgow, for further training as a soldier, 5 but by September – as a little-known account, transcribed from Polish by the artist Josef Herman, has revealed – he was in the Polish Army’s ‘disciplinary camp’ at Kingledoors, near the town of Berwick-upon-Tweed in the Scottish borders. Adler’s detention has not been explained, nor is the exact purpose of this camp known. According to the Polish government in exile, it was ‘no more than a military detention barracks of the type used by every army’,6 but historian Simon Webb has alleged that the Scottish camps were Polish Concentration Camps, which often held communists, Jews and homosexuals. 7
Adler was frequently visited in the camp by a Polish Catholic priest, Father Jan Starostka (who later penned the account), noting that he was grateful for any books or magazines, wore the Polish army uniform, was ‘timid, shy and took his punishment quietly’; but did not mention that he was an artist until Yom Kippur (11-12 October 1940), when he suddenly asked for canvas. Since only an old table top from the laundry could be found, Adler improvised, drawing upon it first in charcoal, and then painting in oils that he had with him a highly idiosyncratic version of the famous Polish Madonna of Czestochowa. Adler’s Madonna was clearly an image of mourning, not only for a lost nation and its people, but also perhaps referencing his own enforced separation from his wife and daughter. Starostka marvelled at the resulting image, describing it as ‘truly a masterpiece’, and immediately installed it above the altar in the camp’s chapel. Proud of the work, Adler visited the chapel often and Starostka recalled this as ‘one of the bright days in [Adler’s] sad lot at that camp’. 8
Technically, Adler continued as a soldier until 23rd January 1941, when he was finally discharged due to a heart condition. He found temporary accommodation with a minister in Coatbridge in North Lanarkshire, about 10 miles east of Glasgow, moving shortly afterwards to the famous port city on the River Clyde, known for its rich industrial and shipbuilding heritage, where he remained until the summer of 1942.9 Once again, he faced the uncertain task of attempting to rebuild his life, career and reputation in a foreign land, this time in a country where he was completely unknown; his slate, as a later commentator noted, had been ‘wiped clean’. Although a severe disadvantage to many exiled artists, particularly those faced with more than one fracture, Adler, by now an experienced refugee, was nothing if not resilient, and upon arrival set to work with such ‘a furious determination’,10 that in the short time remaining to him, he not only completed a large body of new work,11 but also established himself as a painter of reputation and influence in his third and final host country.12 Annemarie Heibel’s Catalogue Raisonné of the artist’s paintings lists around 239 works in the British period: of which less than 50 are credited to his years in Scotland, and none to 1940. However, two pen-and-ink sketches can be attributed to this year; while an oil, usually dated to 1940, which Adler later told patrons he had painted ‘to while away the boredom as he took shelter from the air raids’, and because there was no opportunity to work on a larger scale, may perhaps be re-attributed to Glasgow in 1941.13 Adler’s earliest supporter in Glasgow was the Estonian-born Jewish sculptor Benno Schotz (1891– 1984), then Head of Sculpture and Ceramics at Glasgow School of Art. Schotz had studied at the Grossherzogliche Technische Hochschule in Darmstadt, Germany (1911–12), and from 1912–14 at the Royal Technical College, Glasgow, where he earned a diploma in engineering. After settling in Glasgow in 1930, he became a naturalized British citizen, entertaining a wide circle of artists, writers, actors and politicians at his homes at 207 West Campbell Street (1932–50), and later at 2 Kirklee Road.14 In his memoirs Schotz recalled opening his door one day to find ‘a fairly burly man’ standing on his doorstep, who declared, ‘I am Yankel Adler, the artist’. 15
Through Schotz, Adler was introduced to a close network of Jewish supporters, among them two Glasgow furriers: Moray (Moshe) Glasser (1898–1996), later a JP, 16 and Fred (Siegfried) Nettler (1891–1962), a prominent Zionist, 17 who later moved to Israel; both were long-standing supporters of Jewish causes at home and in Israel and had an active interest in the arts. The two men agreed to finance Adler for six weeks to produce enough paintings for a private exhibition, which Schotz proposed be held in his own studio.18 Moray Glasser subsequently acquired a piece by Adler –
probably purchasing it direct from the exhibition or perhaps accepting it in lieu of his financial assistance – and hung it proudly and prominently in his sitting room for the rest of his life. Adler (and his compatriot Josef Herman) were also both patients of Moray’s brother, Dr. Emil Glasser, who, since they had no money, refused to accept any payment for his medical treatment – including artworks in kind, since he believed that that would have deprived them of their means of generating income from their art. 19
In preparation for the exhibition, Schotz cleared out and redecorated the studio, wrote 30–40 personal letters of invitation to his business friends and provided tea for all the visitors, noting that ‘quite a few’ paintings were sold. Schotz also wrote that he considered the majority ‘pot boilers, but in spite of it,’ he acknowledged, ‘some of them proved he was a painter’. 20 Adler’s known works from this period however, show few concessions to popular taste, but the two artists fell out after, Schotz maintained, Adler asked him not to show the works to the younger Scottish painter William Crosbie (1915–1999) and insisted that the exhibition last only for one day only. ‘He arrived the following morning to remove his paintings while I was at the School of Art, and never came back again’, Schotz recalled. ‘I only once saw him again, years later, in London in a Soho restaurant, and did not even recognize him until he spoke to me’.21
Nevertheless, Schotz also encouraged further support for Adler from the Jewish businessman Ephraim Goldberg, who commissioned a double portrait, of his young son Mark (aged around twoand-a-half years) and daughter Myra (aged three). Adler depicted the children seated – Myra, with a large pink bow in her hair, upon a plain wooden chair, Mark upon a highly ornate one. Adler however resented the commission, explaining that he was ‘not a journeyman’,22 and left the work unsigned, while the Goldbergs – who considered the commission a ‘charitable act’ – disliked the work and kept it hidden in the family’s attic for many years until it was rescued and hung by Mark.
