September 2022

After a lull over the summer, we’re pleased to alert you to a lively and wide-ranging programme of events for September and beyond, both live and online, on topics relevant to the theme of Insiders/Outsiders. Not all of them have been initiated by us, but we are confident that all will be of interest to subscribers to this newsletter.

Between 2 September and 1 October, the Somers Gallery in central London (previously the home of the UK Mexican Arts Society) will play host to an exhibition of black and white vintage photographs entitled Mexico 1950s-1970s – many to them never seen in public before – by nonagenarian Dorothy Bohm, who came to this country from Lithuania as a young teenager in June 1939.

For further information, click here.

Image: Dorothy Bohm, Mexico, 1970’s (detail)

Further afield, a more comprehensive survey of Dorothy’s long career, Dorothy Bohm: A World Observed 1940-2010, will be on view at the Kaunas Photography Gallery between 28 September and 13 November, as part of the programme of events accompanying that city’s stint as one of the European Capitals of Culture. For information about the gallery and the exhibition, click here and about Kaunas 2022, click here.

Image: Dorothy Bohm, Zoo de Vincennes, Paris, 1988 (detail)

The festival also includes a powerful interactive installation by UK-based second generation artist Jenny Kagan entitled Out of Darkness inspired by her parent’s experience of the Kaunas Ghetto during World War Two, as well as a brand new immersive music and video performance entitled Kauno Kantata.

Image: Detail from Out of Darkness

On three consecutive Wednesdays at 6.30pm UK time, beginning on 7 September, US-based curator Dr.Jenny McComas will give a series of online lectures for the Ben Uri Gallery and Museum on the theme of Émigré Artists and Art Dealers in World War II America. For further details and to book, click here.

Image: Max Beckmann, Day and Dream, Curt Valentin, New York, 1946

On Thursday 8 September at 7pm, Rachel Lichtenstein will be hosting an event at the Manchester Jewish Museum paying tribute to Polish-born Yiddish poet Avram Stencl, who found refuge in the UK in 1936. This will include a screening of a short film about Stencl, readings of his poetry in Yiddish and English, and a discussion with members of the Manchester Jewish community, including Miriam Becker, Stencl’s great-niece, and Professor Dovid Katz, a close personal friend of Stencl.

For further information click here.

Image: Avram Stencl

On 12-14 September, under the auspices of the Royal College of Music in London, there will be an online interdisciplinary symposium entitled Music, Migration and Mobility: The Legacy of Migrant Musicians from Nazi-Europe in Britain. Featuring some 25 speakers from all over the world, it will explore music and musical history through the lens of mobility, as opposed to static, rigid categories of national or geographical belonging.

For details of the programme and to book, click here.

On Thursday 15 September at 6.30pm, the Wiener Holocaust Library, in partnership with  the Research Centre for German and Austrian Exile Studies and Insiders/Outsiders, will host a launch event for Émigré Voices in which its editors Bea Lewkowicz and Anthony Grenville will discuss the oral history interviews with twelve men and women who came to Britain as Jewish refugees from Germany and Austria in the late 1930s, which form the focus of the book. Among them are author and illustrator Judith Kerr, actor Andrew Sachs, photographer and cameraman Wolf Suschitzky, violinist Norbert Brainin, and publisher Elly Miller.

To book, click here.

Image: bookcover (detail)

On Sunday 18 September at 6pm, as part of the Jewish Renaissance Book Club, Esther Freud will be talking about her novel The Sea House, inspired by the life and letters of her grandfather, the émigré architect Ernst Freud. This session acts as a taster for a more extended series of events planned for 6,13, 20 and 27 October, organised jointly by Insiders/Outsiders, Jewish Renaissance magazine and the Lyons Learning Project, to mark the centenary of Esther’s father Lucian Freud. Full details of the latter will follow in the October newsletter.

To register, click here.

Image: bookcover (detail)

Looking Ahead

Saturday 1 October sees the first of a number of performances, devised for the 150th anniversary of Ralph Vaughan Williams’s birth, of ’Seeking Utopia’, a programme of words and music in which violist Shiry Rashkovsky, pianist Viv McLean and music critic and author Jessica Duchen join forces to explore the unlikely friendship and close working relationship between the composer and the violist Lionel Tertis, the son of Polish-Jewish immigrants. This first performance takes place at Amersham Music Club; the second on 16 October at the Conway Hall; the third on 4 November at Music at 22 Mansfield Street (contact Bob Boas), and the fourth at JW3 on 24 November.

Image: Ralph Vaughan Williams © Ralph Vaughan Williams Charitable Trust

On Monday 10 October at 6pm (postponed from 23 June), second generation composer Marilyn Hermanwill be in conversation with conductor Karin Hendrickson about her two recent compositions. One of them is Rozsa’s Wish, based on the last words of Marilyn’s grandmother, Rachel Rozsa, to her children before she was sent to the gas chambers in Auschwitz. The other is The Angel of Chomutov, and pays tribute to the courage and compassion of a young Czech woman who risked and probably gave her life to hand Marilyn’s father a piece of bread, when aged fourteen, he was on a death march from Buchenwald. The event will include excerpts from a video-recorded recital of these works.

For further information and to book, click here.

Image: The Angel of Chomutov

We can confirm that our programme of events for the autumn/winter will also include the following:

Beginning on Monday 7 November at 8pm, Insiders/Outsiders is partnering with Jewish Renaissance magazine and the Lyons Learning Project in hosting a series of six weekly online events to mark the centenary of the BBC, focussing on the contribution and representation of Jews, past and present.
On Thursday 10 November at 6pm, John Hilary, author of From Refugees to Royalty: The Remarkable Story of the Messel Family of Nymans, will give an online talk focussing on the extended Messel family’s experience of both World Wars.

Image: bookcover (detail)

On Wednesday 23 November at 6pm, Pamela Howard, creator of the wonderful Ballad of the Cosmo Café, will be in conversation with Pavel Drábek about her new ‘graphic memoir’, The Art of Making Theatre: An Arsenal of Dreams in 12 Scenes.

Image: bookcover (detail)

On Wednesday 7 December at 6pm (postponed from last April) Marjorie Downward will give a talk entitled ‘Schools on the Move’, which will examine three pioneering educational projects –  Gordonstoun and Camphill, both in Scotland, and Bunce Court in Kent – all of them initiated by refugees from Nazi Europe, namely, Kurt Hahn, Karl Koenig and Anna Essinger, respectively.

Image: Gordonstoun School, founded by Kurt Hahn, © Anne Burgess

Full details and booking links for all the above – and many more – will follow in later newsletters.

News

We are delighted to hear that the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport has finally decided to add the Roman Catholic Church of The Holy Rosary in Oldham to the List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest – the primary reason for this being the remarkable and long under threat Crucifixion mural by Hungarian-born Jewish artist George Mayer-Marton. For further details, click here.

Image: Crucifixion mural by George Mayer-Marton

Recordings on YouTube

The recording of the online lecture entitled ‘Insiders/Outsiders: Jewish Artists in Britain’, given by Insiders/Outsiders founding director Monica Bohm-Duchen on 21 August for the National Library of Israel, has now been added to our YouTube channel. To access it, click here.

Please remember that recordings of nearly all our events are accessible on theInsiders/Outsiders YouTube channel.