Life & Culture

Exhibition dedicated to Penguin book cover artist who fled Nazis


A German Jewish designer who was refused a work permit during the 1930s is to be the focus of an exhibition about her work.

Ditchling Museum of Art and Craft will tell the story of Elizabeth Friedlander, an artist and typographer who suffered under the antisemitism of Nazi Germany.

Ms Friedlander, who was born in 1903, produced work that is instantly recognisable as mid-20th century design – including a JC masthead – but very few know the story about the artist.

Best known for her Penguin book covers and Bauer Type Foundry typeface “Elizabeth”, the exhibition will touch on her escape to London in 1938.

It will also include the story behind her friendship with her sponsor – poet and printer Francis Meynell and her work with a wartime British black propaganda unit.

The exhibition has been co-curated by video artist and author Katharine Meynell, granddaughter of Francis.

Ms Meynell recently shone a light on Ms Friedlander’s story in Elizabeth, a short film about the artist, which will feature as part of the exhibition.

The show will include rarely-seen works, and opens at the East Sussex venue on January 6, 2018.

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