In January 1941 Adler stayed briefly with Crosbie, with whom he could perhaps reminisce about Paris (where Crosbie had lived from 1937-39, while studying under Léger and Maillol). A pen-andink, pencil and wash drawing of Adler by Crosbie is testament to their friendship in this period. Afterwards Adler acquired his own studio, an office conversion in West Regent Street, later succeeded by a studio-flat in Newton Terrace. Though always short of money, 23 he was willing to barter with pictures. The artist Michael Middleton (who knew Adler postwar) later recollected – as an example of how Scotland had accepted him – how on one occasion Adler negotiated with a Glasgow bank to leave a painting in exchange for £2 – ‘And I cannot believe that even the President of the R.S A. [Royal Society of Arts] could have done that’.24
In 1941 Adler was also reunited with fellow Polish-Jewish émigré Josef Herman, 25 whom he had known briefly in Warsaw, c. 1935–6.26 Adler and Herman shared not only their Polish background and Yiddish language – a direct conduit to their Jewish roots – but also, Herman wrote, ‘more intimate fears’; 27 they ‘could look into each other’s faces with understanding’. This understanding was so profound, he recalled, that ‘in the company of others,’ they became ‘a conspiracy of two’. Adler later presented Herman with his Jewish prayer shawl, which he cherished, hanging it prominently in his studio for the rest of his life. Although Herman described Adler’s ‘gift for making friends’ as ‘prodigious’, his ‘Nietzchean mode of expression’ was often difficult to understand: His conversation ranged wide: art linked with philosophy, philosophy linked with folklore; a Chasidic tale or a quotation from the Jewish book of mysticism, the Zohar, led to presentday trends in science, literature, the theatre and the cinema. But he liked conversation to have an air of mystery. “I am no explainer, he would say when pressed to clarify a point”. Herman felt that Adler modelled himself on Klee – including in his meaningful silences – and that just as his mind ‘was a world’s library’, so too his painting took inspiration from many traditions, countries and peoples: ‘Whether the source was some ornamental design from a Jewish ritualistic object, or colours from Coptic materials, decorative shapes from Persian pottery or medieval manuscripts, he assimilated and made use of everything […] But he was not a mere plagiarist. He had an unquenchable thirst for rich and complex styles’, and the final image was always, unmistakably Adler.28 Adler’s second solo exhibition in Glasgow, comprising 24 works, opened at Annans’ Gallery, 518 Sauchiehall Street on 4 June 1941, with J D Fergusson contributing the catalogue foreword, in which he welcomed Adler as an artist in whose work could be found: great force and extreme sensibility … a great contribution to Scotland’s fight for Free Expression in Art and liberation from the idea that photographic and anatomical accuracy are standards for judging painting. These works of Adler’s are some of the best modern paintings I’ve seen. Is Scotland hospitable enough to ideas to see their great qualities and benefit by them? 29 A local paper in reviewing the exhibition, echoed this point: ‘What may be questioned is whether this type of art, which originated from foreign and different conditions, will be appreciated in the Scotland of to-day?’.30 Indeed art historian Dennis Farr suggests that the gallery was ‘so unwilling to take this strange Polish artist’s work on the usual commercial basis that they demanded a
guarantor to underwrite the exhibition’ and that Moray Glasser ‘stood surety for £200’ – although it it is possible that this was also shared with Fred Nettler, or that this underwriting has been conflated with their earlier support. 31 Although Adler claimed that ‘For the painter, the bagpipe sounds are a new colour to his palette. The Hebridean songs and the songs of the Highlands are a doorway to a new space’, there is little sign that his sojourn in Scotland specifically influenced his work. Instead, the titles of his works demonstrate how he drew upon both his Jewish heritage and his recent traumatic experiences. The Jewish Chronicle did not review the show but did report that on 29 Aug 1941 that two of Adler’s paintings had been presented to ‘the Glasgow Institute’. 34
In 1942 when Herman suffered a breakdown after hearing the terrible news that his entire family had been killed in the Warsaw Ghetto, it was Adler who nursed him back to health with ‘maternal tenderness’ (Herman affectionately recalled how Adler would ‘groan like a bear and twist his green eyebrows upwards as though they were a moustache’). Although it has always been believed that Adler recorded this dreadful moment in a sombre painting, the work in question was included in the Annan’s show, indicating that it was painted earlier. Nonetheless, Herman, to whom it was later presented, identified one figure as himself and the other as Adler. Herman’s wife Nini later classified the painting as belonging ‘in its strength of feeling, of violence done, and of doom, […] – a testimony to an age where destructiveness stopped at nothing, and a prophecy of more to come!’, suggesting that its creation was perhaps an act ‘to heal them both’. 36 The painting hung over Herman’s mantelpiece for the rest of his life. Although Nehama Guralnik’s reference to Britain’s cultural isolation in this period, is perhaps overstated – since many refugees from Europe including philosophers, scientists, poets and writers had already made their way to both London and Glasgow in the years immediately prior to the war – Adler’s understanding of Klee, as well as of ‘Picasso’s innovations and a professionalism in the craft of painting’, undoubtedly made him a cultural asset to both cities. More than 25 years later, Adler was still ‘affectionately remembered in Glasgow’ for:
his authoritative, trenchant criticisms, expressed in a polyglot mixture of Polish, broken French and German, with an occasional Yiddish world thrown in for good measure. Though he never mastered the English language, he always managed to make his meaning clear. Sensitive to a degree, he was fearless in expressing strongly held convictions that may not always have commended themselves to his more orthodox brethren. 37 Adler and Herman were among the many artists and writers in Glasgow in this period who contributed to what Dennis Farr has called a ‘surprising resurgence of vitality in all the creative arts
in the city at a time which could hardly have seemed less propitious for such a revival’. 38 Both became members of the Glasgow New Art club, founded by Scottish colourist J D Fergusson, whom Herman described as ‘Scotland’s leading Cézannist’, and his wife Margaret Morris (founder of the eponymous dance schools, and in August 1940, of the Celtic Ballet). The New Art Club was formed as an alternative to the established Glasgow School of Art and the Glasgow Art Club.
Artist-members held an exhibition of their work each month. There was no selection committee. ‘Qualified’ and self-taught artists, young and old, hung side by side and members freely discussed each other's work. Fergusson and Margaret Morris, being older than the other members, tended to show their earlier works for fairer comparison. Adler also introduced Herman to Fergusson. Adler was an excellent cook and delighted in preparing ‘a feast of a whole week’s rations’ for the three of them at his West Regent Street studio, covering the table with a prayer shawl and using two large beer bottles as candlesticks; his paints he simply pushed to the other end of the table. Despite having only recently arrived, Adler and Herman were two of the New Art Club’s earliest and most influential members, helping to ‘inject a new spirit and sense of professionalism into the Glasgow art world’. 39 Dennis Farr suggests that Adler’s influence could be felt in the ‘strong expressionist flavour’ common to much of the work shown at the New Art Club and its successor the New Scottish Group. 40 Adler and Herman have also been credited with inspiring the birth of the New Art Club’s short-lived offshoot, The Centre, which opened at 7, Scott Street, founded by the left-wing aristocrat David Archer, and later described as ‘a sort of aspiring ICA in Glasgow’. Established with funds raised by the sale of paintings donated by New Art Club members and decorated downstairs by Adler and upstairs by Herman, The Centre combined a gallery, bookshop and coffee room. Its first Secretary was R. Crombie Saunders, later editor of Scottish Art and Letters.41 During its eighteen-month duration, it held literary events, including poetry readings by Dylan Thomas and four solo exhibitions: one each on Adler, Herman and the two Scottish painters Crosbie and Andrew Taylor Elder (1908–1966), the latter much influenced by the Eastern-European melancholy or Weltschmerz discernible in the work of Herman and Adler. Sadly, no catalogues from these exhibitions have survived and it has been suggested that the demise of the Centre coincided with Adler’s departure from Glasgow.
