Ben Uri collection


Artist information

Name Alva (1901-1973)

Other name Siegfried Solomon Alweiss

Born Berlin, Germany

Died London, England

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Siegfried Solomon Alweiss was born in Berlin and began a career in commerce after leaving school, then studied music before turning to art and adopting the shortened form of his name, 'Alva', in 1925. He travelled extensively in the Middle East, then following Hitler’s rise to power and increasingly anti-Semitic legislation, moved to Paris in 1933. He fled to London in 1938 and was briefly interned as an ‘enemy alien’ on the Isle of Man in 1940. After release, Alva exhibited extensively with Ben Uri, where he also gave a lecture in November 1948 on 'The Purpose of Painting', in which he claimed inspiration from Rembrandt and Daumier among others.

Object Details

Object type painting

Medium oil on canvas

Materials and techniques oil (medium) canvas (support)

Unframed 127 x 76 cm

Signed (lower left) 'Alva'

Acquisition purchased 1949 with donations from members of the society

Accession number 1987-8

Display status not on display

Selected exhibition history

1948 Exhibition of Jewish Art

1951 Festival of Britain, Anglo-Jewish Exhibition 1851-1951

1960 Selection from the Permanent Collection

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© Alva estate