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Ludwig Meidner, Drawings 1920–1922 and 1935–49, Else Meidner, Paintings and Drawings 1935–1949

  • Name (text):
    Ludwig Meidner, Drawings 1920–1922 and 1935–49, Else Meidner, Paintings and Drawings 1935–1949

    Word Count: 9

  • Kind of Event:
    Exhibition
  • Start Date:
    05-10-1949
  • End Date:
    02-11-1949
  • Introduction:

    In 1949, a joint exhibition of works by Ludwig and Else Meidner opened at the Ben Uri Art Gallery. It was the first solo exhibition of the artists in London.

    Word Count: 29

  • Content:

    On 5 October 1949, a joint exhibition of works by the artists Ludwig Meidner and Else Meidner opened at the Ben Uri Art Gallery. The exhibition was the first solo exhibition of the émigré artists Ludwig and Else Meidner — after a ten-year stay in London. On display were 37 works on paper by Ludwig Meidner from the 1920s-1940s and 19 paintings and 15 drawings by Else Meidner. While Ludwig Meidner presented many works with religious or mystical connotations, Else Meidner showed portraits, landscapes and still lifes. The exhibition was reviewed in the Tribune (21 October 1949), The Jewish Chronicle (14 and 21 October 1949) and Art News and Review (22 October 1949). Although some works were sold, Ludwig Meidner described the exhibition, which closed on 2 November 1949, as a “second-class funeral” (Hodin 1973, 67, translated from German).

    The Berlin artists Ludwig Meidner (1884–1966) and Else Meidner (1901–1987) had lived in difficult circumstances in London since 1939. Works by the expressionist Ludwig Meidner had been shown at the defamatory Entartete Kunst (Degenerate Art) exhibition in Munich in 1937: his Self-Portrait (1912) was exhibited in the 2nd room on the upper floor under the heading “Revelation of the Jewish Racial Soul”, alongside works by Marc Chagall and Lasar Segall, among others (Nationalsozialismus und “Entartete Kunst” 1998, 125).  As a Jewish artist and an important representative of the German avant-garde, Meidner feared for his work and his life, so decided to emigrate. First, his son David was sent to England with the Kindertransport in 1938, then Ludwig and Else Meidner followed in August 1939 (Hodin 1973, 44).
    Ludwig Meidner initially lived in the Camden Town district (London NW1), while Else Meidner was housed in Sydenham (London SE26). From 1941 they lived in West Heath Drive (London NW11) and from 1947 had their residential studio at 677 Finchley Road, Child's Hill, London NW2. Many emigrants settled in and around Finchley Road, including the artist Oskar Kokoschka (120 Eyre Court, Finchley Road), and cafés and shops selling continental goods sprang up in the area (Pross 2000, 30, 55).

    Ludwig and Else Meidner were unable to make a living from their art, so turned to other activities: Else Meidner worked as a maid and Ludwig Meidner hired himself out as a nightwatchman, also sporadically giving drawing lessons. This “struggle for existence” (Ludwig Meidner, in Riedel 2002, 20) reduced the time available for artistic work. Their living and working place at 677 Finchley Road consisted of two cramped rooms on two floors. Else Meidner commented: “It was a difficult time [...]. Ludwig also owned my part of the flat, it actually presented two rooms with a kitchen and bathroom. The bathroom was in the kitchen! And Ludwig washed there and we ate together upstairs. The large room downstairs was well suited as a studio and he wanted it because the upstairs room was too small for him.” (Else Meidner, in Hodin 1979, 21, translated from German) Their output initially remained relatively high even in these precarious conditions, though Else Meidner referred to herself as the biggest collector of her work (ibid., 66) as there were few opportunities for her (or her husband) to show their work. The many self-portraits by Else Meidner created during her lifetime point to the continuity of her work between Berlin and London. These self-portraits were presumably studies of her emotions – and are in the line with the tradition of Rembrandt, an artist Else Meidner admired (Hodin 1979, 50). However, the self-portraits can also be attributed to a lack of money to employ models. A drawing from 1938 shows the artist with her chin propped up, a pensive gesture, her expression bright and friendly. She accentuates the deep-set dark eyes and above all the voluminous hair, which is drawn with energetic circular movements. In general, the strokes are searching, the lines scrawled. Another self-portrait from 1952 again works with light-dark contrasts, showing another gesture from her possible repertoire, with the flat of her hand against her chest. Her sideways gaze is questioning, her eyes oversized and again dark, while her curly hair reaches to her shoulders. The comparison with the 1938 portrait shows that Meidner appears almost ageless in her portraits (Teschner 1998, 25). In this respect one could speak of a synthesis between image and ideal. The exhibition at the Ben Uri Art Gallery also contained portrait studies of her son David and still lifes, in other words works that reflected the immediate surroundings of her life.

