The Life of Herbert Bier through his Archive
Wallace Collection (Visitors’ Library), London
7 February, 12:00 pm, free
Another chance to view the archive material and hear a talk by his daughter Marion Davies on the life of the art dealer Herbert Bier (1905-1981). Bier had clients from all over the world and dealt with top museums in Britain, America and Australia. His interests and expertise were wide-ranging and thousands of works of art passed through his hands. He was a meticulous record keeper and his archive is not only useful for provenance research purposes but shows the discrimination he faced in Germany as well as the challenges of life in London after he emigrated in 1936.
Dissent and Displacement: A Modern Story
Monica Petzal and Margarete Klopfleisch
New Walk Museum and Art Gallery, Leicester
8 February to 19 April, free
An exhibition featuring wall-mounted prints by contemporary artist Monica Petzal, and sculptures and works on paper by Margarete Klopfleisch (1911-82).
Petzal’s prints explore her family history (her mother’s family lived in Dresden during the 1930s) and the forces of conflict and change which have shaped the cities of Coventry and Dresden, both of which were heavily bombed in WW2. Her work also engages with Leicester’s history as a place of resistance and sanctuary, past and present.
Klopfleisch was a Dresden-born sculptor, draughtswoman and printmaker. As a Communist, she was forced to flee to Prague, joining the Oskar Kokoschka League of Anti-Fascist Artists in 1937. She emigrated to England in March 1939 and in 1940 was interned on the Isle of Man. After her release she exhibited in London, Maidenhead, Cookham, Glasgow and Reading, before returning to live (and die) in Dresden.
On 16 February at 12:00, in conjunction with the exhibition, initiator and Creative Director of Insiders/Outsiders, Monica Bohm-Duchen presents the first in a series of seminars, Lived and Imagined Histories: Some Thoughts on the Work of First and Second Generation (Jewish) Visual Artists.
A Stranger in a Strange Land
16 and 23 February, £195
A two-part experimental workshop led by psychotherapist Harriett Goldenberg exploring the psychological and emotional processes involved in being a foreigner – an immigrant or a refugee – as well as the less overt sense many people have of being an ‘outsider’, ‘other’, ‘different’, ‘not at home’.
The workshop, open to a maximum of 12 people, provides a safe space to unpack and share some of the deeply felt experiences of ‘foreignness’ in all its guises, and an opportunity to gain greater understanding of what is entailed in becoming a foreigner.
Isokon and the Bauhaus in Britain
Burgh House & Hampstead Museum, London
26 February, 7:30pm, tickets from £8
Built in 1934 for Jack and Molly Pritchard, the Isokon building by Wells Coates, formerly known as Lawn Road Flats, was England’s first modernist apartment building, and was hugely influential in pioneering the concept of minimal living. Its flats, bar and dining club would become an extraordinary creative nexus for international artists, writers and thinkers, including the Bauhauslers Walter Gropius, Marcel Breuer and Laszlo Moholy-Nagy, Agatha Christie, Philip Harben, Adrian Stokes and even a network of Soviet spies. Leyla Daybelge and Magnus Englund, authors of the recent book Isokon and the Bauhaus in Britain, tell the story of the Isokon, the Pritchards’ artistic network and the legacy of the Bauhaus artists during their time in Britain.
How ‘the most dangerous spy in history’ was recruited in Hampstead
Burgh House & Hampstead Museum, London
27 February, 7:30pm, tickets from £8
For the Kuczynskis, fighting fascism by helping the KGB was a Hampstead family business. When a young scientist came to them wanting to share Britain’s nuclear bomb secrets, they knew exactly what to do. Which is how Klaus Fuchs, now called ‘the most dangerous spy in history’ came to be recruited in a cultural centre in Upper Park Road NW3. The family story is told by Stewart Purvis, creator of the ‘Hampstead Spies’ guided walk, who has researched all the files.
Another Eye: Women Refugee Photographers in Britain 1930s-60s
Four Corners Gallery, London
27 February to 2 May, free
An exhibition bringing together work by Dorothy Bohm, Gerti Deutsch and Lotte Meitner-Graf alongside lesser-known women photographers who came to Britain as refugees in the 1930s.
Showcasing portraiture, photo-stories and East End street photography, the exhibition reflects upon these artists’ representations of ‘Britishness’, considering how their experience as female (and mostly Jewish) outsiders shaped their images and careers.
Farewell to Vienna: A New Beginning
Concert by Ensemble Burletta
9 February, 3:00pm Bedwardine Parish Church, Worcester, from £10
27 February, 7:30pm, JW3, London, £17
Join Ensemble Burletta on a journey from the Vienna of Mozart and Brahms, to the dark days of pre-war Austria and the flight of Jewish-born nationals from the Nazi regime. Works for clarinet and strings celebrate the musical links between Vienna and those that were forced to leave it for a new life in Britain. Music by Bach-Mozart, Brahms, and Jewish émigrés Hans Gál and Joseph Horovitz.