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St. George’s Gallery

  • Name:
    St. George’s Gallery
  • Kind of Organisation:
    Art Gallery
  • Introduction:

    In 1943, the art dealer Lea Bondi Jaray, with support of Otto Brill, also exiled from Vienna, took over St. George’s Gallery in Mayfair, exhibiting contemporary British and continental art.

    Word Count: 30

  • Content:

    In 1943, Lea Bondi Jaray (1880–1969) took over St. George's Gallery in Mayfair with the support of Otto Brill (1881–1954). The gallery distributed books and applied art, and put on exhibitions of contemporary artists such as the sculptor Heinz Henghes (1945). The gallery also issued editions, such as a group of six lithographs by the artist Alva (1949). Both Heinz Henghes and Alva (real name Solomon Siegfried Allweiss) came from Germany and had arrived in England via different migration routes. In St. George's Gallery, German-speaking artists – and others – found a sympathetic space.

    Lea Bondi Jaray had emigrated from Vienna to London in 1939. In the Austrian capital, she had been working at the renowned Würthle Gallery since 1919, taking over its management in 1926. The gallery’s portfolio included Expressionist artists such as Egon Schiele, Oskar Kokoschka and Emil Nolde, some of whom Bondi was able to show and represent in Vienna on the basis of a cooperation with the Flechtheim Gallery in Berlin (Summers 2019). Bondi was also a collector of “her” artists, and when she left Vienna she not only had to hand over her gallery to the art dealer Friedrich Welz in the course of an enforced “Aryanisation”, but also had to leave her collection behind. The only thing Bondi Jaray was able to take with her was a group of drawings. Her bitter dispute over restitution after 1945, including her claims regarding the iconic painting Wally by Egon Schiele, has had a lasting impact on how Leo Bandi Jaray is perceived; she is usually only ever mentioned in this context (e.g. Anderl/Caruso 2005; Schnabel/Tatzkow 2007). Only gradually is her work as a gallery owner and art dealer coming into focus (Summers 2019; Aronowitz/Isaac 2019), although the gallery's exhibition chronicle has yet to be reconstructed.

    Bondy’s partner at St. George's Gallery, Otto Brill, had been a shareholder in the Würthle Galerie in Vienna (Rohringer 2009). Brill was a manufacturer and collector. In 1938 he was arrested, expropriated and fled to London in the autumn of the same year. He managed to take with him a few works – mainly on paper – by Kokoschka and Schiele, among others. It is likely that these were shown at St. Georges Gallery, where exhibitions included works by Expressionists and artists such as Oskar Kokoschka (for example in a show on self-portraits in 1949), Max Beckmann, Ernst Ludwig Kircher and Wassily Kandinsky (Aronowitz/Isaac 2019, 135). In 1950, the year the gallery closed, Lea Bondi Jaray held a group exhibition of Austrian Expressionist painters, including the artist Anton Kolig, organised in collaboration with Albertina Museum in Vienna and the Austrian Federal Ministry of Education, among others (Summers 2019). St. George’s Gallery also offered artists their first London showings, including exhibitions for the Norwegian-Canadian artist Waldemar Stabell (1947).

    St. George’s Gallery focused on 19th century and contemporary French art, showing André Beaudin (1947) and Paule Vezelay (1949). In 1946, an exhibition and catalogue were devoted to Honoré Daumier's lithographs. It is noteworthy that Daumier had also drawn the attention of other émigrés such as Lucia Moholy and John Heartfield. Moholy featured Daumier’s Nadar élevant la Photographie á la hauteur de l'Art on the cover of her book A Hundred Years of Photography 1839–1939 (Moholy 1939), and Heartfield dedicated to Daumier his essay in Freie Deutsche Kultur, the Free German League of Culture's newsletter (Heartfield 1942).
    St. George’s Gallery was also significant in the career paths of other gallery owners and art booksellers (Summers 2019). Erica Brausen, who later ran the Hanover Gallery, worked there, as did Harry Fisher of Marlborough Fine Art, founded in 1946. Agathe Sadler (1924-2015), also an émigré from Vienna and the daughter of Otto Brill, ran an antiquarian art bookshop from rooms at St George's Gallery from 1945. The gallery space hosted bibliophile exhibitions such as a 1949 show on “old books, games, and peepshows for children” from a private collection (Anonymous 1949). Agathe Sadler’s Art Book Antiquarian continued to exist at other addresses after the closure of the Grosvenor Street gallery space, finally establishing itself in Duke Street in 1964 (Scarisbrick 2016).

