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Fritz Ascher Gesellschaft

Oct 23, 2023

Peter László Péri (1899-1967).
A Hungarian-born Artist in Berlin and London
Lecture by Arie Hartog, Bremen (Germany)

2023-11-15T13:37:29-05:00October 23rd, 2023|, , |Comments Off on Peter László Péri (1899-1967).
A Hungarian-born Artist in Berlin and London
Lecture by Arie Hartog, Bremen (Germany)

In this talk, Arie Hartog, director of the Gerhard-Marcks-Haus in Bremen, Germany, draws attention to a sculptor who contradicts the common narrative of modern art in the 20th century. Péri began as a constructivist and ended as a figurative artist. Yet he was not an academic traditional sculptor. Introductory remarks by Lilla Farkas, Cultural attaché at the Liszt Institute of the Consulate General of Hungary in New York. Image above: Peter László Péri, Sadness, 1938–1945, pigmented and painted concrete, 52 × 40 × 60 cm. Photo: Jake Wallters © Peter László Péri Estate, London Peter László Péri was born Ladislas Weisz in Budapest in 1889. Peri became the Hungarianized family name in 1918. In 1919, he [...]

Oct 9, 2023

Horst Eisfelder (1925-2023):
Diasporic Life in Shanghai’s State of Exception
Lecture by Dr Noit Banai, Hong Kong
and Dr Anna Hirsh, Melbourne

2023-11-08T20:46:18-05:00October 9th, 2023|, , |Comments Off on Horst Eisfelder (1925-2023):
Diasporic Life in Shanghai’s State of Exception
Lecture by Dr Noit Banai, Hong Kong
and Dr Anna Hirsh, Melbourne

Lecture by Dr Noit Banai and Dr Anna Hirsh, followed by Q&A with Rodney Eisfelder, son of Horst Eisfelder. Image above: Horst Eisfelder. Street scene in the Shanghai Ghetto, Shanghai, China, circa 1945. Black and white photograph. Copyright: Horst Eisfelder estate After fleeing Berlin a few weeks before Kristallnacht and arriving in Shanghai with his family in late November 1938, Horst Eisfelder (1925-2023) became one of the most prolific photographers of the ‘Shanghai Ghetto’ before emigrating to Australia in May 1947. Embedded within the history and theory of photography, this presentation considers his images of the city of Shanghai as well as the Designated Area for Stateless Refugees as vital representations through which to understand [...]

Sep 29, 2023

Eva Zeisel, Designer Extraordinaire
Lecture by daughter Jean Richards, New York

2023-10-25T13:56:11-04:00September 29th, 2023|, , |Comments Off on Eva Zeisel, Designer Extraordinaire
Lecture by daughter Jean Richards, New York

Eva Zeisel (born Éva Amália Striker, Budapest 1906 –2011 New City, New York) was one of the most important designers of the 20th century. She believed that beautiful things make people happy. Although she was known for her ceramic tableware, she also designed in glass, wood, plastic and metal. Her designs are in major museums around the world, including the Metropolitan Museum, the British Museum and MoMA, where she had the first one woman show in 1946. Lecture by Eva’s daughter Jean Richards. Image above: Eva Zeisel, Red Wing Pottery pieces from "Town and Country" collection. Glazed earthenware, ca. 1945. CC BY 4.0 Photograph of a young Eva Zeisel. © Eva [...]

Sep 1, 2023

Art for the Millions:
American Culture and Politics in the 1930s
Lecture by Allison Rudnick, New York

2023-09-27T14:24:53-04:00September 1st, 2023|, , |Comments Off on Art for the Millions:
American Culture and Politics in the 1930s
Lecture by Allison Rudnick, New York

The 1930s was a decade of political and social upheaval in the United States, and the art and visual culture of the time reflected the unsettled environment. Americans searched for their cultural identity during the Great Depression, a period marked by divisive politics, threats to democracy, and intensified social activism, including a powerful labor movement. The exhibition with the same title, on view at The Metropolitan Museum of Art New York until December 10, 2023, features more than 100 works from the collection and several lenders, and explores how artists expressed political messages and ideologies through a range of media, from paintings, sculptures, prints, and photographs to film, dance, decorative arts, fashion, and ephemera. Highlights include paintings by Georgia [...]

