One Family, Three Cities, Six Years of War | Wiener Library | Wednesday 1 March until Friday 28 April 2017

Franciszka Themerson,  Nuit de Tenèbres , 1942. Pen and ink

Franciszka Themerson, Nuit de Tenèbres, 1942. Pen and ink

One Family, Three Cities, Six Years of War

Exhibition: Wednesday 1 March until Friday 28 April 2017, from 10am – 5pm Monday to Friday

Private view: Wednesday 1 March 2017, 6pm – 8pm

Venue: Wiener Library, 29 Russell Square, London WC1B 5DP

This exhibition traces the story of one family’s experiences of separation, persecution and survival during the Second World War and the Holocaust: the family of Franciszka Themerson and her niece Jasia Reichardt.

Originally from Warsaw, artist and illustrator Franciszka Themerson found herself alone in London during the war, separated from her husband, writer and film-maker Stefan Themerson, who was stranded in southern France, and the rest of her family, trapped inside the Warsaw Ghetto.

As deportation from the Ghetto intensified in the summer of 1942, Franciszka’s nine-year old niece Jasia Reichardt escaped. Jasia’s remarkable 15 Journeys took her from the Ghetto in 1942 to London in 1946, where she was reunited with her aunt and uncle, as described in her 2012 memoir. From 1942-1946, Jasia experienced life in hiding, and finally lived in convents under an assumed Catholic identity.

This exhibition features family documents and photographs, and showcases some of the work of this highly creative family. There is also a display of sixteen original drawings made by Franciszka Themerson in London between 1940 and 1942, the drawings she called her Unposted Letters to her husband separated from her in France. 

The Themerson Estate is represented by GV Art London