During 1941-43 a series of exhibitions promoting works by artists from the allied nations organised by the British Council was circulated by the British Institute of Adult Education on behalf of Committee for Encouragement of Music and the Arts (CEMA), the forerunner of the Arts Council
of Britain. It originated in Edinburgh in May 1941, then travelled to the RBA Galleries in London in 1942, before touring Britain more widely. 42 The contribution by soldier-artists was significant: Adler was listed first in at least two catalogues, but it is unclear whether he participated in the 1941 exhibition and on what grounds he was selected. According to the London catalogue, Polish artists represented about a third of the exhibitors, ranging from those who had escaped the Holocaust, or had arrived with the Polish Armed Forces in the West or simply found themselves stranded in Britain in autumn 1939. The introduction powerfully declared that:
Though nine-tenths of Europe have been silenced by the Nazis, some of her painters can still speak. In this Exhibition is shown work by such artists. Some is by artists who are serving, and have only brief moments of leisure in which to paint. Many of these works were carried out against a background of war, of desperate struggle, and ceaseless anxiety. Let this be remembered by all those who see the exhibition. 43 In December 1942 Adler’s work was also included in the Exhibition of Jewish Art at the Jewish Institute, South Portland Street, in the Gorbals (one of the city’s poorest districts). Curated by Schotz, with the assistance of Herman, it introduced the Scottish public for the first time to European Jewish masters – many from the School of Paris, including Chagall, Mané-Katz, Modigliani, Soutine and Zadkine – as well as British Jewish painters including David Bomberg, and more recent refugees from National Socialism – the majority of whom Adler would afterwards encounter in London – including Alva (né Siegfried Alweiss, 1901-1973), Martin Bloch (18831954) and Hans Feibusch (1898-1998) – as well as work by the curators themselves. In the introduction, using similar language to the CEMA catalogue, Schotz explained that the staging of the exhibition was an act of Jewish cultural identity: ‘Today when on the continent of Europe, Jewish life and culture is being systematically and brutally uprooted and destroyed, there is an urgent necessity for Jews elsewhere to demonstrate their faith in themselves and their future’. Adler showed two oils. Although Picasso’s influence is profound in a maternal scene by Adler, the theme is also highly resonant of Adler’s own family separation and one of his most powerful Scottish works. It also directly influenced Herman who reworked the theme in three images of a mother and child fleeing, as well as in a later work. In August 1943 Adler and Herman both provided illustrations which were shown side by side in an article about Jewish painters in the Yiddish publication Loshn un Lebn (Language and Life), edited by the Polish-Yiddish poet Avram Stencl. In 1968, in his introduction to the Scottish Arts Council’s exhibition Painting in Glasgow 1940–46, Herman modestly acknowledged how, together with Fergusson, they had ‘contributed something to the Scottish scene, if not to Scottish art, and it is good to know that our presence in Scotland is not altogether forgotten’. Although Douglas Hall, who knew Herman in later years,
claimed that ‘For Josef, Adler was too cosmopolitan, too knowing, and this brought a coolness to their friendship’, their relationship would be resumed in London and, long after Adler’s death, Herman noted in his diary how keenly he still missed his company. Probably in the autumn of 1942,45 Adler visited the artists’ colony in Kirkcudbright in South West Scotland. Celebrated for its soft, clear light and gently rolling coastal landscape, Kirkcudbright’s reputation as an artistic community initiated by the ‘Glasgow Boys’ earned it the nickname of the Scottish St Ives, and it continued to attract artists and craft workers for almost a century, including in the 1930s and 1940s Lena Alexander (1899–1983) and James Gunyeon ‘Tim’ Jeffs (1904–1975). However, Adler’s work has nothing in common with the work of these artists;46 he may have initially followed Margaret Morris’ summer school to Kirkudbright, but his six-month stay probably resulted instead from his friendship with the Greenock-born W S Graham (1918-1986), part of his left-wing Glasgow circle and then unofficial poet-in-residence at the new Kilquhanity School near Castle Douglas. Adler stayed in a wooden house behind the old pottery in Millburn Street, formerly used by R Macaulay Stevenson, then Cecile Walton, and probably used the old mill, which later became Tommy Lochead’s pottery, as a studio. Owing to his short stature, he was nicknamed ‘Totty’ by the local children, who stole raspberries from his garden. 47 Adler planned to create a portfolio of work for an upcoming exhibition at the Redfern Gallery, London, in June 1943. Although Adler’s significant influence upon several younger British painters is widely acknowledged, it is more difficult to determine which of his British peers he admired or what he absorbed from contemporary British art, since his published writings refer to the abiding influence of Klee. In October 1942 he contributed a short article ‘Memories of Paul Klee’, which had been translated into English by Graham (and was rated by Herman as ‘the best short essay on Klee’ 49) to Horizon, the left-leaning art and literary journal edited by Cyril Connolly, praising his new homeland as a source of potential artistic salvation:
Malewicz in Russia, Mondrian in Holland, and Nicholson in England have preached balance in painting […] Of all the countries at this time perhaps in Britain there is a chance of retaining the spiritual power of this heritage from Klee and Picasso. This realization has to do with this country’s future for living and seems the only reason for its secure and continuing peace.50 Charles Aukin, Adler’s lawyer, and later executor, suggested that it was the publication of this piece that enabled Adler’s old friend, Dr Heinz Korte, to trace Adler and to persuade him to relocate to London. Douglas Hall has summed up Adler’s Glasgow’s years as:
not without value. His habitual inclination to be an animateur of other artists less experienced and worldly-wise than himself, and to collect a group around him, went into action there as it did later in London. […] It is not surprising that the Adler circle did not succeed in such a short time in swinging Scottish art away from its prevailing colourism and bourgeois orientation, but they did help create an undercurrent of dissent that has surfaced regularly ever since. It is an irony of history that Adler’s strong influence in creating the characteristic forms of the 1940s should be channeled through Scottish painters, but not in Scotland.51 This was demonstrated when, in early summer 1943 Adler moved to the artists’ studios at 77 Bedford Gardens, Kensington. Here the younger neo-Romantic painters, Robert Colquhoun and Robert MacBryde, whom Adler knew from Glasgow, and the English artist, John Minton, were his neighbours (the ‘Two Roberts’ in the downstairs flat). Each fell under Adler’s influence – Colquhoun in particular – whom he advised to study his Celtic roots – while Prunella Clough, Keith Vaughan and Benjamin Crème formed part of a large, younger artistic coterie. 52 During this period, Adler’s own paintings became more expressive and the forms, increasingly angular; his subject matter continued to focus on the figure – real or imagined – and the still-life, while his handling of paint and treatment of the picture surface became increasingly complex. As Richard Cork has suggested, it was as if Adler sought to represent ‘the extremes of the human condition’,53 ranging from images of great suffering and want to those of plenty. Herman suggested that Adler was exhibiting ‘his passion for looking for mystery in paint itself. A great number of his pictures produced in Britain are heavily ornate’; he compared Adler to an alchemist who declared ‘Our work is of the substance out of which miracles are made’. 54 Nonetheless, the Polish writer Josef Sandel (1894-1962) recalled Adler’s studio as ‘meticulously clean, more like a laboratory. There were spacious desks made of smoothly planed boards. One had the impression of being in an architect’s studio.’55 Adler also made his last overtly Jewish works in this period.56 As Herman observed of Adler in a letter to Moray Glasser: ‘Religion was for him a set of symbols and not a code for collective behaviour.’ 57 Douglas Hall suggests that Adler was then ‘the most authentic representative’ of the internationalism of L’École de Paris working in London, inspiring younger artists to further modernist experimentation through his knowledge of the European avant-garde, particularly Picasso, and setting himself apart from his countrymen as ‘the only one who truly has an international reputation […] leaving an indelible mark on the stylistic face of 1940s [British] art’. 58 These comments emphasise Adler’s special case among the Polish painters in exile, only paralleled in influence – in Hall’s opinion – by Tadeusz Piotr Potworowski (1898-1962), a close friend within
