The Jewish Museum in London is exploring how, in escaping their political and social exile, these Jewish immigrants brought to Britain a knowledge of modernism which would shape some of our best-loved and most iconic brands
Czech-born designer Dorrit Dekk studied art and worked as a stage designer in Vienna before escaping to Britain in 1938 following the Nazi annexation of Austria. During the war she worked as a ‘listener’ noting down encrypted messages to Bletchley Park, and later worked for the Central Office of Information creating public service announcement posters. She became a freelance graphic designer in 1950 and went on to produce branding and campaign designs for iconic British companies including P&O, the Post Office Saving Bank, Penguin and London Transport.
Frederick Henri Kay Henrion
German graphic designer Frederick Henri Kay Henrion, fled Nazi persecution in 1936, setting up his studio in London. As an enemy alien he was interned on the Isle of Man for six months. Despite this, soon after his internment he was employed by the Ministry of Information and later became a consultant to the Ministry of Information, the War Office, the General Post Office and the US Office of War Information in London. He designed for Tate + Lyle, The National Theatre and London Electricity Board, as well as producing campaigns for CND. He also designed two pavilions for the 1951 Festival of Britain.
Manfred Reiss came with his family to London in 1937, to escape Nazi rule. His prolific and celebrated works include Second World War safety posters and many designs for the General Post Office and Post Office Savings Bank.
Little is known about Stan Kroll who was born in 1910 and designed posters for the GPO in the 1950s and for London Transport between 1966 and 1972. These poster were designed for the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents which has been in existence for nearly a century – changing both legislation and attitudes surrounding accidents.
Sir Misha Black OBE
Born in the Russian Empire, Misha Black became a highly-respected British architect and designer, founding the Design Research Unit – a pioneering design consultancy. Black created perhaps one of the most iconic pieces of London design – the City of Westminster street signs. It’s also believed that the company produced London Transport’s District moquette, a brown and orange fabric design synonymous with London travel in the 70s and 80s.
Viennese born of Czech descent Tom Karen’s designs via his company Ogle Design gave the seventies some of their most iconic, some might even say defining, products. As well as the Bush TR130 Radio and the Bond Bug he designed the Chopper bicycle. Launched in 1969 it went on to become the ultimate boys’ bicycle of decade and remains a cultural icon of the period.
Jan Le Witt and George Him
Polish-born British Jan Le Witt (1907-1991) had a long professional partnership with George Him. Their company Lewitt-Him fused colour, abstraction and symbolism in a series of posters for the government during World War Two before designing the Guinness clock for the Festival of Britain in 1951.
Designs on Britain runs from October 19 2017 – April 15 2018 at the Jewish Museum London. Find out more at http://www.jewishmuseum.org.uk/designs
Jewish Museum London
London, Greater London
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