As the Wiener Library launches their new show, we take a look at some of the key pieces
London’s Wiener Library, which is dedicated to collating and preserving an archive of Jewish history, today opens its doors to a new exhibition, Berlin/London: The Lost Photographs of Gerty Simon. Before the rise of Nazism in 1930s Germany, Gertrud ‘Gerty’ Simon was a prominent portrait photographer. From her studio in Weimar Berlin she captured major artists and political figures, including Kurt Weill, Lotte Lenya, Käthe Kollwitz and Albert Einstein. She eventually sought refuge in Britain and rebuilt her career, adding the likes of Sir Kenneth Clark, Dame Peggy Ashcroft and Nye Bevan to her portfolio. Now, for the first time in 80 years, members of the public can again see her work at this display of around 600 prints.
Below we’ve picked out a handful of our favourites, but you can see and read more about the show in the forthcoming July 2019 issue of JR, in which researcher John March delves further into the story.
Header photo: Portrait of the Simon family: (l-r) Wilhelm, Bernard and Gerty, undated, c. 1930 © The Bernard Simon Estate, Wiener Library Collections
Berlin/London: The Lost Photographs of Gerty Simon runs Thursday 30 May – Tuesday 15 October. Wiener Library, WC1B 5DP. 020 7636 7247. www.wienerlibrary.co.uk
The exhibition forms part of Insiders/Outsiders, a nationwide arts festival (running until March 2020) celebrating refugees from Nazi Europe and their contribution to British culture.