Aug 31, 2023

From Émigré to Englishman: Fred Uhlman, ‘Painter of Dreams’
Lecture by Dr. Nicola Baird, London

2023-09-13T13:30:35-04:00August 31st, 2023|, , |Comments Off on From Émigré to Englishman: Fred Uhlman, ‘Painter of Dreams’
Lecture by Dr. Nicola Baird, London

Manfred [Fred] Uhlman was born on 19th January 1901 in Stuttgart, Germany, the eldest child of Ludwig Uhlman (1869–c.1943), a textile merchant, and his wife, Johanna Grombacher (1879–c.1943), both of whom were later to perish at Theresienstadt concentration camp. He studied law at the Universities of Freiburg, Munich, and Tübingen, graduating with a doctorate in 1923. In 1927 he joined the Social Democrat Party, becoming its official legal representative in 1932. Image above: Fred Uhlman, Still Life with African Figures, oil on canvas, Hatton Gallery, © the artist's estate / Bridgeman Images. Photo credit: Hatton Gallery In March 1933, after a warning that his arrest was imminent because of his political affiliations, he fled [...]

Aug 23, 2023

Samson Schames: Fragments of Exile
Lecture by Annika Friedman, Frankfurt

2023-12-15T11:28:36-05:00August 23rd, 2023|, , |Comments Off on Samson Schames: Fragments of Exile
Lecture by Annika Friedman, Frankfurt

This event is sponsored by Ilona Oltuski in memory of Ruth Drory. Image above: Samson Schames, Kindling of the Lights, c. 1956. Glass tiles on glass, 56 x 71 cm. Jewish Museum Frankfurt Samson Schames (1898-1967) came from a long-established Jewish family in Frankfurt am Main. With the support of his uncle, renowned gallery owner Ludwig Schames, he made his way into the 1920s art scene and began his training as a painter, graphic artist, and stage designer. Schames’ designs, drawings, and oil paintings from the period up to 1933 testify to his deep connection to Frankfurt and her landscapes. Samson Schames, Opernplatz Frankfurt, 1930. Jewish Museum Frankfurt [...]

Jul 26, 2023

THE ISLAND OF EXTRAORDINARY CAPTIVES
Book Talk by author Simon Parkin, London

2023-08-23T14:13:45-04:00July 26th, 2023|, , |Comments Off on THE ISLAND OF EXTRAORDINARY CAPTIVES
Book Talk by author Simon Parkin, London

In May 1940, faced with a country gripped by paranoia, Britain’s Prime Minister Winston Churchill ordered the internment of all German and Austrian citizens living in the country. Most were refugees who had come to the country to escape Nazi oppression. They were now imprisoned by the country in which they had staked their trust. More than 1,200 men were taken to Hutchinson camp, on the Isle of Man, which a group of world-renowned artists, musicians and academics turned into history’s most extraordinary prison camp. This is a story of a battle between fear and compassion at a time of national crisis that reveals how Britain’s treatment of refugees during the Second World War led to one of the [...]

Jul 17, 2023

A Painter in Search of an Audience:
Marie-Louise von Motesiczky in Exile
Talk by Ines Schlenker, London

2023-08-09T14:35:11-04:00July 17th, 2023|, , |Comments Off on A Painter in Search of an Audience:
Marie-Louise von Motesiczky in Exile
Talk by Ines Schlenker, London

Marie-Louise von Motesiczky was born into a wealthy, aristocratic Jewish family in Vienna in 1906. She trained under the German painter Max Beckmann, a family friend, and embarked on a promising career. When the National Socialists marched into Austria in 1938 Motesiczky fled the country for the Netherlands, eventually settling in England. Her attempts to build a new life in a foreign country were supported by a network of fellow émigrés, among them the painter Oskar Kokoschka and the writer Elias Canetti, with whom she had a long relationship. Lecture by Ines Schlenker, introduced and moderated by Rachel Stern. Image above: Self-Portrait with Red Hat, 1938 (Private Collection) ©️Marie-Louise von Motesiczky Charitable Trust 2023 [...]

