Celebrate our centenary and join us for free tours, talks and workshops organised by our award-winning learning department.
Curators Sarah MacDougall and Rachel Dickson will lead free curatorial tours of Out of Chaos throughout the exhibition:
7pm on Thursday 19th November
1pm on Tuesday 1st December
All tours will begin at the entrance of the Out of Chaos exhibition at the Inigo Rooms, Somerset House East Wing and will last approximately one hour. Please note that due to the size of the exhibition rooms these tours can become crowded, so arriving early is recommended.
Learn more about our collection, the current exhibition ‘Out of Chaos’ and other topical issues relating to ‘art identity and migration’, with this series of free lunchtime talks.
All talks will take place in Room 5 at Out of Chaos, Inigo Rooms, Somerset House East Wing at 1pm
Monday 9 November
Dr Bea Lewkowicz: The Refugee Voices Archive: Part 2
On the anniversary of Kristallnacht when Jewish business, synagogues and homes were destroyed by the Nazis (9 November 1938), join Bea Lewkowicz for a screening of a short film about emigre artist Milein Cosman, as well as a presentation relating to the Association of Jewish Refugees’ archive project Refugee Voices http://www.ajr.org.uk/refugeevoices
Wednesday 11th November
Katie McGown, Wander and Rupture: Grete Marks and Laure Prouvost
Katie McGown, Coordinator of Studio 3 Gallery, University of Kent, will discuss their upcoming exhibition, Wander and Rupture: Grete Marks and Laure Prouvost. This exhibition focusses on the Bauhaus ceramicist Grete Marks’ career after the forced sale of her factory and her immigration to England in 1936, juxtaposing her work with Laure Prouvost’s Turner Prize winning video work Wantee, a fictionalised account of Kurt Schwitters’ final years in the Lake District following his years in internment camps. This talk will explore the effects that these catastrophic upheavals had on both Marks and Schwitters’ work and how we can approach this difficult and complex legacy in a contemporary context.
Monday 16th November
Jim Ranahan, Professional Photography in the Ben Uri Archive: 1950-1980
Ben Uri Archivist, Jim Ranahan will use the museum’s photographic archives to explore the context of the centenary exhibition and discuss the importance of archive material in telling our 100 year story.
Monday 23 November
Dr Lily Ford: Hopscotch in the Archives
Join Ben Uri’s former ‘researcher in residence’, Dr Lily Ford (Birkbeck, University of London) as she discusses her experiences of exploring our colourful history through the archives, including reflections upon the émigré art lovers who founded the Ben Uri society 100 years ago.
Tuesday 24 November
Dr Jana Buresova: Art at London’s Czechoslovak Institute During World War Two.
In this illustrated talk Dr Buresova will introduce the history of the Czechoslovak Institute, opened on 21 January 1941, by Anthony Eden, Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, as an organisation dedicated to preserving a Czechoslovak national identity in an alien environment. The talk will also reference a number of Czech and Slovak émigré artists who feature in the Ben Uri collection and in ‘Out of Chaos’.
Wednesday 25 November
Dr Juliet Steyn (City University, London) will discuss Rachel Garfield’s video work, Deep England
Rachel’s video represents a struggle with belonging and otherness: Englishness and Jewishness. The artist refuses to fix or to pin down either one or other identity, calling into question the assumptions of [her] identity. In her lecture, Dr Steyn will unearth some of the ‘hidden’ dilemmas facing a descendent of migrants.
Monday 30th November
Jim Ranahan, Meet the Archivist – What’s in the box? And Why?
Join Ben Uri’s Archivist, Jim Ranahan for a round table discussion about the nature, purpose and future of the Ben Uri Archive.
Click here to read Jim’s latest blog post
Wednesday 2 December
Salah ud Din (artist)
Salah ud Din is a textile designer from Pakistan who has a BA in Woven and Printed Textiles from UAL Central St Martin’s, which he gained whilst living here under refugee status. He has a place to study for his MA at the RCA in London. Salah will talk about some of the ideas and techniques that influence his practice as well as his experiences in relocating from his homeland.
Thursday 3 December
David Glasser – Ben Uri Chairman and Chief Executive
‘The Bagel Philosophy’: Why Ben Uri Museum sees its role so differently
Since becoming Chair and Chief Executive of Ben Uri in October 2000, David Glasser has worked full time, pro bono to build a new and engaging museum presence in London. This talk will examine Ben Uri’s history and explore the future of museums.