    Else and Ludwig Meidner found a patron in the emigrated art dealer Siegfried Oppenheimer, who purchased works from them and probably also arranged commissions (Hodin 1979, 26). Oppenheimer and Ludwig Meidner knew each other from the Hutchinson Internment Camp, Isle of Man. Ludwig Meidner was first interned in Huyton Camp, Liverpool, from 1940 to 1941, before being moved to the Isle of Man, where numerous artists were interned, including Kurt Schwitters and Hellmuth Weissenborn.
    The Meidners were thus embedded in an emigrant network. Ludwig Meidner maintained close contacts with Jankel Adler, with whom he planned to found a Jewish art society, and he was part of the Ohel Club for Jewish intellectuals in Gower Street, which was organised by the emigrants Alexander and Benjamin Margulies (Out of Chaos 2015, 64).
    Around the same time as the Meidners, the Hamburg art historian Rosa Schapire emigrated to London. Schapire and Ludwig Meidner were acquainted with each other. Several portrait studies of the art historian have survived, drawn by the artist in his sketchbook during a visit in 1946. Meidner and Schapire were closely associated with the Expressionist movement - the painter on the side of the producers, the art historian as author, patron and collector. In the early 20th century, Schapire had mainly supported the artists of the “Brücke” community, but had great difficulty popularising Expressionist art in her London exile. The rejection of this art movement in England also hit Ludwig Meidner hard. Only a few exhibition houses exhibited emigrant artists at all, including the Ben Uri Art Gallery for Jewish artists and Jack Bilbo’s Modern Art Gallery. The Free German League of Culture (Freier Deutscher Kulturbund) was the main advocate for the interests of emigrants. Although Meidner maintained contacts with the League through his student Fred Uhlman, who took etching lessons from him, he never became a member of the organisation, as he was probably suspicious of the political orientation of this left-wing and communist-influenced association of artists (Adkins 1991, 176).

    Like Else Meidner, Ludwig Meidner remained a prolific artist even in English exile. Meidner’s interest in religious themes, which had already been formulated in his early work, continued in London. Narratives of salvation, suffering and redemption, however, were linked to contemporary historical themes, especially the persecution and murder of European Jews by the National Socialists – Meidner’s cycle Leiden der Juden in Polen (1942–45) is particularly worthy of mention, see Behr 2016), but also Memorial to Death and In a Concentration Camp, both of which were shown in December 1946 at the group exhibition Subjects of Jewish Interest at the Ben Uri Art Gallery and dealt with the genocide of the Jews (Subjects of Jewish Interest 1946; Out of Chaos 2015, 64). The racially-motivated persecution he suffered as a Jew, turned Meidner ever more intensely towards the Jewish faith and he maintained contacts with the Jewish Orthodox community in London. The religiously connoted motifs were also reflected in Ludwig Meidner’s works on display at the Ben Uri Art Gallery: the exhibition brochure contains work titles such as Hoshea, The Prophet (1934), Biblical Figure (1935), From the Book of Daniel (1940), In a Synagogue (n.d.) and Jew Praying (n.d.).
    Ludwig Meidner was also concerned with urban space, as he had been in his Berlin years. He was interested in social interactions and urban meeting places such as cafés and restaurants, and means of transport such as the Tube. Not infrequently, his urban drawings reveal a fantastical or nightmarish element, for example when animal actors mingle with guests. Mythological or fairytale-like elements are mixed with everyday observations in these works. At the same time, references to English art history can be discerned in some of his works. For example, he developed a particular fondness for caricatures and the ridicule and explored historical caricatures by James Gillray and Thomas Rowlandson. He was also fascinated by contemporary British caricaturists like Carl Giles, whose cartoons for the Daily Express Meidner collected (Riedel 2016, 84).