Adler’s émigré circle, possibly introduced by him to the prestigious Redfern Gallery in Cork Street, where Potworowski held his first solo show.59 This was also the setting, in June-July 1943, for Adler’s first solo London exhibition, organised by Erica Brausen (1908-1992), an influential German émigré art dealer, and with a catalogue introduction by art historian and critic Herbert Read (1893-1968), a noted champion of German expressionist art in Britain. Read called Adler’s ‘metaphysical content – something less “innocent” than the child-like vision of Klee, something not so sophisticated as the inventions of Picasso’. 60 Among the 30 works on display, the majority priced at 100 Guineas, were recent important paintings on Jewish themes and both the general and specific tragedy of war, with particular reference to the recent slaughter in Poland. Adler was clearly deeply affected by these terrible events, speaking at a ‘Memorial Meeting for the Yiddish and Hebrew Writers Murdered by the Nazis in the Warsaw Ghetto’ at Conway Hall in early July, alongside Yiddish writers Leo Kenig and Joseph Leftwich (both associated with the Ben Uri Gallery) and Antoni Slonimski of the Polish P.E.N. Club.61 Two other works were more modestly priced at 75 guineas.
Schwitters had been resident in Britain since June 1940, and, following his release from internment on the Isle of Man, in London from 1941-45. He had joined the left-wing Artists’ International Association (A.I.A.) in February 1942; Adler also joined though the date is uncertain. 62 In June 1942, while Adler was still resident in Scotland, he and Schwitters had been the only two refugee artists to exhibit in the group exhibition in aid of Allied Russia held in refugee architect Erno Goldfinger’s modernist buildings at Willow Road, Hampstead.63 In December 1944, Adler and Schwitters were also both among the exhibitors in a group show at the Modern Art Gallery in Mayfair, owned by the flamboyant and self-taught German émigré artist, Jack Bilbo (né Hugo Baruch, 1907-67), who provided much needed exhibition exposure for unfashionable expressionists and refugee artists within his circle.64 The warmth of Adler’s relationship with Schwitters is clear from an account by Schwitter’s companion, Edith (‘Wantee’) Thomas, following his death on 8 January 1948, who recalled visiting Adler to ‘share my grief with somebody who understood him’ and to comfort Adler in return for his own ‘personal tragedy’. 65 Adler’s second solo London exhibition, Recent Paintings (1943-45) by Jankel Adler, took place in March 1946 at another prestigious gallery, the Lefevre, in Mayfair, with his exhibits including several deeply personal works. The exhibition was reviewed somewhat lukewarmly by the Jewish Chronicle review, who considered the artist overshadowed by Picasso, commenting that he:
rides in, a little unfortunately for himself, on the crest of a secondary wave after the tremendous crash with which Picasso broke on to the shore of consciousness of the artseeking public. […]. Adler's line is easy and rhythmic, his colour sense calm and sometimes softly luminescent, his compositional patterning often delicate, but his ideas, expressed m formulae ranging from the simple abstractions euphemistically labelled ‘Still lifes’ to the elaborate and involved paintings in which more recognisable physical forms take on the burden of argument, read a difficult modernist lesson which transports us into an almost too rarefied air.66 Adler’s work continued to be shown nonetheless at prestigious west end galleries in varying group contexts including alongside the English painter Graham Sutherland and fellow émigrés Anna Mayerson (Austrian), Raoul Ubac (German) and Otto Bachman (Swiss) in a small international show at the Redfern Gallery in November 1946. In spring 1947 the recently-opened Gimpel Fils gallery staged as their third exhibition, Studies in Tempera for Kafka's Works by Jankel Adler with Watercolours and Drawings,67 suggesting a period of (anticipated) commercial success. Although a note from émigré publisher Paul Elek68 indicates that an accompanying publication did not foster enough interest to proceed. 69 Nevertheless, Gimpel Fils went on to host Adler’s third solo exhibition in June 1948, presenting a mix of oils, gouaches and drawings, including diverse works and a catalogue contribution from Paul Fierens, curator of the Museum of Modern Art in Brussels. Michael Middleton, reviewing exhibitions by both Graham Sutherland and by Adler in the Spectator, declared that the ‘sensuous qualities of painting which Sutherland dismisses as unimportant’ were so much in evidence in Adler’s work ‘that one remains spellbound before it […] Adler’s control of his medium is prodigious and quite unrivalled in this country’. 70
In spring 1948, Adler was also notably included in the wide-ranging exhibition 40 Years of Modern Art 1907-47 at the recently-established Institute for Contemporary Arts (ICA), which featured a broad range of artists, both British and continental European, including both Klee and Picasso.71 Adler’s letter to Sir Kenneth Clark, recently retired as Director of the National Gallery, and one of the most influential figures in the British art world, was perhaps an attempt to build on this gathering momentum by seeking to interest him in his work. But a curt reply from Clark’s secretary simply thanked Adler for sending an exhibition catalogue, and stated that his employer had been unwell.72
In the late 1940s Adler also exhibited lithographs at the Redfern Gallery under the auspices of the London Society of Painter-Printers (as a non-member), perhaps owing to his connection with Hayter’s printmaking studio. In 1948 Hayter published a short monograph entitled Adler, with 38 colour plates, illustrating works from collections as far afield as London, Wiltshire, Glasgow, Wuppertal, Cologne, Vilnius, Warsaw, Brussels, New York and Tel Aviv. Works were lent by an
eclectic group of British collectors including James (Jimmy) Bomford (who had become one of Adler’s principal British patrons), Alexander Margulies, Erica Brausen, Randolph Churchill and the modernist writer O. Raymond Drey.73 Hayter’s extensive introduction written from Paris in 1946, meditated on Adler’s complex identity, describing him as: an Israelite – of that strange people from the edge of a desert who have become so closely involved with the historic background of Europe that most of our axioms spring from their literature […] Perhaps his race is as important as the first direction that a child can receive. […] Perhaps it is no more important than […] the influence of heredity on the achievement of the individual – perhaps it does not matter at all. 74 Adler too appeared to be attempting to resolve his multiple identities, when in the summer of 1943 he attempted to gather together eight Jewish émigré painters (of whom only Meidner can be positively identified)75 within the so-called ‘Group of Jewish Artists’, aiming to combine an interest in modernism with orthodox Hassidic beliefs, but the venture was short-lived.
