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Christmas Exhibition of The Center for European Immigrant's Art and Handicraft

  • Name (text):

    Christmas Exhibition of The Center for European Immigrant's Art and Handicraft

    Word Count: 11

  • Kind of Event:
    Exhibition
  • Start Date:
    11-11-1939
  • End Date:
    24-12-1939
  • Introduction:

    The Christmas exhibition organised by the Center for European Immigrants’ Art and Handicraft took place during November and December 1939 at the Émigré Art Center on the first floor of the Empire State Building.

    Word Count: 33

  • Content:

    The Christmas exhibition was designed to give newly-arrived European emigrant artists in New York, who, as refugees, did not have the right to set up their own businesses, an opportunity to show and sell their work. The Émigré Art Center, in the Empire State Building, was curated by the émigré architect Walter Sobotka, who arrived in New York in 1939. The artworks ranged between paintings, caricatures, sculptures, stage sets, ceramics, handicrafts and photographs. The émigré photographers Lotte Jacobi, Ruth Jacobi-Roth, Trude Fleischmann, Robert Hass and probably Gerda Peterich were among the exhibitors (W. L. 1939, 14). Lotte and Ruth Jacobi had been in New York since 1935/36, whereas Trude Fleischmann, Robert Haas and Gerda Peterich had only recently arrived and the exhibition likely gave them one of their first opportunities in exile to show their work to a public audience.

    It is not known if the show was repeated in subsequent years or if this was a one-off event. There is also very little information available on either the Center for European Immigrants’ Art and Handicraft (which was located at 287 4th Avenue) or the Émigré Art Center (which was located in the Empire State Building). But it can be assumed that they provided a contact and network hub for European émigré artists and that further events were organised. The Center for European Immigrants’ Art and Handicraft was one of a group of self-organisations and associations working to connect emigrants in New York to American life, society and culture, as well to emigrant communities interacting within a diverse range of interest. They were united in November 1939 under the Immigrants' Conference (Anonymous 1939a, 7). Other self-help organisation were created by Hans and Else Staudinger, the parents of the photographer Ruth Staudinger, which were named "Self-help for German Emigres" and "The American Council for Émigrés in the Professions".

    The Christmas show was reviewed in several newspapers and in Aufbau magazine (22.12.1939) after First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt made a Christmas shopping trip to the Émigré Art Center in support of refugee artists in exile, so providing them with a certain amount of attention and recognition.

    Word Count: 346

  • Signature Image:
    Anonymus. "Gifts by refugees." Daily News, 30 November 1939, p. 108.
  • Media:
    L. W. "Emigrierte Künstler stellen aus." Aufbau, 15 November 1939, p. 14.
  • Bibliography (selected):

    Anonymous. “‘Immigrants’ Conference 1939’.” Aufbau, 1 November 1939, p. 7.

    Anonymous. “Eleanor Roosevelt kauft Geschenke ein.” Aufbau, 22 December 1939, p. 6.

    Trude Fleischmann. Der selbstbewusste Blick, edited by Anton Holzer and Frauke Kreutler, exh. cat. Wien Museum, Vienna, 2011.

    W. L. “Emigrierte Künstler stellen aus.” Aufbau, 15 November 1939, p. 14.

    Word Count: 42

  • Archives and Sources:

    David Baumgardt Papers, Leo Baeck Institute, New York.

    Aufbau Magazine, dig Leo Baeck Institute, New York.

    Word Count: 16

  • Author:
    Helene Roth
  • Participants (selection):

    Lotte Jacobi, Ruth Jacobi-Roth, Trude Fleischmann, Robert Hass and probably Gerda Peterich

    Word Count: 12

  • Known addresses in Metromod cities:

    Émigré Art Center, Empire State Building, 350 5th Avenue, Midtown Manhattan, New York City.

  • Metropolis:
    New York
  • Entry in process:
    no
  • Helene Roth. "Christmas Exhibition of The Center for European Immigrant's Art and Handicraft." METROMOD Archive, 2021, https://archive.metromod.net/viewer.p/69/2948/object/5141-11005292, last modified: 04-05-2021.
  • Gerda Peterich
    Photographer

    The German émigré Gerda Peterich had a photographic studio at 332 West 56th Street and in New York, where she specialised in dance and portraiture. In addition, she visited dance studios and photographed outside in the city.