Friday 4 December
Monday 7 December
Rachel Dickson – Co-Curator: ‘Out of Chaos’, Dodo Burgner (1907-1998): From Weimar Berlin to Post-War London – a Journey through Art and Design
Rachel will present the extraordinary life of German émigré graphic artist, Dorte Bürgner (1907-98). Known simply as Dodo, interest in her work was rekindled in the UK with the unexpected sale of a cache of her drawings from Weimar Berlin in a provincial auction house in 2009, and the first UK exhibition of her work at Ben Uri in 2012. Her story will be illustrated with pre-war graphic and fashion designs, caustic social commentary for German satirical magazine ULK, unflinching images exploring her dreams and relationships through Jungian analysis, and her post-war commercial designs, all helping to convey the challenging trajectory faced by many women émigré creatives who fled Nazi Germany.
Tuesday 8 December
Sarah MacDougall – Co-Curator: ‘Out of Chaos’
The Whitechapel Boys: Mark Gertler, David Bomberg, Isaac Rosenberg, Jacob Kramer and Clare Winsten
Wednesday 9 December
Emeritus Professor Charmian Brinson, The Strange Case of Dora Fabian and Mathilde Wurm: Death among German Political Exiles in Bloomsbury
This talk examines a cause célèbre of its day, the deaths of two German political exiles in their Bloomsbury flat in 1935. While the deaths were officially registered as suicide, fellow exiles suspected that the Gestapo, operating abroad, could have been involved in the affair. Although some aspects of the case remain unexplained, even to this day, the talk attempts to uncover what actually occurred and also looks at the highly charged atmosphere that the incident generated within the German exile community.
Thursday 10 December
Dr Anna Nyburg: Tracing the thread: German-speaking Émigrés in the clothing industry
Dr Nyburg (Imperial College, London), author of Émigrés – The Transformation of Art Publishing in Britain (Phaidon 2015), introduces the work of some of those who helped shaped Britain’s fashion and textile industries.We have probably all heard of Albert Einstein and Walter Gropius in the fields of science and architecture, but what of the German refugees who came to this country and worked in the different branches of the clothing industry? Many iconic British brands were influenced by employees who arrived in the 1930s seeking refuge and employment. The work of one such textile designer was worn by the Queen, while designers, synthetic fabric manufacturers, milliners and many others made their mark in many different ways.
Friday 11 December
Traces of Identity in the Migration Museum Context – Panel Discussion, featuring artist Natasha Davis, Stuart Hall librarian Nick Brown, Ben Uri archivist Jim Ranahan and Ben Uri curators Rachel Dickson and Sarah MacDougall
After another year of intense political debate about migration, we are keen to showcase the central role that migrant artists play in the Ben Uri collection and explore more widely the ways in which the art world responds to migrant identities. In this panel discussion, we will bring together an artist, archivist, librarian and curators to explore how the art world describes artists’ identity and how this affects the artwork: Do museums suppress potential by labelling artists as immigrants or do we create a safe space for otherwise underrepresented groups in the British art world? To join us to explore the ways in which art, identity, and migration overlap, book your free tickets here!
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Thursday Evening Talks
Discover more about Ben Uri and its history with a series of free specially selected evening talks during Thursday late openings.
Thursday 12 November 7pm
Dr Kathrin Pieren 10 Objects that shaped Ben Uri
Dr Pieren, Curator of the Petersfield Museum, and historian of Jewish museums in Britain, will present a talk on 10 Objects that Shaped Ben Uri. Drawn from Ben Uri’s newly revealed 100 year archives, she will present an illuminating slant on the Gallery’s unique history.
Thursday 10 December 6-8pm
Please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org
Join us for the special viewing of our Artist in Residence Edwin Mingard’s moving image artwork. Inspired by Out of Chaos and produced in participation with community partners and exhibition audiences, the film explores contemporary experiences of migrants in London.
Drop-in Family Workshops – Family Passports
Join us for a fun and educational family workshop to explore identity and migration through art and digital media.
Can’t make one of our drop in sessions? Download our family learning trail here or pick one up at the exhibition entrance.
For more information on school visits or learning resources for Out of Chaos, please contact