    Although Lea Bondi Jaray’s St. George's Gallery only existed for a comparatively short period of time, it was an important promotional art institution and social contact hub for German-speaking players in the London art and book market, as well as for emigrant artists such as Alva, Heinz Henghes and Oskar Kokoschka. In addition, the gallery also saw itself as a display case for lesser-known artists, some of whom made their first London appearance there. St. George’s Gallery was also a place where women artists were given a presence: Mary Swanzy and Mary Krishna were shown in a double exhibition (1947); the avant-garde New Zealand painter Frances Hodgkins had two shows in 1945 and 1949. In 1947, an exhibition entitled The New Generation opened at St. George’s Gallery, featuring Lucian Freud, John Craxton and William Scott, among others. This exhibition benefited from collaboration with the British Council (Summers 2019).

    Lea Bondi Jara’s commitment to the art of her time was noted with interest by art critics. Maurice Collis wrote in The Observer in 1946: “To conclude, I should note that the St. George's Gallery, Grosvenor-street, a small establishment which has been steadily building up a name for discriminating taste, has already opened up an autumn exhibition of painting, several of its exhibitors being young artists of talent, such as Rosoman Montlake, Petley Jones, and Mounsey. One cannot but commend it for bringing forward these promising painters.” (Collis 1946a) The article also emphasised that St. George’s Gallery “has a flair for catching hedgerow genius” (Collis 1946b).
    Bondi Jaray operated within established networks. Her working relationship with Otto Brill dated back to their collaborations in Vienna and she dealt with a number of artists whom she had represented at the Würthle Gallery in Vienna. In this respect, St. George’s Gallery is an example of the importance of established working relationships in exile and the impact of emigrant networks in London.

    Word Count: 978

  • Known addresses in Metromod cities:

    81 Grosvenor Street, Mayfair, London W1.

  • Signature Image:
    Honoré Daumier. Lithographs, exh. cat. St. George’s Gallery, London, June 1946, cover (METROMOD Archive).
  • Media:
    Honoré Daumier. Lithographs, exh. cat. St. George’s Gallery, London, June 1946, p. 5 with Denys Sutton’s essay “Honoré Daumier” (METROMOD Archive).
    Honoré Daumier. Lithographs, exh. cat. St. George’s Gallery, London, June 1946, p. 8–9 (METROMOD Archive).
    Announcement of the Waldemar Stabell exhibition at St. George’s Gallery, London, in The Observer, 19 January 1947, p. 7 (Photo: Private Archive).
    Review of the exhibition of Mary Swanzy and Mary Krishna at St. George’s Gallery, London, in The Observer, 30 March 1947, p. 2 (Photo: Private Archive).
    Review of The New Generation exhibition with Lucian Freud, John Craxton and William Scott at St. George’s Gallery, London, in The Observer, 11 May 1947, p. 2 (Photo: Private Archive).
    Announcement of The Known and Unknown Paintings by British and Continental artists exhibition at St. George’s Gallery, London, in The Observer, 17 August 1947, p. 7 (Photo: Private Archive).
  • Bibliography (selected):

    Anderl, Gabriele, and Alexandra Caruso, editors. NS-Kunstraub in Österreich und die Folgen. Studien Verlag, 2005.

    Anonymous. “Our London Correspondence.” The Manchester Guardian, 12 December 1949, p. 4.

    Anonymous. „Jüdische Sammler und Kunsthändler (Opfer nationalsozialistischer Verfolgung und Enteignung).” Lost Art-Datenbank Deutsches Zentrum Kulturgutverluste, http://www.lostart.de/Content/051_ProvenienzRaubkunst/DE/Sammler/B/Brill,%20Otto.html. Accessed 5 February 2021.