    Word Count: 36

    Portrait of Gerda Peterich, n.d. (© Gerda Peterich Papers, University Archives Special Collections Research Center, Syracuse University Libraries).
    Pear Primus by Gerda Peterich published in The Dance, edited by John Martin, Tudor Publishing, 1947, p. 146 (Photo: Helene Roth).
    New York
    Trude Fleischmann
    Photographer

    Trude Fleischmann was an Austrian-Jewish portrait and dance photographer who emigrated in 1939 to New York, where she opened a studio in Midtown Manhattan with the photographer Frank Elmer.

    Word Count: 28

    Portrait of Trude Fleischmann by Annie Schulz published in Die Bühne, vol. 265, January 1931, p. 15 (Photo: Helene Roth).
    Declaration of intention of Trude Fleischmann, April 1939. New York, Southern District, U.S District Court Naturalization Records, 1824–1946, Petitions for naturalization and petition evidence 1944 box 927, no 485551-485750 (© Southern District of New York Petitions for Naturalization, 1897-1944. Records of District Courts of the United States, 1685–2009, RG 21. National Archives at New York).Trude Fleischmann, Adriadic Wash Line, before 1939 published in U.S. Camera 1940, p. 131 (Photo: Helene Roth).Trude Fleischmann, Arthur Toscanini und Robert Haas, 1946, New York (© Wien Museum / Foto Birgit und Peter Kainz).Trude Fleischmann, Robert Haas bei der Arbeit in New York City, 1940s/1950s (© Wien Museum / Foto Birgit und Peter Kainz).Trude Fleischmann, Group portrait behind the scene of “Players from Abroad”, New York, 1947/48 (© Deutsche Nationalbibliothek. Deutsches Exilarchiv 1933-1945, Frankfurt am Main).Announcement of an exhibition by Trude Fleischmann at the New School for Social Research published in New School Bulletin, no. 13, 13 April 1943 (© New School course catalog collection, NS-03-01-02. The New School Archives).Trude Fleischmann, Portrait of Gert von Gontard, Elisabeth Bergner and Felix Gerstmann for the performance Iphigenie auf Tauris,New York, 1947/48 (© Deutsche Nationalbibliothek. Deutsches Exilarchiv 1933-1945, Frankfurt am Main).
    New York
    Lotte Jacobi
    Photographer

    In October 1935 the German émigré photographer Lotte Jacobi, together with her sister Ruth Jacobi, opened a photo studio on 57th Street. The two sisters had to leave their parents' photo studio in Berlin in the 1930s and emigrated to New York.

    Word Count: 41

    Lotte Jacobi, Self-portrait, New York, 1937 (© 2020. University of New Hampshire).
    Lotte Jacobi, Central Park, New York, 1936 (© 2020. University of New Hampshire).Lotte Jacobi, New York Stock Exchange, New York, 1938 (© 2020. University of New Hampshire).Lotte Jacobi, Ernst Fuhrmann, New York, 1942 (© 2021. University of New Hampshire).Lotte Jacobi, Hanya Holm dancing with troup, 1937 (© 2020. University of New Hampshire).Flyer for Lotte Jacobi’s exhibition at the Norlyst Gallery, 1948 (© 2020. University of New Hampshire).Willi Wolfradt. "Lichtbild-Schöpfungen." Aufbau, 15 October 1948, p. 19.Lotte Jacobi, Werner Wolff, 1943, New York (© 2021. University of New Hampshire).Lotte Jacobi, Ruth Bernhard, 1945, New York (© 2021. University of New Hampshire).
    New York
    Ruth Jacobi
    Photographer

    Ruth Jacobi was a German-speaking, Polish-born photographer who emigrated in 1935 to New York, where she opened a studio together with her sister Lotte Jacobi. She later had her own portrait studio.

