A special viewing of a new documentary film that explores the impact of German-speaking refugees on textile and graphic design in Britain from the 1930s, when they arrived through the post-war years. The viewing will be followed by a Q&A with the Director Robert Sternberg and Anna Nyburg from Imperial College.
Refuge Britain: Designers at Work explores the lives and work of three refugees to Britain from Nazism: Hans Schleger (graphic designer), Elisabeth Tomalin (print designer) and Tibor Reich (textile designer) as well as of one contemporary refugee, the Pakistani textile designer Salah ud Din.
Their stories are told through interviews with the children and grandchildren of these designers who consider what the designers brought with them: their education, their culture, their experience? What was the cost to them of fleeing the Holocaust or persecution in their homeland? What influence did the designers have on those interviewed, who include the designer Thomas Heatherwick and the entrepreneur Sam Reich and what was their legacy? Their experience is contextualised through contemporary clips of wartime Britain and the post-war period when British design flourished, now enriched by an injection of Continental talent.
The film is a collaboration between Dr Anna Nyburg of Imperial College London, author of ‘From Leipzig to London: The Life and Work of the Émigré Artist Hellmuth Weissenborn’, Oak Knoll (2012) and ‘Emigres: The Transformation of Art Publishing in Britain’, Phaidon, (2014) and the film director Dr Robert Sternberg, Senior Lecturer in Science Communication at Imperial College London. He also has a flourishing freelance filmmaking career, most recently as editor of the highly acclaimed feature documentary, “Fear of Thirteen” (2016).
This event starts at 6pm with a glass of wine in the Museum foyer. The film will begin at 6.15pm in the Fashion Studio and lasts for approximately 45 minutes followed by a 15 minute Q&A session. Ticket includes admission to the exhibition and guests are welcome to view this before or after the talk.
Price £15 / £12 students includes a complimentary drink and exhibition entry.