We hold Europe’s only collection dedicated to émigré art comprising over 1300 works from 35 countries. You can now view the whole collection online.
The collection includes master works by Frank Auerbach, David Bomberg, Marc Chagall, Jacob Epstein, Mark Gertler, Samuel Hirszenberg, Leon Kossoff, Chaim Soutine and Alfred Wolmark (whose work The Last Days of Rabbi ben Ezra is shown above) – and many more.
Art, Identity and Migration
Today the phrase ‘émigré artist’ may have a different meaning, because so many of us choose to live in other countries for pleasure, work and study, but there remains the same challenge of assimilation, of ‘settling in a foreign land’.
It is this exploration of art, migration and identity that lies at the heart of Ben Uri’s work. We continue to record the artistic transition of artists today as we have been doing for nearly a century.
The work of émigré artists is as important today as it was a century ago. London is a vibrant city of different nationalities and many newcomers to London settle in the East End, the location of Ben Uri’s first home in 1915.
Where to see the collection
Ben Uri is actively looking for a central London home for its permanent collection. Until then, we can only exhibit a small proportion of the collection in our temporary exhibition space in north London. You may also see works from the collection in one of Ben Uri’s many touring exhibitions. You can find out more in Exhibitions.