Perhaps surprisingly, Adler had little contact with another Jewish organisation, the Ben Uri Gallery, which had been founded as the Ben Uri Art Society in the Jewish ghetto in Whitechapel in 1915 by Yiddish-speaking Ostjuden émigrés from the Russian Pale of Settlement to support Jewish cultural endeavour, particularly in the visual arts. 76 This was in spite of the fact that, as a cutting in the Ben Uri archive reveals, he had had previous contact with the society: ‘The famous Jewish artist Jankel Adler, who is now in London’, had been present at a ‘festive evening’ in the autumn of 1937 in which the Rev. Goldstein sang Yiddish folk songs and presented Adolphe Michaelson with a bronze bust, created by Avram Melnikoff, ‘as a token of appreciation for his good work as Chairman of the Society for the last 13 years’. Little else is known of this visit besides this tantalising cutting. Ben Uri had been forced to close during wartime at the end of 1939, and although when it reopened at new premises in January 1944, its first salaried secretary-curator, German émigré Frederick (Fritz) Solomonski (1899-1980), had included a piece by Adler among the 173 exhibits in the inaugural exhibition, Adler seems to have had no other contact with the society. Moreover, the acquisition of this work is only cryptically and briefly noted in Minutes from December 1937, 77 with no mention of provenance or further details. In addition to Herman, Adler’s artistic circle included several, recently-arrived German-Jewish émigrés: the expressionist painter, Ludwig Meidner (1884-1966), then living in impoverished circumstances in north west London;78 painters Alva and Martin Bloch, and graphic designer, Hans Schleger (1898-1976), all living in west London. Adler’s friendship with Bloch and Meidner was further cemented through their shared activities at the short-lived Ohel Club, ‘a centre for political,
social and cultural activities of Polish Jewry’, run by Polish émigré brothers, Alexander (1902-91) and Benjamin Margulies, during 1943–45. 79 Its first Secretary was the renowned Yiddishist Dr Jacob Maitlis and its membership embraced artists, writers and political thinkers. Adler also contributed to the Yiddish magazine Eyrope, which appeared for one brief issue in 1943 80, and his cover illustration to Itzik Manger’s Yiddish publication Aberwo. However, Adler was barely acknowledged by the newly-founded Association of Jewish Refugees (AJR), established in 1946, and its accompanying Journal. Art historian Helen Rosenau, writing in the August 1947 issue, under the heading ‘Jewish Artists from Germany’, acknowledged the plight of Adler and his peers in their new homeland: ‘when one considers the artists or architects – who played such an important part in German cultural life, one is confronted with a number of singular difficulties’. 81
Adler was however always welcome at the home of Charles Aukin, in Scarsdale Villas, Kensington. Aukin’s son, David, then a young boy, vividly remembers Adler’s visits and in return his ‘putting on a show’,82 hosting dinner parties to show off his wonderful cooking in his high-ceilinged studio nearby. (Herman also praised Adler as ‘an excellent cook and proud of his dishes’, 83 an interest that can be seen spilling energetically into his sumptuous still-lifes.) Aukin also remembers Adler introducing his Anglo-Jewish family to the hitherto unknown joys of Yiddish culture; his friendships with the Yiddish poet Itzik Manger and German artist Alva; as well as the Anglo-Jewish artist, Barnett Freedman, who lived locally in Cornwall Gardens, and critic Herbert Read, who tried unsuccessfully to help Adler obtain his British citizenship. David Aukin was also aware of the complexities of Adler’s family circumstances: his wife Betty having chosen to remain in Germany with her daughter Nina (the Aukin family were left a cache of letters in German between Betty and Jankel). Nina eventually came to London without her mother, and after Adler’s death, Aukin gradually sold paintings to support both women, authenticating the large collection of Adler’s works with a studio stamp. Possibly through their mutual association with the Anglo-French Art Centre in north London, 84 Adler struck up a friendship with the English artist Julian Trevelyan, who had learned engraving under Hayter in Paris, and had also worked alongside Picasso. Trevelyan pasted Adler’s gently humorous portrait sketch of him (c. 1945), inscribed ‘To Julian’, into his scrapbook. 85 The AngloFrench Centre was founded by Anglo-Jewish artist Alfred Rozelaar Green RWA (1917-2013),86 immediately after the end of the war, succeeding the St John’s Wood Art School. Contemporary British and continental European (mostly French) artists were invited to both teach and exhibit and Adler participated in a group show there in November 1946 alongside Trevelyan, the Two Roberts, Edgar Hubert and Francis Bacon. Rozelaar Green’s undated photographs from this period include
one showing the display of a work by Adler and another of the artist deep in conversation with the British sculptor Henry Moore.87 Adler’s final London solo show within his lifetime was held at the Redfern Gallery in 1949.
