In Conversation: Refugee Artists and the Ben Uri Collection

Speakers: Sarah MacDougall (Director of Ben Uri) and Aviva Burnstock (Professor of Conservation at The Courtauld)

To mark World Refugee Day, this year on Sunday the 20th of June, we are delighted to be hosting a bonus Open Courtauld event.

Join us to explore the work of Franciszka Themerson and Mark Gertler, refugee artists and the collection of Ben Uri gallery. Ben Uri’s collection surpasses ethnic, cultural and religious obstacles to engagement within the arts sector, it addresses contemporary and historical issues of identity and migration, and celebrates, researches and records the rich Jewish and immigrant experience in the visual arts since 1900.

For these critical conversations Sarah MacDougall (Director of Ben Uri) and Aviva Burnstock (Professor of Conservation at The Courtauld) will kick off by discussing their past collaborative technical and art-historical study of paintings by Mark Gertler and current work on Franciszka Themerson. Sarah and Aviva will then take us through the work of Ben Uri gallery, key works of refugee artists it is home to, and to contextualise the artists and their work in 2021. The session will end with a Q&A, where you will be able to pose your questions to Sarah and Aviva.

12:30pm, 15 Jun 2021

Tuesday 15th June, 12.30pm - 1.30pm

Free, booking essential

Registration closes 30 minutes before the event start time. If you do not receive log in details on the day of the event, please contact 




Open Courtauld
Painting depicting a man, woman and child holding bundles of belongings walking through a town at night. Above a cat on a roof holds a dead mouse in its mouth.
Josef Herman, 'Refugees', c. 1941, Ben Uri Collection (c) The estate of Josef Herman