    Word Count: 31

    Lotte Jacobi, Ruth Jacobi mit Brille, c. 1935, New York (© 2021. University of New Hampshire).
    Lotte Jacobi, Ruth Jacobi, c. 1935, New York (© 2021. University of New Hampshire).A Study in Doll Heads by Ruth Jacobi-Roth published in "Salon Section. Four Of A Kind." Popular Photography, December 1937, p. 48 (Photo: Helene Roth).Sisters by Ruth Jacobi-Roth for the "Salon Section. Twins." Popular Photography, February 1938, pp. 46–47 (Photo: Helene Roth).Ruth Jacobi-Roth, Grapes, published in the “Picture of the Months” section of Popular Photography, March 1938, p. 42 (Photo: Helene Roth).Ruth Jacobi-Roth, Doll, published in "Salon Section." Popular Photography, March 1938, p. 53 (Photo: Helene Roth).Montage of three pelicans by Ruth Jacobi-Roth published in "Salon Section 1-2-3." Popular Photography, March 1939, p. 47 (Photo: Helene Roth).Head by Ruth Jacobi-Roth published in Maloney 1940, p. 138 (Photo: Helene Roth).Hafen-Romantik und Wolkenkratzer (image by Jacobi, Berlin) and Schönheit der Wolkenkratzer (image by E.O. Hoppé, Mauritius) in New York, published in Leitich 1932, pp. 14–15 (Archive Helene Roth).Das arme New York (image by Jacobi, Berlin); Trödelladen im Italienerviertel (image by Scherl) New York, published in Leitich 1932, pp. 56–57 (Archive Helene Roth).Medical Center, die größte Klinik der Welt (am oberen Hudson) (image by Presse-Photo, Berlin); Tausendäugige Häuserfront (image by Jacobi, Berlin), New York, published in Leitich 1932, pp. 48–49 (Archive Helene Roth).Ruhepause bei den Grabsteinen der Trinity Church (image by Scherl); Auch ein Platz für Mittagsruhe (image by Jacobi, Berlin); Orangedrink nach heißer Bahnhfahrt (image by Ewing Galloway, N.Y); Ein Fünfcentstück öffnet die Drehtür zur Untergrundbahn (image by Ewing Galloway, N.Y), published in Leitich 1932, pp. 16–17 (Archive Helene Roth).
    New York
    Ruth Staudinger
    PhotographerCinematographerArt dealer

    Very few and only fragmentary details can be found on the German émigré photographer Ruth Staudinger, who emigrated in the mid-1930s to New York City. Her nomadic life was also characterisedd by several changes of name along the way.

    Word Count: 40

    Hassoldt Davis (?), Ruth Staudinger Davis holds the mummified head of an executed Indochines (Davis, 1952, 22).
    Ruth Staudinger Rozaffy, Going on duty, 1939 (Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, Photographs and Prints Division, The New York Public Library Digital Collections).Page with collected addresses of colleagues at the New School for Social Research in New York by Josef Breitenbach (© The Josef and Yaye Breitenbach Charitable Foundation, courtesy of The Center for Creative Photography, Josef Breitenbach Archive, AG90:6).Ruth Staudinger Rozaffy, New York Bedtime, published in U.S. Camera 1940, p. 129 (Photo: Helene Roth).Ruth Staudinger Rozaffy, More Fun Than Circus, published in U.S. Camera 1940, p. 130 (Photo: Helene Roth).Ruth Staudinger Rozaffy, Girls from telephone company taking exercises in American Woman’s Association Gym, published in U.S. Camera 1940, p. 178 (Photo: Helene Roth).“Wiltwyck – Why Harlme Boys Learn Manhood” article with images by Ruth Staudinger Rozaffy (Anonymous 1941, 18–19).Article on Ruth Staudinger and Hassoldt Davis (Desfor 1951, 33).Cover of The Jungle and the Damned (Davis, 1952) (Photo: Helene Roth).First page of The Jungle and the Damned (Davis 1952) (Photo: Helene Roth).First page of Scorcerer’s Village, published by Hassoldt Davis and Ruth Staudinger-Davis, Duell Sloan and Pearce, 1956 (Photo: Helene Roth).
    New York