Just as he had in Scotland, Adler also made contacts among a wide literary circle in London including the English poet George Barker (1913-1991) and German émigré poet Michael Hamburger (1924-2007), the latter publishing his ‘In memoriam Jankel Adler’ after Adler’s death in his 1950 collection, Flowering Cactus Poems 1942-49.88 Adler also struck up a friendship with fellow Polish exiles Francziska and Stefan Themerson, whose Gabberbocchus Press, founded in 1948, placed them at the forefront of avantgarde filmmaking and publishing in London. 89 Their first publication, An Artist seen from One of Many Possible Angles, was produced in a limited edition of 400 with 12 full-page black and white drawings by Adler: energetic, spiky, sprawling, and gently humorous with a Moore-like dynamism. The allegorical narrative focuses on a young boy named Jankel Adler and a lizard with the ability to change appearance, resonating with Adler’s own concerns with metamorphosis.90 Adler also introduced himself to Vernon Richards (1915-2001, né Vero Recchioni), the Anglo-Italian editor of the Anarchist Freedom Press, in Belsize Road, North London, by knocking on his door one Sunday and declaring: ‘I am Yankel Adler. I am an anarchist.’ A talented amateur photographer, Richards took numerous photos of his artistic, literary and political circle, later publishing several of Adler, including one in front of one of his paintings, and another of the paraphernalia in his studio in A Part-time Photographers Portrait Gallery (1999), also pointing out that in a forthcoming volume of photos of women and children he would be including others of Adler’s actress-daughter Nina. It is likely that these many far-left connections contributed to Adler’s failed attempt at naturalisation.
Another important postwar patron was James (Jimmy) Bomford (1896-1979), whose wide circle included Adler’s former acquaintance poet Dylan Thomas and the writer Gerald Brenan. A noted collector of modern art by (then little-known) artists, such as Graham Sutherland, Picasso, Degas, Matisse, Cézanne, Utrillo and Henry Moore, Bomford subsequently donated works to Swindon Museum and Art Gallery to form the nucleus of their modern British collection.91 Bomford lent Adler Whitley Cottage on his Wiltshire farm at Aldbourne, near Marlborough, in 1945 and it was there that, shortly after learning that his application for British citizenship had been rejected because of his contacts with anarchist groups, Adler died suddenly of a heart attack on 25th April 1949. The local paper reported that ‘although his stay in the village had been brief, he had endeared himself to quite a few who came to know him personally, and were impressed by his genial disposition and the
calm, reflective and gentle character of his personality’.92 He was buried in the Jewish cemetery in Bushey, north London, where his headstone bears a simple English and Hebrew inscription.
There were few obituaries: the Jewish Chronicle published a cursory paragraph and the art historian, critic and writer, Bernard Denvir (1917-1994) penned a notice e for the AIA newsletter in August-September 1949, calling Adler:93 a living exponent of that style of painting which was directly opposed to the literary and anecdotal tendencies which were roughly described as ‘English Romanticism’. Enamoured of the texture and quality of paint, Adler made each of his works a visual banquet, dependent for their beauty on no quality other than that they possessed as works of art. Heir to a great tradition of mysticism, Adler was profoundly conscious of the spiritual side of life, but the dominant motif in his character was a humanism which rose above any system of ethics, religion, or politics. The following year Denvir also contributed a piece entitled ‘A Prophet with Honour - Jankel Adler’ to the more mainstream art magazine The Studio.94 Although there was no comprehensive exhibition of Adler’s works in Britain during his lifetime, in March 1950, the artist Michael Middleton, who owned at least one of Adler’s paintings, was invited to give a talk at Ben Uri on Adler. The following year he wrote the catalogue essay for the Art Council’s 1951 Memorial Exhibition of the Works of Jankel Adler 1895-1949, using a strikingly similar text, acknowledging Adler's influence in Britain and difficult circumstances and concluding that ‘His pilgrimage through chaos left his paintings more deliberately ordered, more abstract, than it had been’[sic].95 Charles Aukin, who contributed ‘In memoriam, Jankel Adler’ to Jewish Life and Letters 1951, also continued, as administrator of the artist's estate, to shape Adler’s posthumous reputation. In 1952 he joined Ben Uri’s Executive Council, having initially lent two Adler self-portraits to The Artist: Self -Portrait and Environment exhibition in 1951, and, latterly, a nude to the Coronation Exhibition of Painting and Sculpture from the Private Collections of Friends of The Ben Uri Art Society in 1953. In 1951 Josef Leftwich briefly referenced Adler’s time in Britain in his introduction to the catalogue for the Art Section of the Festival of Britain Anglo-Jewish Exhibition 1851-1951, held at the Ben Uri Gallery, and which included three loaned Adler paintings. Both Aukin children (David and Liane) also lent works in their own names, as young collectors, to Ben Uri’s 1957 joint exhibition of works by Jankel Adler, Mark Gertler and Bernard Meninsky (all émigrés of eastern European origin). Most recently, in 2014 the Aukin Collection formed the basis of an important exhibition held at the Goldmark Gallery in Uppingham, central England, Jankel
Adler: The British Years, with a catalogue introduction by the noted art historian and critic, Richard Cork. In the decade or so immediately following Adler’s death, the range of posthumous displays of his work indicated the breadth of contexts into which he slotted (not always comfortably) – as an artist who had with varying degrees local, national and international reputations – but also the complexity of his identity, which perhaps contributed to his continuing neglect. In 1955, Charles Gimpel of Gimpel Fils, wrote to the painter Paule Vezelay (who was trying to help Otto Freundlich’s 96 widow sell a work by Adler), regretting that ‘at this moment, there is no market for Jankel Adler in this country’.97 As Nehama Guralnik later acknowledged, Adler's individuality as an artist overrode any convenient and limiting label of identification; his ‘distinction is manifested in that he did not choose to express a sub-culture within the Polish, German or English cultures in which he worked. Rather, he used his own national roots to arrive at a form of expression that is thoroughly humanistic and universal’. 98 Although Britain did not always afford him the recognition that he deserved, his unique talent and personality did bring him into a wide sphere of cultural influence, it also provided refuge, stimulus and companionship, and a place in which he could negotiate his many identities in a way that resonates greatly with today’s multicultural society in which the plight of the refugee is of ongoing relevance.
