About the exhibition
On the occasion of the 1700th anniversary of Jewish life in Germany and the celebrations of the Week of Brotherhood in Stuttgart, we have focused on a "lost son" of Stuttgart who has so far received too little attention.
Fred Uhlman was born in Stuttgart in 1901 and worked here as a lawyer from 1927. In March 1933 he had to flee into exile in France. In 1936 he met his future wife Diana Croft and moved to London to live with her. Uhlman had already begun painting as a self-taught artist in France in 1934 and now continued to do so successfully in England. In June 1940 he was arrested and interned for six months on the Isle of Man, where he met Kurt Schwitters. There he created the cycle "Captivity", drawn in black pen and grey and black brush. In this series, Uhlman depicts gloomy, symbolic and above all anti-church visions of the present and coming times and their atrocities on the battlefields - a modern "dance of death". Hope is partly provided by flowers that grow from burial mounds and skulls, and a little girl with a balloon who wanders through some of the apocalyptic scenes: On some of the sheets there is a dedication to his daughter, born on 3 July 1940.
In 1950, Fred Uhlman, who died in London in 1985, donated 38 drawings from this cycle to the State Gallery. In 1960, his autobiography "The Making of an Englishman" (German "Erinnerungen eines Stuttgarter Juden") was published. In the copy he donated to Stuttgart City Hall, he handwrote the dedication "Der Stadt Stuttgart. In spite of everything".
Our exhibition in the Graphik-Kabinett presented these works for the first time in Stuttgart. An accompanying programme not only focused on the fate of so many Jewish artists during the Nazi era, but also discussed the significance of Jewish culture in Germany from a contemporary perspective.
Learn more about Fred Uhlman in this academic essay by curator Dr. Corinna Höper:
In the context of