By Dr Barbara Warnock and John March
Exhibition catalogue from The Wiener Holocaust Library’s 2019 exhibition Berlin/London: The Lost Photographs of Gerty Simon.
Gertrud (Gerty) Simon (1887-1970) was a once-prominent German Jewish photographer whose work was presented in a number of exhibitions in Berlin in the late 1920s and early 1930s. She captured many important political and artistic figures, including Kurt Weill, Lotte Lenya, Käthe Kollwitz, Max Liebermann and Albert Einstein, before relocating to Britain as a refugee from Nazism.
In 2016, The Wiener Holocaust Library received a private donation, which included hundreds of Gerty Simon’s original prints, along with documentary evidence of her life and work. The quality of the photographs and significance of many of Gerty’s sitters, particularly as she photographed so many important cultural figures from the lost world of Weimar Berlin, as well as her story of displacement from Germany and re-establishment in Britain meant that this was a particularly compelling collection. This project brings into focus, for the first time in eighty years, the work of this powerful and innovative photographic artist.
Co-authored by Dr Barbara Warnock and John March, with a foreword by Professor Michael Berkowitz.