Refuge: The Art of Belonging will be heading to Abbot Hall Art Gallery from 15th February to 29th June 2019.

The show tells the story of artists who found a safe haven here in Britain as a result of Nazi occupation including artists Kurt Schwitters, Hilde Goldschmidt, Hans Coper, Lucie Rie, Lucian Freud, and Frank Auerbach.

The exhibition has been created by Lakeland Arts and Helen Watson, Director of Programming at Lakeland Arts said: “With recent WW1 commemorations and ongoing troubles in the Middle East, the issues of conflict, loss and displacement have been at the forefront of minds. This exhibition will explore experiences of migration, internment and subsequent refuge. All works within the exhibition were created either during the artists’ migrant journey, or after coming to Britain.”

The selected works focus on the personal experiences of the artists, offering poignant, emotive and, sometimes, challenging stories of migration, home and belonging.

This exhibition particularly focuses on the work of two artists who came to the Lake District during the Second World War: Hilde Goldschmidt (1897-1980), a successful Expressionist artist, and Kurt Schwitters (1887-1948) who is widely recognised as one of the most influential artists of the 20th century.

Alongside the exhibition, Lakeland Arts is commissioning a community project exploring the lives of refugees living in Cumbria. Inspired by Schwitters’ paintings and Lakeland Arts’ collection, the work will sit within the show and evolve throughout the course of the exhibition.

About Abbot Hall Art Gallery: 

Abbot Hall Art Gallery, Kendal opened in 1962. It has built up an outstanding collection and a strong reputation for showing exhibitions of national and international artists of the highest quality. In 2018 it showed work ranging from Claude Monet and Auguste Rodin to contemporary artists Elisabeth Frink and Alison Watt. The gallery and surrounding estate will undergo a major redevelopment planned to start in 2020.

Love art? Discover Kendal’s newest Art Gallery ‘The La’al Studio’ which opened in December 2018.

Hilde Goldschmidt, Self Portrait, 1952 © Lakeland Arts Trust

Hilde Goldschmidt, Self Portrait, 1952 © Lakeland Arts Trust

Kurt Schwitters, Mr Routledge, 1945 © DACS 2018. Photograph Lakeland Arts Trust

Kurt Schwitters, Mr Routledge, 1945 © DACS 2018. Photograph Lakeland Arts Trust

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