Česká centra, Czech Centres

Česká centra / Czech centres - logo

Program

22 Jul 2020 18:00 - 19:30

The Last Refuge: Britain and Central European Architects in the late 1930s

Dr Irena Žantovská Murray HonFRIBA, architectural historian and curator, and Valeria Carullo, Photographs Curator at the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA), will explore the activities of the RIBA Refugee Committee highlighting the cultural attitudes of the British architectural establishment at the outbreak of the WWII and discuss a case study featuring Czech and Slovak architects from the Nazi-occupied Czechoslovakia who tried to link their professional and personal future to Britain.

REGISTER VIA EVENTBRITE HERE

Following the Anschluss and then the German occupation of Czechoslovakia, Britain saw an increasing request for admission to the country from architects mainly based in Central Europe. In response to these events, at the beginning of 1939 the Royal Institute of British Architects set up a committee that aimed at both assisting foreign architects in their attempt to relocate in Britain and at reassuring British professionals at a time of great economic uncertainty. The first presentation, by RIBA curator Valeria Carullo, will consider the activities of the RIBA Refugee Committee in order to highlight the cultural attitudes of the British architectural establishment at the outbreak of the Second World War; she will also outline her related ongoing research project, which aims at creating an interactive database of the architects who, directly or indirectly, contacted the Committee in the hope of receiving support. As a follow-up to Valeria’s introduction of the entire project, Irena Murray will then focus on a preliminary case study intended to show the application process (and its results) from a regional perspective. Prague-born, Irena will introduce a small group of Czech and Slovak architects who made an effort to leave the Nazi-occupied Czechoslovakia and link their professional and personal future to Britain. Their fate and that of many others who also belong in this group, varied widely. Some, such as Eugen Rosenberg or Ernst Wiesner, achieved their goals with the RIBA’s help. Others, such as Arthur Blitz or František Zelenka, ran out of time and perished in concentration camps. Some (Antoniń Heythum, the Kohn Brothers or Herta Freyberg) found a solution to their plight farther afield – in North and South America, Australia and Canada.

Organised in collaboration with the Insiders/Outsiders Festival, part of the Insiders/Outsiders online series of events - https://bit.ly/3fghraZ

Valeria Carullo is Photographs Curator at the Royal Institute of British Architects. She regularly writes and gives talks on both architectural and photographic subjects; in 2014 she organised the RIBA international symposium on architectural photography Building with Light: The Legacy of Robert Elwall. Valeria has curated and co-curated numerous exhibitions, including Beyond Bauhaus: Modernism in Britain 1933-66 at the RIBA in 2019, when she also published Moholy-Nagy in Britain 1935-1937 (2019). Her principal area of research is the relationship between modern photography and modern architecture in the inter-war years. 

Dr Irena Žantovská Murray HonFRIBA is an architectural historian and curator. From 2004 to 2013 she served as Sir Banister Fletcher Director, RIBA British Architectural Library. She is the translator, into English, of Karel Teige’s Modern Architecture in Czechoslovakia (Getty, 2000), co-editor of Le Cobusier and Britain (Routledge) and curator of a number of exhibitions in Canada, United States, the UK and the Czech Republic. She is a frequent lecturer on Central European and trans-national architecture, with a focus on the architecture between the two World Wars.

 


Cover photo: Gustav + Gusti Feuer, Credit line: RIBA Collections



Low cost apartment block, Schnirchova 1084, Prague

Architect: Eugene Rosenberg

Credit line: Architectural Press Archive / RIBA Collections


J. Hanak apartment block, Letohradska 52, Prague

Architect: Eugene Rosenberg

Credit line: RIBA Collections


Interior in Czechoslovakia

Architect: Arthur Blitz

Credit line: RIBA Collections


Interior in Czechoslovakia

Architect: Arthur Blitz

Credit line: RIBA Collections

 

 

 


 

Venue:
Date

22 Jul 2020 18:00 - 19:30

Organizer:


Remind me
This event has already started.