'The Expressionist Ludwig Meidner: Exile, Creativity and Holocaust Awareness'

Series Name 9th Aubrey Newman Lecture 2014, jointly organised by the Stanley Burton Centre for Holocaust and Genocide Studies, the School of Modern Languages and the New Walk Museum and Art Gallery, Leicester
Speaker Dr Shulamith Behr (Courtauld Institute London)
Type Lectures & Talks
When 14 May 2014, 05:30PM - 06:30PM
Venue New Walk Museum and Art Gallery, Leicester
Open To Public
Ticket Price The event is free and will be followed by a wine reception
For Bookings Contact Dr Simona Storchi, ss557@le.ac.uk; tel. 0116 252 2654

The lecture will focus on the German-Jewish artist Ludwig Meidner (1884-1966), a leading exponent of German literary and artistic Expressionism. Meidner fled from Nazi Germany to London in August 1939, a month prior to the outbreak of war. Six months after his arrival in Britain, he was interned as an “enemy-alien” in Huyton Camp, Liverpool, and thereafter on the Isle of Man.

In December 1942, roughly a year after his release from internment, he began working on a cycle of watercolours and drawings "Leiden der Juden in Polen" (Suffering of the Jews in Poland) and, although the series remains largely unpublished and there is a great deal of uncertainty about the quantity (roughly 42 sheets), date and sequence of the works, it is clear from their scale and depth of reference that this was intended as a monumental undertaking. Here he re-engaged with political subject matter in responding to reports on the contemporary destruction of Central European Jewry. How, why and through what means Meidner was challenged to respond to the extremely grave news of the unfolding genocide is the linchpin of the enquiry. Not only is there a remarkable painting of Meidner's (Apocalyptic Vision, 1912) in the Leicester New Walk Museum collection, but Dr Behr is currently collaborating with the Jewish Museum in Frankfurt/Main on a future exhibition of this series. The talk will deal comparatively with other refugee artists in exile, internment and response to Holocaust knowledge.

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