Shulamith Behr

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Shulamith Behr

Honorary Research Fellow
Shulamith Behr 2014

Shulamith Behr completed her studies in Art History and Theory at the University of Essex. In 1990, she was appointed Bosch Lecturer in German Art at The Courtauld Institute of Art and, in 2000, Senior Lecturer in Twentieth-Century German Art. The title of Honorary Research Fellow was conferred on her in 2012. She is a specialist in the study of German Expressionism and has published widely in the field: as an editor, jointly with David Fanning and Douglas Jarman, of Expressionism Reassessed (Manchester University Press, 1993), as the curator – and author of the accompanying catalogues – of exhibitions on Conrad Felixmüller at the New Walk Museum and Art Gallery (Leicester) and at The Courtauld Gallery in 1994, and as the author of Expressionism for Tate Gallery Publishing in 1999. She has published widely on the contribution of women artists to German and Swedish modernism, starting with her Women Expressionists (Phaidon, Oxford, 1988) to essays for catalogues of the Gabriele Münter (1992-93) and Sigrid Hjérten (1999) retrospectives held in Germany and Stockholm. Relating to these interests, she was the curator and contributor to the catalogue of the exhibition Gabriele Münter: The Search for Expression 1906-1917, held at The Courtauld Gallery (23 June – 11 September 2005), and is completing an in-depth study of Women in Expressionist Culture: Artists, Patrons and Dealers (Princeton University Press). Dr Behr’s research on art and exile is published in the volume Arts in Exile in Britain 1933-1945: Politics and Cultural Identity, which she co-edited with Marian Malet 1933-1945. As a Leverhulme and CRASSH Research Fellow during the academic year 2007/2008, her project focused on the exile period of Ludwig Meidner, a leading exponent of German literary and artistic Expressionism. At present she is collaborating with the Jüdisches Museum Frankfurt am Main on an exhibition of Meidner’s works in England ca.1939-1953.

PhD students


  • Niccola Shearman, ‘Weimar in Black and White: a Study of the Woodcut in Germany, 1918-1933’
  • Natalia Budanova, ‘Russian Women Artists and the First World War’ (co-supervised with John Milner)
  • Lucy Watling, ‘Documents of a forgotten network: Émigré loans to Twentieth-Century German Art, 1938 ‘

Recently completed

  • Irene Noy, ‘Sound Art, Gender and the West German Context’
  • David Low, ‘Framing the Armenian Genocide: Photography and the Revisualisation of the Ottoman Empire, 1878-1923’
  • Joanna Cheetham, ‘Hans Feibusch between Germany and Britain: Networks, Cultural Transfer and Exchange’
  • Alexandra Keiser, ‘Alexander Archipenko and cultural exchange between the wars: from European avant-gardes to avant-gardism in the USA’, 2014
  • Alexandra Tommasini,  ‘The “Patient” City: The Practices of Photographer Gabriele Basilico’, 2014 (co-supervised with Julian Stallabrass)
  • Maria Mileeva, ‘Import and Reception of Western Art in Soviet Russia in the 1920s and 1930s’, 2011 (co-supervised with John Milner)
  • Glenn Sujo, ‘Yehuda Bacon, Disseminating Memory: Lines across an Abyss’, 2009
  • Karin Kyburz, ‘The Right to Indifference: Abstraction in the work of Gego (1912-1994) and Jesus Soto (1923-2005)’, 2008
  • Sarah James, ‘Negative Dialectics: The Late Art of East and West German Photography, 1968-1999’, 2007 (co-supervised with Julian Stallabrass), 2007
  • Isabel Boldry, ‘Rescuing Wagner: the Cultural Politics of Set-Design in Germany 1924 -1938’, 2005
  • Daniel Koep, ‘Resurrecting Apollo: Figurative Sculpture by Gerhard Marcks in the Federal Republic and its reception in the context of German Philhellenism 1925-1970’, 2004
  • John-Paul Stonard, ‘Art and National Reconstruction in Germany 1945-1955’, 2004
  • Astrid Ihle, ‘Women under Socialism: Both Sides of the Camera – Women Photographers and the Construction of Female Identity in the Photographic Representation of the GDR c.1949-1961’, 2004
  • Anna Plodeck, ‘The Making of Fred Uhlman: Life and Work of the Painter and Writer in Exile’, 2004
  • Anke Daemgen, ‘The Neue Secession in Berlin 1910-1914. An Artist’s Association in the Rise of Expressionism’, 2001
  • Ines Schlenker, ‘Der Neue Salon: The Große Deutsche Kunstausstellung in Munich 1937-1944’, 2000
  • Nicola Lambourne, ‘Moral Cathedrals: War Damage and Franco-German Cultural Propaganda on the Western Front 1870-1938’, 1997

