Ben Uri: 100 Years in London
This website accompanies our free exhibition: Out Of Chaos; Ben Uri: 100 Years in London at Somerset House’s Inigo Rooms, in association with the Cultural Institute at King’s College London.
Dates: 2 July – 13 December 2015
Hours: Open every day: 10am-6pm and until 8.30pm on Thursdays
Location: Inigo Rooms, Somerset House East Wing, King’s College London, Strand, London WC2R 2LS – Google Maps | Street Map
Access: The Inigo Rooms are accessible via the King’s College Strand buildings or from the Somerset House courtyard, via the central entrance to the East Wing. The exhibition is located on the lower ground floor.
About the Exhibition
Funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, this exhibition showcases a group of rarely seen masterworks by mainly Jewish émigré artists from the Ben Uri collection, including works by the first Jewish Royal Academician, Solomon Hart, Mark Gertler, David Bomberg, First World War poet Isaac Rosenberg, Jacob Epstein, Max Liebermann, Josef Herman, Frank Auerbach, Leon Kossoff and R B Kitaj.
A group of important recent acquisitions will also be shown including La Soubrette (1933), a rare portrait – probably the finest in the UK – by Chaïm Soutine, acquired in 2012; The Interrogation (1938) by George Grosz, acquired in 2010; Chagall’s rare and rediscovered response to the Holocaust, Apocalypse en Lilas, Capriccio (1945), acquired in 2010, and Mornington Crescent, Summer Moning II (2004) by Frank Auerbach, acquired in 2006.
The exhibition also reflects the prominence of women artists in the Ben Uri Collection since its foundation, including Clare Winsten (1894–1989), Lily Delissa Joseph (1863–1940) Amy Drucker (1873–1951), Chana Kowalska (1907–1941), Irma Stern (1894–1966), Eva Frankfurther (1930–1959), Clara Klinghoffer (1900–1970), Dorothy Bohm (1924– ) and Sophie Robertson (1988–).
Tate has made a rare loan of Mark Gertler’s most celebrated work, Merry-Go-Round (1916), his visceral reaction to the First World War. Presented to the collection of the Ben Uri Art Society, by Gertler’s dealers (Leicester Galleries) in 1944, six years after the artist’s death, the painting was sold to the Tate in 1984, where it has remained ever since.
You can explore the Ben Uri collection and see all the works selected for inclusion in the centenary exhibition in our online gallery. Tell us your stories of migration and leave your comments on our collection.
See more on the Ben Uri YouTube page
Shaping the Future from the Past
The future for Ben Uri in our second century will continue to focus on social integration as its principal purpose, through our twin strategic initiatives: the first, a new ‘Museum of Art, Identity and Migration’ which will uniquely share its space with fellow minority communities so that they, alongside us, can tell stories of their recent émigré journeys to London and together we will exhibit contemporary art emerging from within our communities.
The second is a large, carefully located central London home for Ben Uri, where the current formula of sharing our world-class collection, combined with fresh minded survey exhibitions embracing two centuries of creativity and associated learning and wellbeing programmes, can be expanded appropriately to attract and engage significant visitor numbers. We continue to search for the right location to present individually, or combine both visitor engagements as our planned acquisition of some 60,000 sq. ft. on the South Bank would have delivered, but just slipped through our hands to an in-funds commercial bidder – the perennial challenge of the not-for-profit sector.