Michael Middleton, ‘Jankel Adler: A talk given at the Ben Uri Art Gallery, London, on 16 th March 1950’: lecture given at Ben Uri Gallery copy sent by Patrick Elliott to David Glasser, Ben Uri Archive courtesy of Patrick Elliott. 2 Jankel Adler, cited Michael Middleton, op. cit. 3 As part of Operation Ariel: see Glenn Sujo in this volume. 4 The camp was housed initially in Kingledoors ( Lanarkshire) and on November 23rd was moved to Shinafoot and then to Abernethy. https://sites.google.com/site/secondpolishrepublik/recommended-articles/chapter-21, accessed 31.10.17. 5 Heibel 6 Simon Webb, British Concentration Camps - A Brief History: from 1900-1975 (South Yorkshire: Pen& Sword History, 2016), p. 86: ‘The precise purpose of this camp is open to question. According to the Polish government in exile, it was no more than a military detention barracks of the type used by every army […]’ 7 Webb, ibid., p. 77. A Jewish prisoner called Edward Jakubowsky was shot dead by a guard for insolence in October 1940. Apparently, the British police were not informed of this and no action was taken’ See https://www.thejc.com/lifeinside-the-concentration-camps-of-scotland-1.57427 The camp was later moved to Shinafoot in Auchterarder between Edinburgh and Perth, p. 87. Webb suggests it had an ‘evil reputation’. 8 The camp was relocated in 1941 and there is no extant chapel now at Kingledoors, so it is not known whether the work survived, although Starostka afterwards settled in Ashby Folville, where many Polish émigrés were resettled and was long associated with St Mary’s Church. 9 Some accounts including Herman’s are 1940; Cork has 1941]. 10 Middleton, op. cit. 11 See catalogue raisonne which lists 239 works between 1941-49. 12 See Middleton, op. cit., and Herbert Read. 13 Scotland suffered more than 500 German air raids during the course of the war. These ranged from single aircraft attacks to planned bombings conducted by 240 planes. More than 2500 Scot’s died as a result and 8000 were injured. The first attack on Glasgow was in July 1940; the last air raid was in 1943: Sources: Warhistory online: https://www.warhistoryonline.com/world-war-ii/forgotten-blitz-scotland-left-thousands-dead-x.html, accessed 16.10.17. and http://glasgowpunter.blogspot.co.uk/2017/03/bombs-over-glasgow-on-night-of.html, accessed 27.10.17. 14 Schotz DNB. 15 Benno Schotz, Bronze in My Blood, p. 161. 1
Furrier, established 1934, Glasgow: He described the name change as ‘A passport of integration, assimilation. When I went to school my name was Moses – Moshe – and when I was appointed a Justice of the Peace I was called Moray, but I put in my name as Moses Morris, because I wanted to identify myself with my people’, interview with Ben Brabant 1988, cited Fiona Frank. 17 Nationality and Naturalisation HO 144/11714 1930 NATIONALITY AND NATURALISATION: Nettler, Siegfried (or Fred Nettler), from Russia. Resident in Glasgow. Certificate 18377 issued 18 June 1930: http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/documents/august-2008-disclosure-log.pdf. 18 Ibid., p. 161. 19 According to Herman’s biographer, Monica Bohm-Duchen, Dr. Glasser recalled that both Herman and Adler refused to enlist in the ‘Jewish army’, although given Adler’s health and age, it is doubtful he would have been accepted anyway. Cited Monica Bohm-Duchen, The Art and Life of Josef Herman, p. 43. 20 Schotz, op. cit. 21 Ibid., p. 162. 22 Sarah MacDougall and Rachel Dickson, interview with Mark Goldberg, 9 June 2017. 23 Dennis Farr, “Art and Artists in Wartime Glasgow”, ?Apollo, pp. 120-124. 24 Middleton typescript, unpaginated . 25 Related Twilights, p. 65. 26 Jutta Vinzent, DNB. 27 Herman, Josef ‘Memory of Memories’: The Glasgow Drawings 1940-43 (Glasgow: Third Eye Centre, 1985), p.7. Described as a ‘Glasgow leader’ in British Jewry and the Holocaust, By Richard Bolchover, accessed online. 28 Ibid. 29 Cited Farr, Apollo, p. 122. 30 Cited Michael Middleton, op. cit. 31 Farr, Apollo, p. 122. 34 Jewish Chronicle, 29 August 1941. 36 Nini Herman, op. cit. 37 Ibid. 38 Ibid. 39 Ibid. 40 Ibid. 41 Ibid. 42 See ‘Introduction’ to Exhibition of Works by Allied Artists, C.E.M.A., 1942, p.2, which refers to touring in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Ben Uri Archive. 43 Exhibition of Works by Allied Artists, 1942, Organised by the British Council with the Co-operation of C.E.M.A. Ben Uri Archive. 45 Farr, New Painting in Glasgow, chron, p. 9, has this as October/November 1942. Elsewhere recorded as 1943. 46 Gordon, Haig, Tales of the Kirkcudbright Artists Kirkcudbright, 2006; Billcliffe, Roger, Glasgow Boys at Kirkcudbright 1880-1900, Kirkcudbright 2011]; Bourne, Patrick (ed.), Kirkcudbright: 100 Years of an Artists Colony Edinburgh, 2000]; and [Devereux, D.F., Hudson J. and Puget, C., Kirkcudbright Pont-Aven: Artists in Search of Inspiration Kirkcudbright 2005] 47 http://www.artistsfootsteps.co.uk/stories.asp?StoryID=11&loadType=1 49 Josef Herman, Related Twilights, p. 70. 50 Jankel Adler, ‘Memories of Paul Klee’ in.Cyril Connolly (ed.) Horizon, October 1942, Vol VI, no. 34, pp. 264-267. 51 Douglas Hall, ‘Jankel Adler 1895-1949’, in Art in Exile Polish Painters in Post War Britain (Sansom & Co, 2010), .p. 306. 52 At the end of the war the cartoonist Ronald Searle and writer John Wyndham lived in the same building at 77 Bedford Gardens. 53 Richard Cork, Jankel Adler The British Years 1941-49 (Uppingham: Goldmark Gallery, 2014), p. 17. 54 Josef Herman, ‘Jankel Adler’ in Jewish Quarterly Vol 2, Issue 1, Summer 1954, pp 41-43. 55 Josef Sandel (1894-1962) was a Polish-Jewish art historian, critic, art dealer and collector, and a supporter of Jewish artists in postwar Poland. Typescript translation from Yiddish originally published in Yiddishe Shriftn, a Warsaw-based Yiddish literary monthly, No. 5 (144) May 1959, Ben Uri Archive. Sandel also contributed to Jewish Quarterly in London and wrote on Adler in exile. 56 The Bal Shem Tov is considered to be the father of Hassidic Judaism. 57 Doc XIII, p. 50. 58 Douglas Hall, p. 299. 59 Potworowski showed at the Redfern Gallery in 1946. He returned to Poland at the end of his life in response to renewed critical acclaim in his homeland. 60 P. 5. Catalogue 61 Jewish Chronicle, 2 July 1943, p. 8. 62 AIA, no. 15 June-July 1949 obituary of Adler expresses ‘very deep regret that we announce the death of one of our members Jankel Adler.’ 16