    The Ben Uri Art Gallery, where Ludwig and Else Meidner’s exhibition took place, was founded as the Ben Uri Art Society in Whitechapel as early as 1915 with the aim of supporting the work of Jewish artists who had migrated to London. After 1933, the Society increasingly opened up to emigrants from the European continent who came to the British capital fleeing National Socialism. However, the Ben Uri Art Society did not yet have its own exhibition space in the 1930s. Only at the beginning of 1944 did it move to a permanent base at 14 Portman Street in the West End, a move that was inaugurated with an opening exhibition. In the following years, the Ben Uri Art Gallery was one of the few places where émigré artists could show their art: the opening exhibition of 1944 included works by the émigré artists Jussuf Abbo, Jankel Adler, and Else Fraenkel. In 1949, when the Meidners’ exhibition opened, the émigré painters Martin Bloch and Josef Hermann also showed their works in a double exhibition. In 1950 the Ben Uri Art Gallery exhibited artworks by the emigrated artists Julius Rosenbaum and Adele Reifenberg together with those of British artist Ruth Collet. Artists were supported not only by exhibitions but also by acquisitions: The Ben Uri Gallery and Museum collection includes three works by Else Meidner and two by Ludwig Meidner. Else Meidner’s Woman with Hat (n.d.) was acquired in 1950, her Portrait of a Bearded Man (n.d.) entered the collection in 1989, Landscape in Yellow (n.d.) in 2009. Ludwig Meidner’s Portrait of a Girl (1921) was acquired in 1950, Portrait of Lilo Gwosdz (1960) came into the collection from the possession of the sitter. In 1960, the Ben Uri Art Gallery left its former premises and, after several relocations, is now located on Boundary Road.

    Ludwig Meidner went back to Germany in 1953 – but Else Meidner stayed. A solo exhibition at the Beaux-Arts Gallery in London in 1959 was a deep disappointment for the artist and was, in her eyes, a “bazaar where my work is being sold off” (Else Meidner, 9 November 1959, in Hodin 1979, 90, translated from German). This was followed by solo exhibitions at the Ben Uri Gallery in 1964 and 1972. Although Else Meidner lived in London until the end of her life, exile remained for her a foreign existence in a foreign land. Else Meidner commented: “There are plants that thrive everywhere if you transplant them, but I was never able to put down new roots. My roots have remained in Berlin.” (Else Meidner, in Hodin 1979, 42, translated from German) In Germany, Else Meidner showed her work in 1955 and 1957, among other places, at the Frankfurter Kunstkabinett of Hanna Bekker vom Rath, who maintained contacts with many emigrants, including the art historian Rosa Schapire.

    Word Count: 1798

  • Signature Image:
    Ludwig and Else Meidner at the exhibition opening at the Ben Uri Art Gallery, London, October 1949, photographer unknown (© Ludwig Meidner-Archiv, Jüdisches Museum der Stadt Frankfurt am Main).
  • Media:
    Ludwig Meidner, Drawings 1920–1922 and 1935–49, Else Meidner, Paintings and Drawings 1935–1949, exh. cat. Ben Uri Art Gallery, 1949, cover (© Ben Uri Archive).
    Ludwig Meidner, Drawings 1920–1922 and 1935–49, Else Meidner, Paintings and Drawings 1935–1949, exh. cat. Ben Uri Art Gallery, 1949, p. 1 (© Ben Uri Archive).
    Ludwig Meidner, Drawings 1920–1922 and 1935–49, Else Meidner, Paintings and Drawings 1935–1949, exh. cat. Ben Uri Art Gallery, 1949, pp. 2–3 (© Ben Uri Archive).
    Ludwig Meidner, Drawings 1920–1922 and 1935–49, Else Meidner, Paintings and Drawings 1935–1949, exh. cat. Ben Uri Art Gallery, 1949, p. 4 (© Ben Uri Archive).
    Else Meidner, Self-portrait with chin propped up, 1938, charcoal, 65,0 x 50,0 cm, Ludwig Meidner Archiv, Jüdisches Museum Frankfurt (© Jüdisches Museum Frankfurt, CC BY SA 4.0).
    Else Meidner, Self-portrait, 1952, charcoal, 68,3 x 52,8 cm, Ludwig Meidner Archiv, Jüdisches Museum Frankfurt (© Jüdisches Museum Frankfurt, CC BY SA 4.0).
    Ludwig Meidner, Portrait of Rosa Schapire, London, 1946, sketchbook 8 July 1945–13 September 1946, pencil on paper, 28 x 21 cm (© Ludwig Meidner-Archiv, Jüdisches Museum der Stadt Frankfurt am Main).
    Else Meidner exhibition, invitation card, Ben Uri Art Gallery, London, 1972 (© Ben Uri Archive).
    Else Meidner, exh. cat. Ben Uri Art Gallery, London, 1972, cover (© Ben Uri Archive).
  • Bibliography (selected):