    Aronowitz, Richard, and Shauna Isaac. “Émigré Art Dealers and Collectors.” Insiders Outsiders. Refugees from Nazi Europe and their Contribution to British Visual Culture, edited by Monica Bohm-Duchen, Lund Humphries, 2019, pp. 129–135.

    Collis, Maurice. “Art.” The Observer, 1 September 1946a, p. 2.

    Collis, Maurice. “Paintings. A Gallery Reopens.” The Observer, 22 December 1946b, p. 2.

    Dobrzynski, Judith H. “The Zealous Collector. A Singular Passion For Amassing Art, One Way or Another.” The New York Times, 24 December 1997. Pundicity / Judith H. Dobrzynksi, http://www.judithdobrzynski.com/3016/the-zealous-collector. Accessed 5 February 2021.

    Heartfield, John. “Daumier im ‘Reich’.” Freie Deutsche Kultur, no. 2, 1942, pp. 7–8.

    Moholy, Lucia. A Hundred Years of Photography 1839–1939. Penguin Books, 1939.

    Rohringer, Susanne. “Recollecting. Raub und Restitution: Entzogenes Leben.” 31 January 2009, artmagazine, https://www.artmagazine.cc/content38095.html. Accessed 5 February 2009.

    Scarisbrick, Diana. “Obituary: Agatha Sadler: Refugee from the Nazis who became a much admired bookseller and art collector.” The Independent, 2 February 2016, https://www.independent.co.uk/news/obituaries/agatha-sadler-refugee-nazis-who-became-much-admired-bookseller-and-art-collector-a6849596.html. Accessed 1 March 2021.

    Schnabel, Gunnar, and Monika Tatzkow. Nazi Looted Art. Handbuch Kunstrestitution weltweit. proprietas-verlag, 2007.

    Summers, Cherith. “St. George’s Gallery.” Brave New Visions. The Émigrés who transformed the British Art World, exh. cat. Sotheby’s, St. George’s Gallery, London, 2019, p. 28. issuu, https://issuu.com/bravenewvisions/docs/brave_new_visions. Accessed 25 February 2021.

    Word Count: 255

  • Author:
    Burcu Dogramaci
  • Date of Founding:
    1943
  • Date of Disbandment:
    1950
  • Participants (selection):

    Lea Bondi Jaray, Otto Brill, Agathe Sadler.

  • Metropolis:
    London
  • Entry in process:
    no
  • Burcu Dogramaci. "St. George’s Gallery." METROMOD Archive, 2021, https://archive.metromod.net/viewer.p/69/1470/object/5145-11259763, last modified: 20-06-2021.
  • A Hundred Years of Photography 1839–1939
    Book

    Six years after her arrival in London, the photographer Lucia Moholy published her book A Hundred Years of Photography 1839–1939, on the occasion of the centenary of photography.

    Word Count: 27

    Lucia Moholy. A Hundred Years of Photography 1839–1939. Penguin Books, 1939, cover (METROMOD Archive).
    Lucia Moholy. A Hundred Years of Photography 1839–1939. Penguin Books, 1939, bastard title with Daumier’s quote “Je suis de mon temps” (METROMOD Archive).Lucia Moholy. A Hundred Years of Photography 1839–1939. Penguin Books, 1939, title page (METROMOD Archive).Lucia Moholy. A Hundred Years of Photography 1839–1939. Penguin Books, 1939, page with daguerreotypes (METROMOD Archive).Lucia Moholy. A Hundred Years of Photography 1839–1939. Penguin Books, 1939, page with a multiple flash photograph of the golfer Bobby Jones with a driver (METROMOD Archive).
    London
    Marlborough Fine Art
    Art Gallery

    Marlborough Fine Art was founded in 1946 by the Viennese emigrants Harry Fischer and Frank Lloyd in the Mayfair district, focused on Impressionists, Modern and Contemporary Art.

