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St. George’s Gallery

  • 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.
  • St. George’s Gallery
  • Art Gallery
  • 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

  • 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

  • 81 Grosvenor Street, Mayfair, London W1.

  • Honoré Daumier. Lithographs, exh. cat. St. George’s Gallery, London, June 1946, cover (METROMOD Archive).
  • 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).
  • 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,,%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, 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, 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, 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, Accessed 25 February 2021.

    Word Count: 255

  • Burcu Dogramaci
  • 1943
  • 1950
  • Lea Bondi Jaray, Otto Brill, Agathe Sadler.

  • London
  • No
  • Burcu Dogramaci. "St. George’s Gallery." METROMOD Archive, 2021,, last modified: 20-06-2021.
  • A Hundred Years of Photography 1839–1939

    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

    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

    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

    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

    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