Founded as an arts society in 1915 in London’s East End, Ben Uri’s collection, exhibition history and programming were significantly impacted from the 1930s onwards by the artistic influx of the so-called ‘Hitler émigrés’. This lecture examines the conception of Heimat in relation to the lives and work of German-Jewish artists from this cohort, among them Frank Auerbach and Eva Frankfurther, as they navigated their new host culture, touching on notions of national cultural heritage and belonging.
Sarah MacDougall is Director of Ben Uri Gallery and Museum, where she has been a curator since 2002 and Head of Collections since 2012. Her research focuses on Jewish and/or immigrant artists in Britain in the 20th century with exhibitions including Forced Journeys: Artists in Exile in Britain (2009–10) and Finchley Strasse (German Embassy, London, 2018). She is a member of the Research Centre for German and Austrian Exile Studies at the University of London.