    Word Count: 26

    Art in Revolt. Germany 1905–25. Exhibition in Aid of World Refugee Year, exh. cat. Marlborough Fine Art, London, 1959, cover (METROMOD Archive).
    Art in Revolt. Germany 1905–25. Exhibition in Aid of World Refugee Year, exh. cat. Marlborough Fine Art, London, 1959, back cover (METROMOD Archive).Art in Revolt. Germany 1905–25. Exhibition in Aid of World Refugee Year, exh. cat. Marlborough Fine Art, London, 1959, title page (METROMOD Archive).Art in Revolt. Germany 1905–25. Exhibition in Aid of World Refugee Year, exh. cat. Marlborough Fine Art, London, 1959, pp. 136–137 with works by August Macke (METROMOD Archive).Art in Revolt. Germany 1905–25. Exhibition in Aid of World Refugee Year, exh. cat. Marlborough Fine Art, London, 1959, pp. 162–163 with works by Kurt Schwitters (METROMOD Archive).Homage to Kokoschka, exhibition catalogue, Marlborough Fine Art, 39 Old Bond Street, London, March-April 1966, cover (METROMOD Archive). Sales exhibition to mark the artist’s 80th birthday.Homage to Kokoschka, exhibition catalogue, Marlborough Fine Art, 39 Old Bond Street, London, March-April 1966, title page (METROMOD Archive). The catalogue indicates the international presence of the gallery.Homage to Kokoschka, exhibition catalogue, Marlborough Fine Art, 39 Old Bond Street, London, March-April 1966, p. 46: list of past exhibitions (METROMOD Archive).Report on the art market in England with an entry on Marlborough Fine Art (left column) in the Swiss magazine Du, no. 10, 1959, p. 53 (Photo: Private Archive). The entry mentions the gallery owners and their pre-exile life in Vienna.Advertisement announcing the Francis Bacon. Recent Paintings exhibition at Marlborough Gallery in 1960, The Manchester Guardian, 2 April 1960, p. 3 (Photo: Private Archive). Bacon had left Hanover Gallery for Marlborough Gallery at the end of the 1950s.
    London
    Hanover Gallery
    Art Gallery

    The Hanover Gallery was founded by Erica Brausen and dedicated to interwar modernism and contemporary art, supporting the early careers of Francis Bacon, Lucian Freud and Niki de Saint Phalle.

    Word Count: 30

    Sculpture, exh. cat. Hanover Gallery, London, 1959, cover (METROMOD Archive). The group exhibition presented established artists and works of a younger generation: Arp, César, Clatworthy, Effront, Kemény, Maillol, Marini, Picasso amongst others.
    Sculpture, exh. cat. Hanover Gallery, London, 1959, title page (METROMOD Archive).Sculpture, exh. cat. Hanover Gallery, London, 1959, double page with works of Kemény (METROMOD Archive).Sculpture, exh. cat. Hanover Gallery, London, 1959, double page with works of Maillol (METROMOD Archive).Ian Stuart. Sculpture, exh. cat. Hanover Gallery, London, 1964, cover (METROMOD Archive).Ian Stuart. Sculpture, exh. cat. Hanover Gallery, London, 1964, title page (METROMOD Archive).Private Wire. “Our London Correspondence.” The Manchester Guardian, 9 June 1948, p. 4 (Photo: Private Archive). Article on the Hanover Gallery’s opening exhibition Graham Sutherland.Pendennis. “Table Talk.” The Observer, 13 November 1949, p. 5 (Photo: Private Archive). A critical review of Francis Bacon’s exhibition at Hanover Gallery 1949 under the headline “Art for the Few”.Review by Eric Newton on the Paul Klee exhibition at Hanover Gallery in The Manchester Guardian, 20 June 1956, p. 7 (Photo: Private Archive).Eric Newton. “Fantasy in Art: Bacon, Wols, and Felix Kelly.” The Guardian, 12 June 1959, p. 3 (Photo: Private Archive). A review on Francis Bacon’s last exhibition at Hanover Gallery in 1959.Report on the art market in England with an entry on the Hanover Gallery (centre column) in the Swiss magazine Du, no. 10, 1959, p. 53 (Photo: Private Archive).
    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
    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