Picturing Science: Marie Neurath (1898–1986) was a ground-breaking graphic designer. She analysed complex information and transformed it into concise explanations that combined words and pictures.
Her work as a transformer started in Vienna in the 1920s when she began collaborating with Otto Neurath. The method of visual explanation they and others developed became known as ‘Isotype’ (International System of Typographic Picture Education). Otto and Marie Neurath established the Isotype Institute in 1942 after they escaped to England from Nazi-occupied Europe.
In Oxford, the Neuraths developed ideas for children’s books about science, technology and other non-fiction topics. After Otto Neurath’s death in 1945, Marie Neurath continued their work in London until the late 1960s. She directed a team of writers and illustrators who produced more than eighty children’s books.
Originally an exhibition at the House of Illustration, this exhibition explores Marie Neurath’s pioneering methods for explaining science to children.
A Stroll Down… Charing Cross Road
Take a virtual stroll down 1930s Charing Cross Road with renowned photographer and cinematographer, Wolfgang Suschitzky (1912 – 2016), using this link: A Stroll Down… Charing Cross Road
Running north from London’s Trafalgar Square to St Giles Circus lays Charing Cross Road, named by its local residents and christened by the Duke of Cambridge in 1887. Already renowned for its bookshops and further popularised by the opening of Foyles in 1906 (still resident at no.107 today), Charing Cross Road became a mecca for bookworms in the early twentieth century. Booksellers lined the street, from Antiquarian cabinets of curiosities such as Marks and Co. (immortalised by the 1970 film 84 Charing Cross Road), to crime and mystery specialists Murder One.
It is no wonder then that London’s literary hubbub caught the eye of Viennese documentary photographer and cinematographer, Wolfgang Suschitzky. Emigrating to the UK in 1935, Suschitzky found delight and inspiration in the concentration of such trade in one area, and soon started documenting everyday activity in and around Soho. He did so with his father in mind, who had established the first socialist bookshop in Vienna, and sadly passed away not long after Suschitzky’s arrival in Britain.
Women Refugee Photographers in Britain after 1933
During the 1930s, more than 70,000 refugees came to Britain from Nazi-dominated Europe. Amongst those escaping anti-Semitic and political persecution were a surprising number of women photographers. These women brought fresh, modernist perspectives that opened up British photography in the decades that followed.
Another Eye is the first UK exhibition to bring together work by this group of women, and explore their collective influence on British photography. It is an opportunity to see original prints and work by established photographers Dorothy Bohm, Gerti Deutsch, Elsbeth Juda, Lotte Meitner-Graf, Lucia Moholy, Gerty Simon and Edith Tudor-Hart, and to discover work by Inge Ader, Anneli Bunyard, Elisabeth Chat, Laelia Goehr, Lisel Haas, Heidi Heimann, Erika Koch, Betti Mautner, Bertl Sachsel and Lore Lisbeth Waller.
Berlin/London: The Lost Photographs of Gerty Simon
The Wiener Holocaust Library received a large number of Gerty Simon’s original prints of portraits taken in Berlin and London from the estate of her son Bernard (Bernd), along with documents relating to her life and work. In 2019, The Wiener Holocaust Library staged an exhibition on Gerty Simon’s life and work featuring many of her original prints.
In 2021, a version of the exhibition will be shown at Villa Liebermann, where, for the first time in 80 years, the work of this pioneering photographer will be brought to public attention in Berlin.
As amply demonstrated by the recent show at Four Corners, London, John Heartfield (1891–1968) was one of the most important and innovative political satirical artists to use his work to oppose Fascism. His posters and book covers for the Malik-Verlag and magazine covers for the Arbeiter-Illustrierte-Zeitung (AIZ) are essential components of the political iconography of the Weimar Republic as well as of anti-Fascist exile, both in Prague and in London.
More than 6,000 works from Heartfield’s estate are preserved in the Art Collection at the Akademie der Künste in Berlin, over 4,000 of which are now accessible to the public online. Although the exhibition planned for the Akademie building on Pariser Platz has been adversely affected by the Coronavirus crisis, a virtual exhibition is now available under the title Cosmos Heartfield.
The Kitchener Camp
The Kitchener Camp has been largely forgotten today, but in 1939 this derelict army base on the Kent coast became the scene of an extraordinary rescue which saved 4,000 men from the Holocaust.
During Kristallnacht in November 1938, 25,000 – 30,000 Jewish men were arrested and incarcerated in concentration camps. They were subjected to starvation and torture, and hundreds died or were killed. A condition of release from the camps was that the men had to undertake to leave Germany immediately. As country after country refused to take more refugees, the Kitchener rescue began. It was founded and run by the same, mainly Jewish aid organisations that funded and coordinated the Kindertransport and Domestic Service Visa schemes.