Research interests

  • German, Austrian and Scandinavian twentieth- century visual culture
  • Cultural identity, politics and gender
  • Art and exile in Britain 1933-1945

Recent publications

In Press

  • ‘The dynamics of gendered artistic identity and creativity in the Blaue Reiter’, in German Expressionism: Der Blaue Reiter and its Legacies, ed. Dorothy Rowe, Manchester University Press, Manchester.

Select Publications

  • Review Ludwig Meidner: Werkverzeichnis der Skizzenbücher/Catalogue Raisonné of his Sketchbooks, ed. Gerd Presler and Erik Riedel. (Prestel Verlag, Munich, London and New York, 2013), The Burlington Magazine no. 1341, vol. 156, December 2014, pp. 825-826.
  • ‘Kandinsky and Theater: the Monumental Artwork of the Future’, in exh. cat. Vasily Kandinsky and the Total Work of Art: from Blaue Reiter to Bauhaus, Neue Galerie, New York, and Hatje Cantz, Ostfildern, 2013, pp. 64-85.
  • Review Netzwerke des Exils. Künstlerische Verflechtungen, Austausch und Patronage nach 1933
  • Burcu Dogramaci and Karin Wimmer. (Gebrüder Mann Verlag, Berlin, 2011), The Burlington Magazine, no. 1326, vol. 155, September 2013, pp. 628-629.
  • Académie Matisse and its relevance in the life and work of Sigrid Hjertén’, in A Cultural History of the Avant-Garde in the Nordic Countries 1900-1925, ed. Hubert van den Berg, et al, Rodopi, Amsterdam and New York, 2012, pp. 149-164.
  • ‘Künstlergruppe Brücke and the Public Sphere: Bridging the Gender Divide’, in Bridging History: Perspectives on Brücke, ed. Christian Weikop, Ashgate, Farnham, 2011, pp. 99-124.
  • Die Künstlergruppe Brücke und die Öffentlichkeit – Von der Überbrückung der Kluft zwischen den Geschlechtern‘, in Rosa. Eigenartig grün. Rosa Schapire und die Expressionisten, ed. Sabine Schulze, Ausst.-Kat. Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe Hamburg, Kunstsammlungen Chemnitz, Hatje und Cantze, Ostfildern, 2009, pp. 54 – 87.
  • with Sander L. Gilman, ‘Forced Journeys. An Introduction’, in Forced Journeys: Artists in Exile in Britain 1933-1945, ed. Rachel Dickson and Sarah Mac Dougall, Ben Uri Gallery and Lund Humphries , London, 2009
  • Interpretive essays to catalogue, guide and panels, Georg Baselitz Retrospective, The Royal Academy, London, 2007
  • ‘Kandinsky, Münter and Creative Partnership’, in Kandinsky: The Path to Abstraction 1900-1921, ed. Hartwig Fischer and Sean Rainbird, Tate Publishing, London, 2006, pp. 77-100; 213-214. German edition, ‘Kandinsky und Münter: Eine kreative Partnerschaft’, in Kandinsky: Malerei 1908-1921, Kunstmuseum Basel, pp. 75-98; 216-218, 2007

Other current/ongoing professional activities

  • International Advisory Board, Ben Uri Gallery, London Jewish Museum of Art

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