    Adkins, Helen. “Ludwig Meidner in England – Vierzehn Jahre eines erbärmlichen Lebens.” Ludwig Meidner. Zeichner, Maler, Literat 1884–1966, vol. 1, edited by Gerda Breuer and Ines Wagemann, exh. cat. Mathildenhöhe Darmstadt, Darmstadt, 1991, pp. 172–181.

    Behr, Shulamith. “Ludwig Meidner: Exil, Kreativität und Holocaust-Bewusstsein.” Horcher in die Zeit. Ludwig Meidner im Exil, exh. cat. Museum Giersch der Goethe-Universität, Frankfurt am Main, 2016, pp. 148–161.

    Behr, Shulamith. “Ludwig Meidners Zyklus ‘Leiden der Juden in Polen’ (1942–1945) / Ludwig Meidner’s Cycle ‘Leiden der Juden in Polen’ (1942–1945).” Ludwig Meidner. Expressionismus, Ekstase, Exil / Ludwig Meidner, Exile, Ecstasy, Expressionism, edited by Erik Riedel and Mirjam Wenzel, Gebr. Mann, 2018, pp. 279–297.

    Dickson, Rachel. “Emigré Artists and the Ben Uri.” Forced Journeys. Artists in Exile in Britain c. 1933–45, edited by Rachel Dickson and Sarah MacDougall, exh. cat. Ben Uri Gallery, The London Jewish Museum of Art, London, 2009, pp. 86–90.

    Dickson, Rachel, and Sarah MacDougall. “Artists in Exile c. 1933–45.” Forced Journeys. Artists in Exile in Britain c. 1933–45, edited by Rachel Dickson und Sarah MacDougall, exh. cat. Ben Uri Gallery, The London Jewish Museum of Art, London 2009, pp. 18–49.

    Dickson, Rachel, and Sarah MacDougall. “Mapping Finchleystraße: Mitteleuropa in North West London.” Arrival Cities. Migrating Artists and New Metropolitan Topographies in the 20th Century, edited by Burcu Dogramaci et al., Leuven University Press, 2020, pp. 229–248.

    Dogramaci, Burcu. “Meidners Londoner Jahre: Produktion und Rezeption im Zeichen des Exils / Meidner’s London Years: Production and Reception in Exile.” Ludwig Meidner. Expressionismus, Ekstase, Exil / Ludwig Meidner. Exile, Ecstasy, Expressionism, edited by Erik Riedel and Mirjam Wenzel, Gebr. Mann, 2018, pp.  257–278.

    Else Meidner, exh. cat. Ben Uri Art Gallery, London, 1972. Ben Uri Research Unit, www.buru.org.uk/archive_record.php?id=441&st=Else+Meidner. Accessed 7 April 2021.

    Feather, Jessica. Art behind barbed wire, exh. cat. Walker Art Gallery, National Museums Liverpool, Liverpool, 2004.

    Grochowiak, Thomas. Ludwig Meidner. Verlag Aurel Bongers, 1966.

    Hodin, Josef Paul. Ludwig Meidner. Seine Kunst, seine Persönlichkeit, seine Zeit (Darmstädter Schriften, 33). Justus-von-Liebig-Verlag, 1973.

    Hodin, Josef Paul. Aus den Erinnerungen von Else Meidner. Eine Würdigung ihres Werkes (Darmstädter Schriften, 42). Justus-von-Liebig-Verlag, 1979.