From Roland Penrose’s collection, came works by the School of Paris together with others by Nicholson, Hepworth, Henry Moore, the British Surrealists and neo-Romantics. See Sarah Wilson, “Kurt Schwitters in England”, http://www.tate.org.uk/whats-on/tate-britain/exhibition/schwitters-britain/essay-sarah-wilson-kurt-schwitters-england, Accessed 8.11.17 64 Listed alongside ‘masters’ such as Picasso, Modigliani and Soutine, Adler exhibited Le Jardin de Luxembourg on the ground floor of the gallery, while the first floor was devoted to a solo show by Schwitters, who would ‘recite some of his Poems on Monday, 4th December, at 7 pm.’ See exhibition leaflet advertising the December exhibition at the Modern Art Gallery, TGA 9510/4/8/1. 65 Writings about Schwitters by Edith Thomas, TGA 9510/1/1-4. 66 Jewish Chronicle, ‘Art Notes’, 22 March 1946, p. 15. 67 20 March – 19 April, (36 works). 68 Emigré Paul Elek was described by fellow publisher Anthony Blond as ‘a small and shaky publisher in nether Bloomsbury’. In 1946 he published An Artist in North Wales, illustrated by refugee painter Fred Uhlman, with a commentary by the architect, Clough Williams-Ellis. 69 Heibel, p. x. 70 M. H. Middleton, The Spectator (18 June 1948), p. 14. 71 Running from 10 February – 6 March 1948, 40 Years of Modern Art 1907-1947: a Selection from British Collections was held at the Academy Hall, Oxford Street. The exhibitors were: Jankel Adler, Jean Arp, Francis Bacon, Balthus, John Banting, Eugene Berman, Pierre Bonnard, Constantin Brancusi, Georges Braque, Edward Burra, Alexander Calder, Marc Chagall, Georgio de Chirico, Robert Colquhoun, John Craxton, Salvador Dali, Paul Delvaux, André Derain, Charles Despiau, Frank Dobson, Raoul Dufy, Jacob Epstein, Max Ernst, Lyonel Feininger, Lucian Freud, Naum Gabo, Henri Gaudier-Brzeska, Alberto Giacometti, Duncan Grant, Juan Gris, Barbara Hepworth, Ivon Hitchens, Frances Hodgkins, Edgar Hubert, Augustus John, Wassily Kandinsky, Paul Klee, Oscar Kokoschka, John Lake, Wifredo Lam, Louis Le Brocquy, Fernand Leger, Wilhelm Lembruck, Wyndham Lewis, Jean Lurçat, Rene Magritte, Aristide Maillol, Franz Marc, Louis Marcoussis, André Masson, Henri Matisse, Robert MacBride, F E McWilliam, Joan Miro, Amadeo Modigliani, Piet Mondrian, Henry Moore, Paul Nash, Ben Nicholson, Eduardo Paolozzi, Victor Pasmore, Pablo Picasso, John Piper, Man Ray, Ceri Richards, William Roberts, Peter Rose Pulham, Georges Rouault, William Scott, Walter Sickert, Matthew Smith, Stanley Spencer, Graham Sutherland, Chaim Soutine, Yves Tanguy, Pavel Tchelitchev, John Tunnard, Maurice Utrillo, Edouard Vuillard, Edward Wadsworth, Christopher Wood, Jack Yeats, Ossip Zadkine. 72 7 July 1948 typescript TGA 8812/1/2/240. 73 Bomford owned The Mutilated; Alexander Margulies, Priest, 1942 and Spanish Girl, 1943; Erica Brausen, Woman in a Room, 1943, Randolph Churchill, No Man’s Land, 1943, and O. Raymond Drey, The Seer, 1943. 74 Stanley Hayter, Adler (London: Nicholson & Watson, 1948), p. vii. 75 Jutta Vinzent, pp 48-49. 76 See also invitation and Minutes 13 Sep, 5 Oct, 2 Nov, 29 Dec 1937 Cutting in Press Cuttings Vol 1 page 14 & 16. 77 Transcript of Minutes 1933-38, 29 December 1937, p. 17, Ben Uri Archive. 78 his art almost entirely unrecognised during his British exile, save for a lone show at Ben Uri in November 1949 (with his much younger wife, Else), soon after Adler’s death Meidner catalogue BU Archive 79 Rachel Dickson, ‘The Ohel Centre: A Polish-Jewish Cultural Refuge’ in Josef Herman: Warsaw Brussels Glasgow London 1938-44 (ed. Sarah MacDougall), (London: Ben Uri Gallery and Museum, 2011), pp. 134-141. 80 Yankl Adler, ‘Der farloyrener zun vet aheymkumen’ (The lost son will return home) in Eyrope (London, 1943), p.14. 81 AJR Journal, August 1947, Vol. II, No. 8. P. 3. 82 Interview with David Aukin DATE 83 Related Twilights p. 71. 84 Located in Elm Park Road, NW8, the Centre closed due to financial problems in 1951. 85 TGA 86 (‘a distinguished survivor from the 1930s Parisian art world’ 87 Heibel, pp. 404-405. 88 Flower Cactus: Poems 1942-49 (Aldington: The Hand and Flower Press, 1950), p. XX 89 (the name derived from a latinisation of Lewis Carol’s Jabberwocky.) 90 The edition was printed by hand on handmade paper and signed by both Adler and Stefan Themerson. 91 Swindon Museum 92 The Marlborough Times, 29 April 1949. 93 AIA Newsletter #16, p 3. Acknowledging Adler’s left wing leanings, his portrait of the French singer and actress Agnes Capri (1907-76) was included in an AIA group show in Guildford in 1951 among British notables such as Roger Hilton and Julian Trevelyan and a significant contingent of fellow Polish émigrés, including Marek Zulawski, his wife, Halina Korn, Jan Wieliczko and Henryk Gotlib. Originally a radically left-leaning organisation, the Artists International Association had renewed artistic activity since 1941 and Russian’s entry into the war, with a packed programme of exhibitions in London and the regions, promoting the ‘Unity of Artists for Peace, Democracy and Cultural Development’. 94 The Studio 95 TEXT TSS 63
Otto Freudnlich (1878-1943) perished in Majdanek camp. TGA 20002/1/1/1313-1339, Tate Archives. 98 Nehama Guralnik, op. cit. 97