Ben Uri collection

Commemorative piece with 29 signatures

Artist information

Name Ernst Eisenmayer (1920-2018)

Born Vienna, Austria

Died Vienna, Austria

Find more work in the collection by this artist

Eisenmayer, a 19-year-old Jewish refugee fleeing Nazi persecution, reached England in September 1939, after being released from Dachau concentration camp, where he had been imprisoned for repeated attempts to escape from Nazi-controlled Austria. Like many so-called ‘enemy aliens’, he was then interned on the Isle of Man. After release Eisenmayer moved to London, establishing his reputation as a painter, then from the mid–1960s, as a sculptor, living in Italy for a period from 1976. In 1962 Ben Uri held a solo Eisenmayer exhibition at Berners Street. Eisenmayer was a member of the Ben Uri Art Committee in 1972. Eisenmayer's work has recently undergone a critical reassessment. His painting Strip Poker closed Ben Uri’s 2010 exhibition 'Forced Journeys', which toured to Douglas and Birkenhead to mark the 70th anniversary of the establishment of the Manx internment camps, followed by a solo exhibition 'Art Beyond Exile', curated by Prof. Fran Lloyd in 2012. Eisenmayer returned to Vienna in his later years, where he died aged 98, in March 2018.

Object Details

Date 1940

Object type drawing

Medium watercolour and pen and ink

Materials and techniques pen and ink | watercolour (medium) drawing (technique) paper on board (support)

Unframed 28 x 24.9 cm

Acquisition purchased and presented by David and Eva Wertheim, 2013

Accession number 2013-07

Display status not on display

This drawing, accompanied by 29 internees’ signatures, commemorating camp friendships, clearly depicts the wire of the internment camp being triumphantly torn apart by a youth, beneath which appear the words ‘Jungend Siegende Jungend’ (‘Youth Victorious Youth’).


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© Ernst Eisenmayer