    Hodin, Joseph Paul. “Else und Ludwig Meidner in England.” Ludwig Meidner. Zeichner, Maler, Literat 1884–1966, vol. 1, edited by Gerda Breuer and Ines Wagemann, Mathildenhöhe Darmstadt, Darmstadt, 1991, pp. 182–188.

    Ludwig Meidner, Drawings 1920–1922 and 1935–49, Else Meidner, Paintings and Drawings 1935–1949, exh. cat., Ben Uri Art Gallery, London, 1949. Ben Uri Research Unit, https://d303gnxmdhyq59.cloudfront.net/archive/BU_Exhib_Meidner_1949.pdf. Accessed 7 April 2021.

    Ludwig Meidner 1884–1966, exh. cat. Kunstverein Wolfsburg e.V., Wolfsburg, 1985.

    Nationalsozialismus und “Entartete Kunst”. Die “Kunststadt” München 1937 (5th edition), edited by Peter-Klaus Schuster, exh. cat. Staatsgalerie Moderner Kunst, München, 1998.

    Nungesser, Michael. “Die bildenden Künstler im Exil.” Kunst im Exil in Großbritannien 1933–1945, exh. cat. Neue Gesellschaft für bildende Kunst, Berlin, 1986, pp. 27–34.

    Out of Chaos. Ben Uri: 100 Years in London, edited by Rachel Dickson and Sarah MacDougall, exh. cat. Ben Uri, London, 2015. issuu, https://issuu.com/benurigallery/docs/out_of_chaos_catalogue. Accessed 18 March 2021.

    Pross, Steffen. “In London treffen wir uns wieder”. Vier Spaziergänge durch ein vergessenes Kapitel deutscher Kulturgeschichte nach 1933. Eichhorn, 2000.

    Riedel, Erik. “Ludwig und Else Meidner – zu Leben und Werk.” Ludwig und Else Meidner, edited by Georg Heuberger, exh. cat. Jüdisches Museum, Frankfurt am Main, 2002, pp. 12–24.

    Riedel, Erik. “‘Die inwendigen Bilder’. Ludwig Meidners Allegorien, Visionen und Humoresken aus dem englischen Exil.” Horcher in die Zeit. Ludwig Meidner im Exil, exh. cat. Museum Giersch der Goethe-Universität, Frankfurt am Main, 2016, pp. 80–91.

    Subjects of Jewish Interest. Paintings, Sculpture and Drawings, exh. cat. Ben Uri Art Gallery, London, 1946. Ben Uri Research Unit, https://d303gnxmdhyq59.cloudfront.net/archive/Bu_exhib_JewishInterest_1946.pdf. Accessed 9 April 2021.

    Teschner, Ursula. “Else Meidner – Leben und Werk.” Else Meidner 1901–1987. Ölbilder, Gouachen, Zeichnungen, Radierungen, exh. cat. Jüdische Gemeinde Darmstadt, Darmstadt, 1999, pp. 17–37.

    Vinzent, Jutta. Identity and Image. Refugee Artists from Nazi Germany in Britain (1933–1945) (Schriften der Guernica-Gesellschaft, 16). VDG, 2006.

    Word Count: 624

  • Archives and Sources:

    Jüdisches Museum, Frankfurt am Main, Ludwig Meidner-Archiv.

    Jüdisches Museum, Frankfurt am Main, Collection of Else Meidner’s works.

    Word Count: 20

  • Acknowledgements:

    My deepest thanks go to Erik Riedel from Ludwig Meidner-Archiv at Jüdisches Museum Frankfurt am Main for providing me with images and to Rachel Dickson and Sarah MacDougall for their advice and help. I am grateful to the Ben Uri Archive, London for allowing me to reproduce the materials used in this entry.

    Word Count: 54

  • Author:
    Burcu Dogramaci
  • Participants (selection):

    Ludwig Meidner, Else Meidner.

    Word Count: 4

  • Exhibited Objects:

    Ludwig Meidner: Hoshea, The Prophet, 1934; Biblical Figure, 1935; From the Book of Daniel, 1940; In a Synagogue, n.d.; Jew Praying, n.d.; Else Meidner: Landscape, n.d.; Sleeping Woman, n.d.; Self Portrait, n.d.; Jewish Girl, n.d.; Crouching Woman, n.d.

