Cosmopolis: The Impact of Refugee Art Dealers in London

26 June - 6 September 2024
Wed - Fri, 10 am - 5.30 pm
Free to all

This exhibition examines the lives, careers and artists exhibited by art dealers who were driven out of Continental Europe.

Following the rise of Nazism and chaos of global warfare in the 1930s–40s, over 50 art dealers were driven out of Continental Europe to seek refuge in Britain. Settling in London, they fostered new ties within the existing British art world and joined an ever-growing artistic émigré network. Founding galleries that welcomed international art trends, their presence had a transformative effect on the often-considered insular British art scene of the 1930s. Over three decades they played a major role in transforming London into a world art capital to rival New York and Paris. This was celebrated in 1964 in an exhibition at the Whitworth Gallery, Manchester called Cosmopolis: The School of London, that claimed London as the heir to interwar Paris. This recognition was based on an art world made incrementally diverse and vibrant by immigration, and which inspired the present exhibition’s title.

Founded on new doctoral research, Cosmopolis offers an episodic, rather than comprehensive, history of 21 individuals who had measurable influence on the modern and contemporary art market from the 1930s to the 1960s. The exhibition highlights the dealers’ stories and in parallel the artists they promoted, and the new networks and spaces they created for artistic exchange and dissemination.

This listing is supplied by one of our museum partners and is not moderated by Art Fund.

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Ben Uri Collection

108a Boundary Road, Off Abbey Road, London, Greater London, NW8 0RH
020 7604 3991

Free to all

Opening times

Open Wednesday-Friday from 10 am to 5.30 pm

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Visitor information

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