Ben Uri collection


Artist information

Name Josef Herman (1911-2000)

Born Warsaw, Poland

Died London, England

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Painter and draughstman Josef Herman was born into a Jewish, working-class family in Warsaw in 1911. He studied at Warsaw School of Art and Decoration (1930-31), and first exhibited in his native city in 1932. He left Poland for Brussels in 1938 and arrived in Glasgow in 1940, where he was reunited with fellow Polish artist Jankel Adler, whom he had known briefly in Warsaw. Together the two artists contributed to a resurgence of the Scottish arts scene during this period.

Herman moved to London in 1943, prior to his relocation to the Welsh mining village of Ystradgynlais (1944-55), which gave rise to his best-known body of work focusing on the Welsh miners and their community.

Herman's work was included in the South Bank Festival of Britain Exhibition in 1951 and he exhibited widely including at the Lefevre galleries, London (with L S Lowry, 1943), with the emigre art dealers Roland, Browse & Delbanco (1946, 1948, 1952, then regularly until 1975), in London, with Ben Uri (including alongside Martin Bloch in 1949), the Geffrye Museum (with Henry Moore, 1954), the Whitechapel Art Gallery (1956), Camden Arts Centre (1980), National Museum of Wales, Cardiff (1989), Abbot Hall, Kendal (2005), and many exhibitions with Flowers and Flowers East Galleries. His work is represented in many collections including London (Tate, V&A), Wales (National Museum), Scotland (Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art); as well as in Canada, Australia, Israel, South Africa and New Zealand.

Object Details

Date 1952

Object type printed material

Acquisition Presented by Gustav Delbanco 1988

Accession number 1988-24ii

Display status not on display

Herman sent this postcard (with two seated figures sketched overleaf) from Israel to Gustav Delbanco in London, stamped 3 December 1952. Delbanco was one of the three eponymous gallerists of Roland, Browse and Delbanco, established in London’s Cork Street by Henry Roland (né Heinz Rosenbaum) and Gustav Delbanco, both refugees of German-Jewish origin, together with Lilian Browse, in 1945. Herman had his first solo show there in 1946 and went on to exhibit with them for almost 30 years. They also exhibited a number of émigré artists postwar including Jankel Adler, Alfred Cohen, Heinz Inlander and Katerina Wilczynski.

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© Josef Herman estate

Related works

Two Seated Figures
by Josef Herman