    Word Count: 42

  • Known addresses in Metromod cities:

    Ben Uri Art Gallery, 14 Portman Street, West End, London W1.

  • Metropolis:
    London
  • Entry in process:
    no
  • Burcu Dogramaci. "Ludwig Meidner, Drawings 1920–1922 and 1935–49, Else Meidner, Paintings and Drawings 1935–1949." METROMOD Archive, 2021, https://archive.metromod.net/viewer.p/69/1470/object/5141-11267577, last modified: 19-06-2021.
  • Rosa Schapire
    Art Historian

    The art historian Rosa Schapire, a supporter of Expressionist art, contributed to the presence of Expressionist art in England with loans and donations from her art collections rescued to London.

    Word Count: 30

    Ludwig Meidner, Portrait of Rosa Schapire, London, 1946, sketchbook 8 July 1945–13 September 1946, pencil on paper, 28 x 21 cm (© Ludwig Meidner-Archiv, Jüdisches Museum der Stadt Frankfurt am Main).
    First number of Eidos art magazine with two reviews by Rosa Schapire, no. 1, May–June 1950, cover (Zentralinstitut für Kunstgeschichte, Munich).First number of Eidos art magazine with Schapire’s book reviews “Otto Mueller, Freiburg” and “Paul Klee. Handzeichnungen II. 1921–1930, Bergen”, vol. 1, no. 1, May-June 1950, p. 48 (Zentralinstitut für Kunstgeschichte, Munich).Rosa Schapire. “Matisse in der Tate Gallery.” Die Weltkunst, vol. 23, no. 4, 1953, p. 11 (Zentralinstitut für Kunstgeschichte, Munich).Rosa Schapire. “Mexikanische Kunst in der Tate Gallery.” Die Weltkunst, vol. 23, no. 9, 1953, H. 9, p. 3 (Zentralinstitut für Kunstgeschichte, Munich).Rosa Schapire’s reviews “Deutsche Expressionisten in Leicester” and “Josef Herman bei Roland Browse and Delbanco” in art magazine Die Weltkunst, vol. 23, no. 21, 1953, p. 3 (Zentralinstitut für Kunstgeschichte, Munich).Rosa Schapire. “Russische Emigrantenkünstler aus Paris in London.” Die Weltkunst, vol. 24, no. 2, 1954, p. 4 (Zentralinstitut für Kunstgeschichte, Munich).Rosa Schapire’s last published essay “Wall-Paintings in the Alexanderkirche at Wildeshausen” in The Connoisseur, vol. 133, no. 535, 1954, p. 9 (Zentralinstitut für Kunstgeschichte, Munich).
    London
    John Heartfield
    ArtistGraphic DesignerFotomonteur (mounter of photographs)

    After escaping from his first exile in Prague in December 1938, the political artist John Heartfield lived in London since 1950, working for Picture Post and the publisher Lindsay Drummond.

    Word Count: 28

    Richard St. Barbe Baker. Africa drums. Lindsay Drummond, 1943, cover design by John Heartfield (METROMOD Archive, © The Heartfield Community of Heirs / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2021).
    London
    Exhibition of German Jewish Artists’ Work: Painting – Sculpture – Architecture
    Exhibition

    The Exhibition of German Jewish Artists’ Work was organised in 1934 by Carl Braunschweig at the Parsons Galleries in Oxford Street and featured 220 works by German Jewish artists.

    Word Count: 27

    Advertisement “An Exhibition of Works of Art By German Jewish Artists” in The Observer 10 June 1934, p. 14 (Photo: Private Archive).
    Private Wire. “Our London Correspondence.” The Manchester Guardian, 6 June 1934, p. 10 (Photo: Private Archive).
    London
    20th Century German Art
    Exhibition

    The 20th Century German Art exhibition of 1938 gave visibility to artists who had been defamed at the Munich exhibition Entartete Kunst and were persecuted by the National Socialist regime.

