The Wiener Library

For the Study of the Holocaust & Genocide


List of News

New exhibition: One Family, Three Cities, Six Years of War: A Family of Artists During the War and the Holocaust

Co-curator Jasia Reichardt at the exhibition launch, 1 March 2017.

Co-curator Jasia Reichardt at the exhibition launch, 1 March 2017.

On 1 March 2017 The Wiener Library was delighted to welcome visitors and supporters to the opening of the new temporary exhibition One Family, Three Cities, Six Years of War. This exhibition traces the story of one Polish Jewish family’s wartime experiences of separation, persecution and survival between 1939 and 1945. Franciszka and Stefan Themerson were part of a wide artistic community that flourished in Warsaw following World War One, much of which was uprooted and destroyed by the Holocaust. The exhibition displays a large amount of work created by the couple both during and after World War Two.

Chairman of The Wiener Library's Board of Trustees, Anthony Spiro, welcomed newcomers to the Library followed by a speech by fellow Trustee David Rauch, for whom bringing this exhibition about was something of a pet project. David expressed his wish that this exhibition would open up The Wiener Library to a new audience previously unaware of our work, and that those who are visiting for the first time would come back and make use of the Library’s Reading Room and archival holdings.

The evening culminated in a speech by Jasia Reichardt, the niece of Stefan and Franciszka Themerson, whose story of escape and survival is told in the exhibition. Jasia described the process by which she had come to terms with the idea of displaying the lives and work of her family so publically, and her own initial timidity in telling her story as that of a child in the Warsaw ghetto smuggled to safety under a guise of Catholicism.

Jasia also spoke of her incredulity that so many people were interested in the story of her family and expressed her gratitude to co-curators Dr Barbara Warnock and Dr Christine Schmidt for working tirelessly in bringing the exhibition about.

Jasia closed her remarks with lyrics by Leonard Cohen: “There is a crack in everything. That's how the light gets in,” adding, "I like that song. It's like this exhibition."

Added: Friday 3rd March, 2017