Jul 9, 2023

Between America and France:
Varian Fry and the Rescue of Artists
Talk by Ori Z Soltes, PhD

2023-07-19T13:51:04-04:00July 9th, 2023|, , |Comments Off on Between America and France:
Varian Fry and the Rescue of Artists
Talk by Ori Z Soltes, PhD

With a belated reminder of the proximity of the American and French Independent Day celebrations, this talk focuses on the artists’ Schindler, the American journalist, Varian Fry (1907-1967). Using methods both legal and not, Fry managed to rescue some 2,000 individuals from France between 1940 and 1941. France had become largely swallowed up by Nazi Germany, the “free” parts in Southern France (Vichy France) were not necessarily unreluctant to assist with the deportation of Jews into Nazi-held territories, and the US immigration policies were far from open-handed to those seeking refuge. Who was he and who were some of those he helped—or in some cases, could not help—to escape destruction? Lecture by Ori Z. Soltes, introduced and moderated by [...]

Apr 30, 2023

Erwin Blumenfeld (1897-1968), from Berlin to New York.
A life in photography
Talk by granddaughter Nadia Blumenfeld Charbit, Paris (France)

2023-06-07T14:29:04-04:00April 30th, 2023|, , |Comments Off on Erwin Blumenfeld (1897-1968), from Berlin to New York.
A life in photography
Talk by granddaughter Nadia Blumenfeld Charbit, Paris (France)

Photographer Erwin Blumenfeld (1897-1969) survived two world wars to become one of the world's most highly-paid fashion photographers and a key influence on the development of photography as an art form. An experimenter and innovator, he produced an extensive body of work including drawings, collages, portraits and nudes, celebrity portraiture, advertising campaigns and his renowned fashion photography both in black and white and color. In this talk, Paris-based granddaughter Nadia Blumenfeld Charbit gives her personal insights into the life and work of the photographer Erwin Blumenfeld. Introduced by Rachel Stern, director of the Fritz Ascher Society. Image above: Erwin Blumenfeld, Double Self-Portrait with Linhoff, Paris, 1938 © Erwin Blumenfeld Estate  Born to [...]

Apr 19, 2023

Benno Elkan (1877-1960)
and the Definition of Israeli Art
Talk by Ori Z Soltes, PhD

2023-04-26T13:54:56-04:00April 19th, 2023|, , |Comments Off on Benno Elkan (1877-1960)
and the Definition of Israeli Art
Talk by Ori Z Soltes, PhD

In honor of Yom Ha'azmaut, Israel's Independence Day, and this year's 75th anniversary of the establishment of the modern state of Israel in 1948, this talk by Georgetown University professor Ori Z Soltes addresses the question of what defines Israeli art and when it began to take shape. Is it made only by Israelis---then how did Elkan's Menorah become the consummate symbol of Israel when he never lived in the state? Did "Israeli" art begin with or before the birth of the state? How does this relate to the opening of the Bezalel School of Art in 1906--and closing by 1929, only to re-open years later? How does it relate to the question of defining Jewish art? Benno Elkan's stunning work, [...]

Mar 28, 2023

The Missing Archive:
Bauhaus Designers and the Holocaust.
Presentation by Elizabeth Otto, PhD, Buffalo, NY

2023-05-03T14:36:21-04:00March 28th, 2023|, , |Comments Off on The Missing Archive:
Bauhaus Designers and the Holocaust.
Presentation by Elizabeth Otto, PhD, Buffalo, NY

Histories of Germany’s Bauhaus art and design school (1919–33) usually position it exclusively as a movement in exile as soon as the Nazis took power in 1933. In fact, the vast majority of its members remained and embraced Nazism, survived it, or became its victims. In this talk, art historian Elizabeth Otto scrutinizes traces of the work and lives of Bauhäusler who, through their imprisonment and often deaths in the concentration-camp system, have largely been lost to the history of the Bauhaus movement. Using archival sources—often scant materials preserved by family members and friends, including documents, photographs, and private memoirs—she reconstructs aspects of these artists’ work and lives and considers how to write the histories that Nazi violence has taken [...]

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