    Word Count: 29

    Invitation card to the 20th Century German Art exhibition, 1938, front cover with Franz Marc’s painting Blue Horses from 1911 (Akademie der Künste, Berlin, Heinz-Worner-Archiv 174).
    20th Century German Art exhibition catalogue, 1938, cover (Rare Books and Special Collections, McGill University).20th Century German Art exhibition catalogue, 1938, pp. 4–5 (Rare Books and Special Collections, McGill University).20th Century German Art exhibition catalogue, 1938, pp. 8–9: Ernst Barlach’s Hunger (no. 2) was purchased by the to the Friends of the Whitworth Fund and presented to the Whitworth Gallery in Manchester (Rare Books and Special Collections, McGill University).20th Century German Art exhibition catalogue, 1938, pp. 10–11: Max Beckmann’s Triptych: Temptation (no. 18) was one of the signature works of the exhibition (Rare Books and Special Collections, McGill University).20th Century German Art exhibition catalogue, 1938, pp. 14–15: Benno Elkan’s Head of Alfred Flechtheim (1911) from the possession of the artist (Rare Books and Special Collections, McGill University).20th Century German Art exhibition catalogue, 1938, p. 47: Erna Auerbach, Martin Bloch, Georg Ehrlich and other artists are mentioned in a separate section of the catalogue titled “Artists now working in England” (Rare Books and Special Collections, McGill University).20th Century German Art exhibition catalogue, 1938, pp. 48–49: Hans Feibusch, Paul Hamann, Hein Heckroth, Tiza Hess, Walter Hoefner and other artists are mentioned in a separate section of the catalogue titled “Artists now working in England” (Rare Books and Special Collections, McGill University).Peter Thoene [Oto Bihalji-Merin]. Modern German Art. Penguin Books, 1938, cover (Universität Hamburg, Walter A. Berendsohn Forschungsstelle für deutsche Exilliteratur).Information on Peter Thoene [Oto Bihalji-Merin] in the book Modern German Art, 1938 (Universität Hamburg, Walter A. Berendsohn Forschungsstelle für deutsche Exilliteratur).Reproduction of Franz Marc’s Blue Horses in Peter Thoene’s Modern German Art, 1938 (Universität Hamburg, Walter A. Berendsohn Forschungsstelle für deutsche Exilliteratur).N. “Twentieth-Century German Art.” The Manchester Guardian, 7 July 1938, p. 7 (Photo: Private Archive).Article “Whitworth Acquisitions” in The Manchester Guardian, 29 July 1938, p. 13 mentioning acquisitions from the 20th Century German Art exhibition by the Whitworth Gallery in Manchester.Announcement for the exhibition in The Observer, 14 August 1938, p. 2 (Photo: Private Archive).
    London
    Jussuf Abbo
    SculptorGraphic Artist

    The Berlin sculptor Jussuf Abbo emigrated together with his family to London in 1935, where he received a limited number of commissions and participated in a few group exhibitions.

    Word Count: 28

    Jussuf Abbo, Selbstbildnis, in Der Querschnitt, vol. 4, no. 1, 1924, p. 71 (Photo: Private Archive, © Estate of Jussuf Abbo).
    Else Lasker-Schüler, “Jussuff Abbu.” Berliner Börsen-Courier, vol. 55, no. 327, 15 July 1923, p. 5 (Photo: Private Archive).Jussuf Abbo, Untitled [Else Lasker Schüler?], n.d. [1920s], lithograph, 52 x 39,5 cm (Photo: Burcu Dogramaci, 2010, © Estate of Jussuf Abbo).Genja Jonas, Portrait Jussuf Abbo, 1926 (© Estate of Jussuf Abbo).Jussuf Abbo, Untitled [Thomas Sturge Moore?], n.d. [1940], bronze, H. 27 cm (Photo: Burcu Dogramaci, 2010, © Estate of Jussuf Abbo).Jussuf Abo, Untitled, 1928, plaster, 36 x 29 x 22 cm (Photo: Burcu Dogramaci, 2010, © Estate of Jussuf Abbo).Jussuf Abo, Untitled, n.d., clay, coloured, 37,5 x 18 cm (Photo: Burcu Dogramaci, 2010, © Estate of Jussuf Abbo).Jussuf Abbo, Untitled [sleeping girl], n.d. [c. 1939/40], clay (© Estate of Jussuf Abbo).Jussuf Abbo, Untitled [c. 1939/40], n.d., clay, 15 x 36 cm (© Estate of Jussuf Abbo).Review of the Exhibition of Sculpture, Pottery and Sculptors’ Drawings in the monthly newsletter Freie Deutsche Kultur (no. 12, 1941, p. 10). The exhibition was organised by the Free German League of Culture and the Artists International Association. Abbo is mentioned twice with reference to a bronze bust and potteries (Deutsche Nationalbibliothek, Deutsches Exilarchiv 1933–1945, Frankfurt am Main).Jussuf Abbo took part in the Opening Exhibition at Ben Uri Art Gallery in 1944 (© Ben Uri Archive).Opening Exhibition, exh cat. Ben Uri Gallery, London, 1944, p. 4–5 with Abbo’s Torso listed as first entry (© Ben Uri Archive).Kurt Schwitters’s London address book, undated [1941/1945] (Sprengel Museum Hannover, Kurt Schwitters Archiv, Hannover, Leihgabe Kurt und Ernst Schwitters Stiftung, Hannover). On the right is the address of Abbo’s studio at Lambolle Road and a reference to the Abbo family in Sussex.
    London
    Kurt Schwitters
    ArtistPoet

    The artist and poet Kurt Schwitters lived in London between 1941 and 1945, where he stood in contact to émigré and local artists, before moving to the Lake District.

    Word Count: 27

    In 1933 Herbert Read reproduced Kurt Schwitters’s Grey-rose picture assemblage (1932) in his book Art Now. An Introduction to the Theory of Modern Painting and Sculpture (METROMOD Archive).
    Kurt Schwitters, Red Wire Sculpture, 1944, Metal, plaster, stone, ceramics, dried fruit, wood, painted (Tate Collection, T05767, Photo © Tate, CC-BY-NC-ND 3.0 (Unported)).Kurt Schwitters’s London address book, undated [1941/1945] (Sprengel Museum Hannover, Kurt Schwitters Archiv, Hannover, Leihgabe Kurt und Ernst Schwitters Stiftung, Hannover). On the right is the address of Abbo’s studio at Lambolle Road and a reference to the Abbo family in Sussex.Letter [draft?] from Kurt Schwitters to Jussuf Abbo, London, 23 December 1941 (Sprengel Museum Hannover, Kurt Schwitters Archiv, Hannover, Leihgabe Kurt und Ernst Schwitters Stiftung, Hannover). Schwitters writes: “I found you in the exhibition of the German League of Culture and am glad to have you in London. You remember our meetings in Berlin and at the Hanoversche Secession. I come from Norway, where I have been resident for 11 years. When and where can I see you one day?”Leaflet advertising the December exhibition held at the Modern Art Gallery on Masterpieces by Great Masters, also featuring Paintings and Sculptures by Kurt Schwitters, Modern Art Gallery Ltd., 1944 (Tate Archive, TGA 9510/4/8/1, Photo © Tate, CC-BY-NC-ND 3.0 (Unported)).
    London
    Modern Art Gallery
    Art Gallery

    The Modern Art Gallery, founded by the émigré painter, sculptor and writer Jack Bilbo, was a forum for the presentation of modern art, specialising in the work of emigrant artists.

    Word Count: 30

    Cover of Jack Bilbo’s The Moderns. Past – Present – Future, published in 1945 under The Modern Art Gallery Ltd imprint (Bilbo 1945).
    Jack Bilbo’s Modern Art Gallery was located at 24 Charles II Street, St. James’s, London SW1 from 1943 (Bilbo 1948, 16).Leaflet advertising the December exhibition held at the Modern Art Gallery on Masterpieces by Great Masters, also featuring Paintings and Sculptures by Kurt Schwitters, Modern Art Gallery Ltd., 1944 (Tate Archive, TGA 9510/4/8/1, Photo © Tate, CC-BY-NC-ND 3.0 (Unported)).Page with works by László Moholy-Nagy, Kurt Schwitters and Henry Moore in Jack Bilbo’s The Moderns. Past – Present – Future, 1945 (Bilbo 1945, 28).Title page of Jack Bilbo’s book An Autobiography, 1948 (Bilbo 1948).Lunch at Jack Bilbo’s Modern Art Gallery (Bilbo 1948, 17).
    London